Tuscany is fast becoming one of the most exciting, dynamic wine regions on Earth. It’s not just the series of remarkable vintages that has recently blessed Tuscany, and it’s not just a handful of its internationally-famous names. It’s also because of a scene that has long been more associated with Beaujolais or Sicily: extreme artisanal producers making natural wines.It’s not as if Le Boncie, located in the Berardenga sub-zone of Chianti Classico, is new on the scene. Giovanna Morganti, the wine-grower proprietor, has been at it since the 1980s. Her Dad gave her a farm with a grove of olive trees. She planted Sangiovese and many of the other traditional varieties of Tuscany: Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Fogliatonda, Mammolo and Prugnolo. She farms them all, alongside those olive trees, according to biodynamic principles.For decades now, Giovanna has been making very artisanal, very old-fashioned wines. Her top wine is a Chianti Classico, but it is quite different from most other wines in the DOC, standing apart for a combination of wildness and elegance that calls to mind the wines of Paolo Bea. It’s a style that nature gives her, when it meets her traditional wine-making practices: the blending in of those non-Sangiovese indigenous varieties, fermenting the wines slowly and naturally in open-top casks, and long aging in old neutral barrels and in bottle.No, Le Boncie is not new on the scene. What’s changed is that people have started to notice. This used to be wine we could buy year-round from the importer, Neal Rosenthal. Now, like so many other great wines produced in micro quantities, it sells out to top restaurants and retailers before it even lands.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
“Chiesamonti” is a 1.3-hectare parcel adjacent to the town of San Felice in Castelnuovo Berardenga, with a stonier soil profile and a lower clay content than Giovanna’s home turf. The vines, now over a decade old, used to be blended into “Cinque” in their younger years, but she now feels they are ready for prime time, and this wine—bottled on its own for the first time in 2018—provides a fascinating counterpoint to “Le Trame”: silkier, higher-toned, and overall prettier, with a more blatant mineral underpinning and less sumptuously fleshy fruit. It spends two years in Stockinger barrels, just like its sister wine, and it comprises nearly entirely Sangiovese, with just a touch of Canaiolo.