Maremma Toscana, Italy
The Wine Advocate
August 25, 2022, Monica Larner
“A certified organic wine, the Querciabella 2020 Maremma Toscana Mongrana is 50% Sangiovese with the rest of the blend consisting of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These are good amounts of each variety, as the wine shows the breezy freshness of Sangiovese next to the richness and voluptuous flavors of the other two grapes. Refined in cement and stainless steel, this is an elegant, medium-bodied wine with lots of bright fruit and cherry.”
June 9, 2022, James Suckling
“Raspberries, currants, mulberries, orange zest and lemon leaves on the nose. Medium-bodied with lightly chewy tannins and bright acidity. Wild and savory with a delicious, crunchy finish. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink or hold.”
Founded in 1974, Querciabella enjoys the acclaim of the world’s most discriminating critics and consumers for wines such as Camartina, Batàr, Palafreno and Querciabella Chianti Classico. In its uncompromising pursuit of quality, sustainability and authenticity, Querciabella has continually honed its approach to biodynamic viticulture for over a decade. With vineyards located throughout Tuscany’s Chianti Classico and Maremma areas, Querciabella exemplifies the mindful preservation of tradition through forward-thinking, albeit completely natural, winemaking.
First introduced with the 2005 vintage, Mongrana comes from the Banditella, Podere Harras and Sugherettaia vineyards and has been organically and biodynamically grown since inception. The biodynamic approach has proven particularly suited to the acidic, iron-rich soils of Maremma, a mixture of silt and alluvial sand, sparse with areas of gravel and surface pebbles.
Grapes are hand-harvested in 9kg crates. In the cellar, the grapes undergo fermentation in stainless steel vats. After malolactic fermentation, the wine undergoes élevage both in stainless steel and cement until it is blended to be bottled.
Intense ruby red in the glass, the charm of Mongrana does not take long to reveal itself. Well-defined aromas of ripe fruit, morello cherry, blackberry and blueberry especially anticipate notes of kirsch, ivy, pine needles. As soon as the wine opens up in the glass, a more complex bouquet starts to emerge with slight hints of leather, coffee powder and cocoa enriched by a touch of liquorice. Juicy, fresh sip, with soft tannins. The long finale is savoury with mineral, iron notes that persist in the mouth.
A year of uncertainty, 2020 was marked in Maremma by the April frosts that substantially damaged the vines’ young buds. The nearly drought-like conditions in spring meant that the grapes started to mature with little in the way of water reserves. The hot, dry conditions throughout Spring and Summer meant that the grapes started to mature with little in the way of water reserves and required meticulous attention to the canopy management. Fortunately, timely rains that fell in mid-August turned a challenging year into an excellent vintage. The result was perfectly matured grapes without that overripe note that can mar drier years resulted in incredibly fragrant musts, sweet and balanced to the taste.
The ideal serving temperature is 57° to 64°F. Recommended to drink young, though this wine will continue to develop and mature for at least ten years.
Varietals: 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%
Titratable Acidity: 5.47 g/L
Soil Composition: A mixture of silt and alluvial sand, with areas of gravel and surface pebbles.