O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
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Portfolio of a Maestro

Portfolio of a Maestro

Few winemakers in Italy have garnered the sort of acclaim, both nationally and internationally as winemaker extraordinaire Stefano Chioccioli. Stefano has worked for some of Italy’s best known and most renowned estates and brought their wines to the pinnacle of achievement in Italy; the award of Tre Bicchieri. More than 70 wines that have come from the hands of Stefano have earned this most coveted Italian wine award. International acclaim is no less salubrious as several ‘Chioccioli’ wines have gained 100 points with both Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator.

The relevance for us however is that Stefano Chioccioli heads up the winemaking for a range of wines that have reached our shores over the last two years. The wines are from a dynamic team (The Wine People) that make wines from several key Italian regions and Stefano is responsible for every aspect of winemaking in each of their bases.

In Chianti the Volpetto Chianti Riserva €17.99 calls on Stefano’s vast experience with Sangiovese and he manages to craft a wine that is modern, very ripe and pure in fruit but never sacrifices that natural, dark-cherry Tuscan character. Having worked for years with Stefano Girelli - the Wine People’s co-founder - at Girelli’s estate of Santa Tresa,  Stefano Chioccioli is well used to  Sicilian fruit. This is clearly in evidence when you taste the Indesio Pinot Grigio €9.99 (was €13.99), a wine full of vibrant, pear and peachy  fruit yet with remarkably fresh acidity keeping it all very interesting. Meaning in a blind tasting this Sicilian would outclass many a more expensive Pinot Grigio from northern Italy.

Working with first class organic fruit at Girelli’s Sicilian estate of Santa Tresa the results produced are astounding. Stefano Chioccioli never loses his sense of place, these wines are undeniably Sicilian but they hava a richness mid-palate and a purity of fruit that give wide international appeal. Try the Santa Tresa Nivuro Cabernet €17.99 with a good rib-eye – let the wine breathe for an hour – and you are in for a treat. The white wine from Santa Tresa, the Rina Ianca Grillo/Viognier €14.99 (was €17.99) is an exotic, aromatic, complex white that gives boundless pleasure and is a dream match for rich seafood.

Finally for those who are sulphur intolerant, Stefano has mastered a technique which allows a very decent red to be made from the local Nero D’Avola grape and not need the addition of sulphur as a preservative. The Santa Tresa Insieme €13.99 is 100% NSA (no added sulphur) and it is a terrific little red, full of punchy, wild, dark berried fruit all wrapped up in a silky smooth mouth feel  -this has just landed instores.

Wherever you  look the wines from Stefano Chioccioli go far above and beyond the norm. Great wines that reflect all that is dynamic and innovative about modern Italian wine.

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