ITALY | EMIGLIA-ROMAGNA
Chiara Condello is a rising star among the new generation of winemakers who has an ambition to augment her family’s wine craft with her own interpretation of the Sangiovese.
Her vineyards are in the heart of the town, Predappio. The vines are deeply rooted in a soil of calcareous clay laden with rich sediments of marine life dating back three million years. This is where she developed her ambition to produce a pure Sangiovese that will authentically express the essence of this unique terroir.
The two wines that Chiara produces–Predappio and Le Lucciole–are truly labors of love from the vineyard to the cellar. Building on a foundation of organic viticulture, the vineyards are naturally controlled by a well-balanced ecosystem; the vines are manually managed and harvested. The results are mature grapes that are healthy, requiring no correction in the vinification process. Vinification involves natural yeasts, with long maceration, and finally aging in Slavonian oak without filtration.
The Predappio and the award winning Le Lucciole express not only the terroir, but also Chiara’s enthusiasm and her passion to demonstrate what Sangiovese should be.
ROMAGNA DOC SANGIOVESE PREDAPPIO
» The Sangiovese grape used to produce this wine is indigenous to the Romagna region, combined with a unique soil of clay and prehistoric marine deposits, creates a beautiful profile which differentiates it from other such wines from Tuscany and surrounding regions.
» Vines are approximately 40 years old. The crops are hand-harvested, destemmed, and undergo spontaneous whole berry fermentation in stainless-steel tanks using indigenous yeasts and neutral open-top vats.
» Fifteen to twenty-five days of maceration; age for 1 year in Slavonian oak botti; approximately 12,000 bottles produced.
» Aromas of bright light red cherry fruit, spice, and mineral, repeated on the palate, with high acidity a moderately long, mineral finish.
» Pairs well with a variety of meat dishes, from beef, to pork, to veal, while also being a good choice for the cheese cart, when traditional Italian hard cheeses are presented.
- The 2020 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio is spicy and deep, with sweet rose and dusty black cherries accentuated by hints of ash and mint. This is undeniably elegant in feel, washing silken waves of ripe wild berries across the palate that leave a mineral staining, along with sweet inner herbal tones. It finishes with a lingering concentration and super-fine tannins as tobacco and cocoa notes slowly fade. The 2020 will require a bit more time in bottle to soften its contours, but it’s packed full of potential. It’s hard to think of this as Chaira Condello’s entry-level wine.❞ – Eric Guido, Vinous (March 20231)
- 92 POINTS — Eric Guido, Vinous (March 2023)
ROMAGNA DOC RISERVA SANGIOVESE PREDAPPIO ‘LE LUCCIOLE’
» Produced from 20-year-old vines of Sangiovese grapes that are hand-harvested, partially destemmed, and combined with whole berries.
» Spontaneous fermentation takes place in open top vats and tonneau, without temperature control. Forty-five-day maceration, aged for 2 years in Slavonian oak, then one year in bottle. 4000 bottles are produced.
» It is a contemplative wine with a profile that departs from a typical Sangiovese.
» Serve with roasts, game, and steak.
- The 2018 Sangiovese Riserva Le Lucciole is spellbinding, as it keeps you coming back to the glass with a hauntingly perfumed bouquet that mixes violets and roses with black currants, plums and rich exotic spices. It’s deeply textural, almost velvety in feel, with ripe dark fruits and a saturation of salty minerals that creates a sultry expression. Brisk acids keep the energy amazingly high, even as fine-grained tannins and an intense concentration of primary fruits settle in, making for a structured and poised yet almost juicy finale. There is simply so much going on here, and while there is already pleasure to be found, the 2018 is geared for a long and steady evolution. Fans of Sangiovese take note, this is a gorgeous rendition of Le Lucciole!❞ – Eric Guido, Vinous (September 2021)
- 94 POINTS – Vinous, Antonio Galloni (September 2021)
- Sourced from a small parcel within Chiara Condello's vineyard, which is unique for its east-facing exposition and poor soils, the incredibly elegant and refined 2016 Le Lucciole Riserva really leaves an impression. Here I'm finding a remarkably fresh and cool-toned expression, displaying dusty ripe cherry, smoke and sweet red florals, grounded by a hint of animal muskiness. On the palate, textures of pure silk release tart cherries brought to life by vibrant acids, as saline-minerals saturate the senses and hints of fine tannin add balance. The finish is long, displaying mineral-laden bright red fruits, kept in motion by lingering acids, while hints of fine tannin persist in this classically structured Sangiovese. Elegance personified.❞ – Eric Guido, Vinous (June 2020)
- Full, ripe, chewy and fairly tannic but there is good, pale cherry fruit, sappy savoury ripe tomato flesh and a leavening of fresh herbs. It’s good and young, a bit oaky, but it works.❞ — Oz Clarke, Decanter (October 2018)
- Initially, a cheerfully singing Sangiovese - all red cherry fruit that is plump, with notes of vanilla. The layer of oak adds a delicate complexity with grip on finish.❞ — Sarah Jane Evans MW, Decanter (October 2018)
- This is meaty and savoury with a dark plum nose. It has a high-acid and linear palate that is firm and fresh. There’s ripe pear with some confected undertones.❞ — Tina Gellie, Decanter (October 2018)
- 94 POINTS – Vinous, Antonio Galloni (June 2020)
- 91 POINTS – Panel Tastings, Decanter's Top Wines of 2018: Most Exciting Picks (October 2018)