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San Giusto a Rentennano, Chianti Classico Riserva Le Baroncole, 2019


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Tuscany: the land of hills, olive groves, and wine. And above all other wines, Chianti Classico.

Chianti, you may know, is not a tiny region. The best Chiantis, though, are from Chianti Classico, the communes spread out between Florence and Siena and over which these two city-states warred for centuries (oh, how we're glad not to be 17th-century peasants!).

In our fantasy, these wines are hand made by artisans working with old, organic methods. That fantasy is hardly the rule. But all of these wonderful things come together at San Giusto a Rentennano. If you visit the estate you may be invited to taste in an old wooden barn. The walls are lined with ancient tools and drying herbs hang from the ceiling. The glasses sit on an ancient table and as you taste it becomes impossible to tell what century you are in.

San Giusto is in Chianti Classico's southern commune of Gaiole. Gaiole makes the region's most structured wines. The family grows olives, Sangiovese, and a little Canaiolo. (They also grow a dash of Merlot for their supertuscan, "La Ricolma," a too-rare example of French grapes making great wine in the Chianti). They farm everything organically and by hand. Their top bottling, Percarlo, is famous—especially in Europe, where it is regarded as one of Italy's very greatest wines. It is less known here, for no good reason at all.


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