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16 June 2018

Castello di Meleto in Gaiole in Chianti (Tuscany), Italy


Castello di Meleto is an 11th-century castle that belonged to the Benedictine monks of the Badia di Coltibuono in the splendid countryside of Tuscany. It is immersed in the soft hills of Gaiole in Chianti between Florence and Siena. Over the centuries the castle has changed identity and ownership from a military post to a noble country home but its original structure remained. Between noble families and military troops in periods of different wars, the castle withstood time and harsh elements. In 1968, the Tuscan Viticulture Society purchased the castle along with 1,400 hectares of its surrounding land.


Presently, Castello di Meleto has been converted into a hotel with Tuscan-style rooms and apartments. It also has a couple of swimming pools, large green areas and a restaurant. Castello di Meleto also produces wine and oil as well as breed Cinta Senese, an Italian breed of pigs whose meat is used for some Tuscan cured meats.


The society managed to revive the castle and the forests as well as plant olive trees and vines primarily for the production of Chianti Classico DOCG in 160 hectares of the land. In the 160 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of vines, five distinct macrozones with unique characteristics were identified for production of more varieties of grapes. Castello di Meleto, San Piero in Avenano, Vigna Casi, Poggiarso and Moci. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are the two international grapes that are being cultivated in the vineyards. Later on, they moved towards the restoration and protection of the native grapes in Tuscany: Trebbiano, Canaiolo, Vermentino and Malvasia Nera.


Castello di Meleto produces ten kinds of wines, some of  which that I tasted are:

Rainero Spumante Brut Rosé Metodo Classico is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes and stayed in contact with selected yeasts for 36 months. It has a soft rose color and a very good perlage of fine, numerous and persistent bubbles. The nose and mouth are equilibrated and complex with a dominance of bread crust, floral and fruity aromas with a noted freshness.



Borgaio Vermentino IGT Toscana is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks for 4 months which giving the wine a refreshing aspect. Fresh, with good sapidity, a pleasant and easy wine to drink with simply cooked fish dishes.

Borgaio Rosato IGT Toscana is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, fermented and aged in steel tanks for 6 months. It has a lively cherry rose color with a lovely nose of berries especially strawberries and a palate of freshness and sapidity. A must drink in summer!


Camboi IGT Toscana Rosso 2014 made with 100% Malvasia Nera of Chianti. The name Camboi is  the acronym for Campo dei Buoi, an area of Meleto that was used for the breeding of oxen from the Middle Ages to the early 1960s. In the 1970s, the Malvasia Nera of Chianti vines were planted in this same area. 2014 is the first vintage of Camboi and it's also not so common to find single-varietal Malvasia Nera of Chianti wines because usually it is a variety that is used in blends. This is quite an interesting wine with a ruby red color, complexities in the nose and palate with red stone fruits, berries and floral notes. Persistent in the mouth with soft tannins. Being aged in barrique of third and fourth usage, the wood is not so evident in the nose.

Meleto Chianti Classico 2016 made with 100% Sangiovese grapes cultivated in the Meleto macrozone. It is considered as the soul of Meleto as the Sangiovese expresses itself purely and is a true embodiment of the territory from which it comes from. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, malolactic fermentation in cement tanks and the aging in big Slavonian oak barrels. Ruby red in color with floral and fruity notes of cherries, plums and violet with accents of dried tobacco leaves. 


Vigna Casi Chianti Classico 2013 is the expression of Sangiovese grapes cultivated in Vigna Casi, a single vineyard. It is an elegant, supple and fascinating Riserva where the ample range of aromas are balanced with each other. Fermentation takes place in 53 Hl wooden casks, malolactic fermentation in cement tanks. 50% of the wine ages for 18 months on large Slavonian barrels while the other half ages in barriques of 2nd or 3rd usage. It is ruby red in color with garnet red edges. It has a long persistence in the mouth and intensity in the nose. Complex with red stone fruits and flowers like violet and accents of spices.


Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012, also made with Sangiovese grapes and has a garnet red color. It has an ample complexity of aromas of mature and confeture dark red fruit, flowers, balsamic and spices. The mouth is equilibrated with a long persistence. The wine ferments in truncated oak vats. After the maceration it is transferred directly into barriques where the malolactic fermentation occurs and frequent batonnage is performed. Aging takes place in barriques of second and third usage. The maturation period varies from 24 to 30 months according to the vintage.
 

Castello di Meleto

Località Castello di Meleto
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI), Italy
Tel: +39 0577749217
Email: info@castellomeleto.it
Website: http://wine.castellomeleto.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/castello.meleto