Querciabella Palafreno

Toscana IGT, Italy

Vintage:2019 (Current)

2013 (Past) | 2017 (Past) |

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Querciabella Palafreno 2019
  • V 98
  • JS 95
  • WS 92

Reviews

Wine Spectator

92 Points

February 2023, Bruce Sanderson

Rich and round, this red exudes black cherry, blackberry, wild rosemary and iron flavors. Reveals dense tannins on the finish, leaving a tight feel, yet this lingers. Drink now through 2029.
 

Vinous Media

98 Points

June 2022, Antonio Galloni

The 2019 Palafreno, 100% Merlot from Greve's Ruffoli district, is stunning, not to mention one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted here. Silky, plush and exceptionally vivid in the glass, the Palafreno possesses breathtaking beauty that captivates all the senses. At this early stage, the 2019 is all primary dark fruit, but the layers will start to open with cellaring. Readers who can find it should not hesitate. It's a real head turner.

JamesSuckling.com

95 Points

June 2022, James Suckling

This is very polished and structured with a finesse to the tannins which spread across the palate. It’s full-bodied with fine fruit and a driven finish. It needs three or four years to soften and open. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Try after 2025.

Overview

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. 

In certain years all the elements necessary for making superlative wines—sunlight, rainfall, temperature ranges—all come into perfect alignment. In those years, Querciabella produces Palafreno. The loose galestro schistous clay soils and the southern aspect of the Cipresso and Marrone vineyards allow for a slower ripening which Merlot demands to flourish. Through selective micro-vinification and long maturation, the texture is enhanced to perfection.

From vineyard to bottle, no animal products are used in any phase of the production.

Winemaking

The Merlot grapes from the Cipresso and Marrone vineyards in Ruffoli, located close to the cellar, are harvested by hand and undergo a double selection process which ensures that only the best berries make it to the fermentation tanks. After racking, the wine matures for about 18 months in fine and extra-fine grained French oak barriques, of which 30% are new. Once in the bottle, the wine ages for at least another year. Only released in the finest vintages.

Harvest Notes

After a mild and dry winter, a cool, wet spring triggered a relatively slow growing season. However, the flowering and fruit set went well, anticipating a phenomenal harvest in quality and quantity. The first week of May saw the temperatures soar, and this heat continued through the Summer. It may have been torrid at times, but there were no problems with drought stress thanks to the abundant water reserves after the spring rains. September brought the desired day/night temperature differences, and excellent phenolic ripeness was achieved with beautiful skin-to-pulp ratios.

Food Pairing

Palafreno reveals its sublime character 6–7 years after harvest. It will continue to evolve for at least 20 years. Best served between 64°- 68°F.

Technical Information

Varietals: 100% Merlot

Wine Alcohol: 14.5%

Titratable Acidity: 5.84 g/L

pH: 3.35

Harvest Start Date: September 19, 2019

Soil Composition: Loose schistous skeletal soil with minimal clay