GAGLIOLE PECCHIA IGT 1999
Colli della Toscana Centrale Pecchia 1999
250 cases made; 50 cases imported into the U.S.
Gagliole Rosso IGT 1999
Colli della Toscana Centrale 1999
1,250 cases made; 280 cases imported into the U.S.
It might be slightly difficult for some of his peers in the financial world to understand, but Swiss Thomas Bär, the chairman of one of Switzerland’s top private banks, Julius Bär, seems to almost prefer wine to high finance. The cellar at his estate in Chianti Classico, Podere Gagliole, is many times more interesting than the boardrooms of his bank in Zurich, he says.
Bär’s passion for wine has produced two stupendous reds in 1999, particularly the 94-pointer, Pecchia, a single-vineyard Sangiovese from old vines. Bär insists on the best quality in his reds: he reduces his grape yields to the minimum in his just over 60 acres of vineyards near the town of Castellina in Chianti, and instructs his enologist, Luca d’Attoma, to go for plenty of fruit and tannin concentration in the wines.
The Pecchia, in its first year of production, is a big, juicy super Tuscan with a dark ruby color and complex aromas of chocolate, berries and spices. It’s full-bodied and chewy, with thick, round tannins and a long, long, flavorful finish. It’s very fresh and well-structured. The standard red from Gagliole is also outstanding. It has lots of berry, chocolate and earth aromas, is medium- to full-bodied, and has super, well-integrated tannins. Each of these two wines needs about four years of bottle age before drinking.