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Personal wine advice
Chiara Condello Predappio 2021
This young lady not only manages the parental estate, but also produces some particularly fine wines under her own name in Romagna in the AOP Predappio, one of the oldest appellations of origin. This one is 100% Sangiovese and partly aged in barrels made of Slovenian oak. It is a wonderfully fragrant, fruity pure Sangiovese that immediately stole our hearts.
Eric Guido (Vinous): “The 2020 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio is spicy and deep, with sweet rose and dusty black cherries accenuated by hints of ash and mint. This is undeniably elegant in feel, washing silken waves of ripe wild berries across the palate that leave a mineral staining, along with sweet inner herbal tones. It finishes with a lingering concentration and super-fine tannins as tobacco and cocoa notes slomly fade. The 2020 will require a bit more time in bottle to soften its contours, but it’s packed full of potential. It’s hard to think of this as Chiara Condello’s entry-level wine.” 92+/100
Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “Chiara Condello began her wine-life working in her family winery, also located in Romagna. In 2015, she started her own project after locating a parcel of older vines (averaging around forty years old) that ran along the hillsides of Predappio in the foothills of the Apennines mountains with north and northeastern exposures. These sites are important when considering the increasing temperatures that the region has witnessed over the last few decades. All practices are organic in the vineyards, followed by indigenous yeast fermentations, minimal temperature control, long macerations and refinement in large neutral wood vessels in the cellar. With each passing vintage, the wines at this estate continue to get better and better. Even her “entry-level” Romagna Sangiovese Predappio, a blend of three vineyards, can put many of the top wines of the region to shame. While you could say that it’s meant for earlier consumption and easier drinking, there is so much character packed into this classic varietal expression, and there is no harm in cellaring it for three to five years or more. Then there is the Le Lucciole Riserva, which is a single-vineyard expression, notable for its rocky soils rich in the Spungone (a pliocenic sandstone consisting of ancient corals and shells). These vines suffer here, producing much less yet extremely characterful fruit. Le Lucciole undergoes a longer maceration and time in Slavonian oak barrels, and it emerges as a testament to Romagna Sangiovese. The wine is extremely vintage-dependent, specifically since it is the expression from one single parcel; yet even in the warm years, or cold and wet ones, it shows remarkable depth, balance and purity. The only sad thing is that word about Chiara Condello and her accomplishments has gotten out, and the wines have begun to disappear quickly.”