From Our Cellar

Pomona Chianti Classico Riserva 2016


Our tasting impressions

Absolutely classic, gorgeous 100% Sangiovese Chianti Classico Riserva, and with the alcohol clocking in at a relatively modest 13.5% it’s also an absolute joy to drink!


Moderate to full-bodied for a Chianti Classico Riserva, as is appropriate for the vineyard, this is a generous, vibrant wine bringing to the table a fine marriage of tobacco, herbal, and vivid fruit flavors all amply supported by classic dusty minerality. A wine with gorgeous energy and drive that screams for a fine Bistecca alla FiorentinaWhile wonderful today, this should really blossom with another 2-4 year in the cellar and thrive for a decade. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.


About this wine

Fattoria Pomona’s vineyards are mostly east-facing, advantageous for retaining freshness in wines. At about 335 to 350 meters above sea level, the elevation is modest and the setting quite widely exposed allowing for easy ventilation. The soil is rich in quartz and alberese stone. That stoniness - and the energy, vividness, austerity and fine tannins it lends - is the Pomona trademark.  


Work in the cellar is quite classical, a spontaneous fermentation lasts up to about 25 days (vintage dependent) with the wine subsequently being aged in Slavonian oak botti for 15-20 months followed by 8-12 months on concrete before bottling. The wine is certified organic.


About the grape

Sangiovese is the most planted grape in Italy and is the dominant grape throughout the central part of the country. There are many variants and even different names like Prugnolo Gentile, Brunello, Sangiovetoand Morellino.


Like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is heavily influenced by its terroir and similarly can be quite transparent in its differences from place to place. Also like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is prone to spontaneous mutations so the list of clones is vast and plays an important role in determining a wine’s style. 


Traditionally, Sangiovese-based wines (except in Montalcino) have served as the backbone for a blended wine, though more recently we have seen 100% Sangiovese wines becoming more common.


About the vintage 

2016 is a modern day classic vintage in Tuscany. A near perfect growing season that started slowly, warmed up nicely through the summer, and ended with a classic autumn. Ample warm days and cool nights produced a slightly reduced crop of wines that combine the richness of low-yields with the near perfect balance of mature tannins and bright acidity. 


On your table

This is a young wine, minerally and bright, with restrained alcohol but a fine tannic bite today. So, look for something that echos the minerals and with a bit of fat for contrast. Grilled duck served on the rare side or other game birds would be fabulous, or an aggressively flavored piece of beef - perhaps skirt steak or a fine sirloin would also be terrific. And if you’re not in the mood for meat, try eggplant Parmigiana.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté


The story here is a familiar one, a family farm once thrived, only to be abandoned as the era of sharecropping lead way to the industrial revolution. Vineyards disappeared, only to be replanted decades later, first as a hobby, and eventually as the business that it is today. Perhaps less typical, but not altogether unheard of, is Monica Raspi’s story. 


A successful veterinarian, in 2007 Monica was faced with a difficult decision. The time had come to either sell the family farm or rejuvenate it. Her father always told her the Chiantis of Fattoria Pomona were among the very best! So, with no wine experience, just ample conviction, Monica made the career change.  Instinctively, she felt organic farming was best and The property was certified in 2012. 


Pomona has a modest 6 hectares under vine - producing fewer than 350 cases each year. The utmost attention Is given to producing wine that could only come from here. The cellar is simple, modest, surprisingly so considering the explosive, bright, and vivid nature of the wines. Wines that are produced are not only an homage to their terroir, but also to each growing season. Vintage character is highly prized so perhaps having no equipment to modify the wine’s inherent nature is less surprising after all.