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A gorgeous deep ruby robe sets the table for the majesty of the 1999 Podere Il Palazzino Chianti Classico. Better yet, within a few minutes of pulling the cork, entrancing, profound aromas emerge from this lush hedonistic Chianti. Scents of deep down fruit and lush woodlands, resplendent with wild strawberry, iris, and violet, spring from the glass. However, the best is yet to come. On the palate, the Il Palazzino is pure pleasure, exhibiting a rich, textured feel that can be best described as of the finest silk and satin. It is indeed this tactile quality that sets this great Chianti apart from the pack of good, but somewhat angular, wines that normally flow from Chianti. Furthermore, with a little additional breathing time, the Il Palazzino becomes one seamless garment. From its heavenly bouquet to its structured, long finish, this estate's Chianti explodes with flavor, vitality, and most of all pleasure. Drink this Il Palazzino at cool room temperature (about 65? F), and as often as possible.
Fire up the grill and bring on the meat for the 1999 Il Palazzino Chianti Classico, but no pedestrian cuts need apply. Even with its great depth of flavor, the Il Palazzino remains an elegant medium bodied wine. Filet Mignon, pork tenderloin, tender cuts of veal and roasted game birds top our list of companions. In fact a stuffed, slowly grilled veal chop wins the supreme honor. The Il Palazzino is too pure and delicately complex to be buried beneath strong spicy flavors or heavy sauces. Enjoy!
In the hills south of Gaiole, the young but very knowledgeable husband and wife team of Andrea and Allessandro Sderci produce some of the most seductive wines in all of Chianti Classico. Working vineyard plots in excess of 1300 feet, this remarkable couple has created a model estate where the flawless excellence of its wines is unsurpassed, even by the oldest, more famous estates. The Sdercis are passionately committed to their work and are always looking for ways to push the envelope and improve their already superb offerings. Back in 1984, when the archaic and highly idiosyncratic laws proscribing both white and red grapes for Chianti Classico were changed, Il Palazzino eliminated the Trebbiano and Malvasia (white grapes) from its blend. By totally eliminating the old canonical blend of white varietals from their Chianti Classico, Il Palazzino has avoided the all too common danger of precocious oxidation, achieving a remarkably appealing rich ruby robe and a supreme elegance in their wine attributes which remain unique among Chianti. Only the finest clones of Sangiovese and Canaiolo, Tuscany's two best red varieties, find their way into the Chianti at Il Palazzino. The estate's two outstanding single vineyards are La Pieve and Argenina. At harvest time the grape selection at Il Palazzino is brutal, with only the finest, unblemished clusters being retained. The same persnickety selection prevails at assemblage, when only the top barrels are used for the estate-bottled wines. These practices heighten to an almost exasperated degree the archetypal qualities that have distinguished the Chianti Classico wines of Gaiole from the rest: finesse, warmth, richness, and a bouquet of exceptional wealth.
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