Romagna’s Top Name: Chiara Condello
The single name in Romagna that matters when it comes to Sangiovese is our partner Chiara Condello. A young yet serious talent who is crafting world-class Sangiovese wines from this charmed corner of central Italy, Chiara’s new releases are beyond excellent — they set a very new and extremely high standard for not just Romagna, but for Sangiovese in general.
At Vinous, Eric Guido’s report also includes a close look at the history of winemaking in Romagna. It’s worth a read as it helps to put Romagna Sangiovese in perspective as its own, particular expression (captured best of course by Condello).
From the Vinous report:
Fans of Chiara Condello have a lot to look forward to. The new vintages of Sangiovese Predappio and Le Lucciole are excellent additions to her already-long string of fantastic wines … While visiting the estate, I checked in on some of the new vintages in barrel. All are different degrees of warm years, the wines show exceptional balance.
2020 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio
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 Chiara Condello’s “entry-level” wine.
2019 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio Riserva ‘Le Lucciole’
There’s a good amount of youthful reduction that needs time to blow off, yet the 2019 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio Riserva Le Lucciole still manages to show depths of black raspberry, sage and a cocoa dusting. It’s soft textured with brilliant acidity, adding a burst of inner sweetness as mineral tinged red berries and sweet spices cascade across the palate. The 2019 finishes structured and long with balsam herbal tones over a saturation of fine tannins. There’s so much potential here, but this still needs time.
2018 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio Riserva ‘Lo Stralisco’
Unbelievably pretty with an eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-your-head bouquet, the 2018 Sangiovese Romagna Predappio Riserva ‘Lo Stralisco’ shows wild strawberries in an air of crushed rocks as sweet sage and lavender give way to dusty dried violets. This washes across the palate with silky textural wild berry fruits propelled by juicy acidity while leaving a liquid like floral staining in their wake. The 2018 reverberates with tension through the lightly structured finale as a caking of minerality slowly tapers off. Salted licorice hints are left to linger. Lo Stralisco is a selection from the Le Lucciole vineyard. The grapes are foot trodden and fermented whole cluster with indigenous yeast in an open top tini and then refined for two years in a 10HL cement tank. Only 550 bottles and a few magnums were produced.