Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Winemaker Sean O'Callaghan, originally from Somerset, moved to Gaiole in Chianti in 1991 after studying winemaking in Germany. He was head winemaker at the renowned estate Riecine for 25 years, leaving in 2016 after a turbulent few years at the winery following its coming under new ownership. Though not a native, Sean has an unsurpassed knowledge and understanding of the local terroir and microclimates, and a unique affinity with the Sangiovese grape. Sean’s first wine was made from grapes grown and harvested while still at Riecine, with the winemaking process beginning in one of Riecine’s Nomblot tanks. His nickname ‘Il Guercio’, meaning ‘one-eyed rascal’ refers to the fact that Sean was born blind in his right eye, which he credits with giving him a unique perspective on winemaking, and on life in general.
This Chianti Classico has a 60 day skin maceration and is fermented and aged in steel and cement. It's a great example of the region, both classical and expressive. It's a beautiful translucent ruby in the glass with tints of brick dust to the edges. The fruit is bright and has great acidity, but also that delicious depth of baked plums and spice.
Food pairings: stick to simple pasta dishes and pizzas or drink it up with some wild duck ragout, roast beef with plum and Madeira sauce, ossobucco or a selection of Italian cheeses ranging from semi-soft to firm.