Camartina is a wine to get excited about, the most striking thing is that it is the closest thing to red Burgundy that Tuscany or the Sangiovese grape will probably ever produce, yet at the same time, it embodies a good deal of Bordeaux. That was after all, the design of the late Giuseppe Castiglioni, who was part of the original Super Tuscan vanguard in the early 1970s. Camartina synthesises a Pauillac style power and complexity, without losing any of the earthy minerality and sweetness that help define the Super Tuscans. Today the Estate’s wines, in particular Camartina, are considered peers of Solaia, Tignanello and Fontodi Flaccianello. In fact Querciabella is part of the elite cadre of estates which along with Tignanello and Solaia boast the acclaimed consultant Giacomo Tachis.
The Estate occupies a prime locality in the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda and Gaiole and the 74 hectare Estate is surrounded by natural forests. Adding to this they have their prime 32 hectare vineyard in Maremma, on the glorious Etruscan coast. The grapes are cultivated organically (since 1988) and are now fully biodynamic (since 2000). The grapes are destemmed, not crushed and undergo 12 and 20 days maceration for the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon respectively. This fully extracts the ripe tannin and phenolics, stabilising the wine beautifully. The wine is aged in 100% French oak, 40% new and 60% with one year’s age. Camartina is made without using any animal products and is among the few truly great wines suitable for vegetarians.
The very low production and commitment to quality results in the Estate never releasing a less than worthy vintage. The rising acclaim of Querciabella means that Camartina is released in small quantities and is a prized wine for any collector. Querciabella Camartina like Tignanello, remains accessibly priced on release, but while Tignanello produces in excess of 25,000 cases a year, Querciabella Camartina make 1,500 cases and it sells out quickly. Indeed it is almost the mirror image of Tignanello, made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese: Tignanello’s blend is 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon often with a smidgen of Cabernet Franc.
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