Le Boncie's Artisanal Chianti Classico: A Top Tuscan Wine of 2020
The 2020 Le Trame is fabulous…very clearly one of the wines of the vintage.
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
Podere Le Boncie — one of our favorite Tuscan traditionalists — is exactly the kind of winery we love to support. They’ve never strayed from their dedication to local grapes. They do everything by hand. They make minuscule amounts of wine each vintage: just 1000 cases of the flagship cuvée ‘Le Trame’, and only 25-30% of that number lands stateside.
The reasons we adore this estate; its winemaker, Giovanna Morganti; and its wines are the same reasons we’re only able to offer the wines once per year — if we’re lucky. Giovanna’s unique winemaking style has set her apart from her Chianti Classico compatriots; they have a ruggedness, a combination of wildness and elegance, that calls to mind the Umbrian wines of Paolo Bea.
She’s been making wine this way since the ‘80s, when her father gave her an olive grove that she promptly re-planted to Sangiovese (and lesser-known Tuscan varieties like Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Foglia tonda Mammolo and Prugnolo). It comprises just three hectares in the village of San Felice, in the southern reaches of the Chianti Classico designation.
The farming at Le Boncie is organic, with some biodynamic practices. The vines are planted at an incredibly high density, forcing the vines to dive deep into clay-limestone soils for nutrients and water. Minimalistic and traditional winemaking practices are used: manual harvests, indigenous yeasts, long and slow fermentations in open-top casks, and long aging in large, old barrels of Austrian and Slavonian oak, and then again in bottle.
We have two cuvées on offer today (and two vintages of one). Chiesamonti is comprised of younger vines on stonier soils; prior to 2018, the fruit was blended into the estate’s entry level ‘Cinque’ bottling. It’s primarily Sangio with just a splash of Canaiolo, and offers a high toned, silky, expression. Le Trame (‘the intrigue’) is the heart and soul of the estate, offering classic Chianti flavors of red cherry, graphite, and fresh-cut herbs set against Giovanna’s trademark untamed, yet polished, structure. Take Galloni’s advice and pick up a bottle of one of 2020’s top wines.
Podere Le Boncie, Chianti Classico 'Le Trame', 2020 $69.99
“The 2020 La Trame is fabulous. It's the sort of wine that can be deceptive at first given its mid-weight structure and understated personality. But the intensity of the flavors and the wine's persistence reveal themselves pretty quickly. Cedar, pipe tobacco, dried leaves, mint and blood orange play off a core of red-toned fruit. There's plenty of depth and structure, but all the elements are so well put together that it is easy to look past the wine's more serious side. Readers who can find the 2020 will not want to hesitate. It is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage.” — AG, Vinous.com
Podere Le Boncie, "Chiesamonti" IGT Toscana, 2019 $72.99
Podere Le Boncie, "Chiesamonti" IGT Toscana, 2020 $72.99
“The 2020 Chiesamonti is another super-intriguing wine from Le Boncie. Compared to Le Trame, Chiesamonti shows a bit more muscle, while the tannins are marked by an incisive quality that is impossible to miss. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is unmistakable. Dark red cherry, tobacco, incense, grilled herbs, menthol, orange peel and spice all come alive in this striking Sangiovese.” AG, Vinous.com
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