This very pretty, fruit-forward, young Chianti Classico is named after Ardalico, a character in the epic novel Orlando Furioso, and is from one of the region's foremost estates, Querciabella (meaning 'beautiful oak').
The 2020 is a bundle of juicy cherry and pomegranate fruit with a twist of cranberry and touches of cedar and spice, all wrapped in soft-toned acidity and sleek tannins. It's thoroughly authentic, delicious now and could be kept for two or three years.
Ardalico was first produced in 2019 and is Querciabella's junior wine, made from younger vines and matured for a shorter time and with less oak than the estate's main Chianti Classico.
Like the principal wine and the riserva, Ardalico is 100% Sangiovese, all from the 74-ha Greve-based estate, and is fermented with indigenous yeasts. The nature-focused estate is certified organic and also farmed biodynamically, but using plant-based preparations only. As no animal products are used anywhere down the line, all Querciabella's wines are vegan.
Chianti Classico is a food-friendly wine and this is as happy with a herb-roasted chicken as with red meat or a pork, fennel and caper ragù. And it's equally good with roast Mediterranean veg and rich tomato sauces. 14%. Empty bottle weight: 367g.
Querciabella Ardalico Chianti Classico 2020, Tuscany, Italy