Tenuta di Carleone, Il Guercio, 2019
Thirty years ago, world-traveler and one-eyed dreamer Sean O’Callahan handed in his thesis at a German winemaking school, then took off on his motorcycle for an Italian vineyard adventure.
On this holiday in Italy he met John Dunkley, the owner of Riecine, a leader in Chianti Classico and his oenologist Sergio Manetti (Montevertine – Le Pergole Torte), got the job as a winemaker and stayed just under a quarter of a century. In 2012, Sean partnered with Karl Egger at Tenuta di Carleone in Chianti, who had begun to restore the ruins of Castiglioni, just outside of Radda.
Using organic and biodynamic practices, they now farm a collection of small plots planted in the 1970's, 20 hectares in total, nestled among wooded hills, small streams and aged olive trees. Sean’s vision for Sangiovese is a balance between structure and fruit. His winemaking is both thoughtful and playful, making wines of “bevibilità,” a drinkability that makes bottles tend to disappear! These ethereal wines are made in small production.
100% Sangiovese from the “Mello” vineyard in Gaiole in Chianti, 700 m above sea level. The grapes are picked late to get maximum ripeness from this beautiful high-lying vineyard. Fermented in cement tanks with 20% whole bunches. The very long maceration of 4 months gives this wine a wonderful fruit character, which differentiates it from the more classic styles. Decant the wildly racy Il Guercio, then a dark berry mix with black cherries and a hint of dark chocolate will be in the air. On the palate, equally juicy fruit, full-bodied with fine silky tannins, elegant and finely structured, fills the palate completely while always remaining fruit-driven, almost playful, very animating in the long finish. Potential for many years in the cellar. A wine with character and the winery's masterpiece.