Only the powerhouse estate of Castello di Gabbiano in Chianti could put out a wine like this at this price. Founded in 1480, it is one of the oldest and most respected estates there.
The new ownership is now in its fourth decade and the results attained by Rino and Raynelle Arcaini are still spectacular. Their motto is to never be afraid to go outside the bounds of tradition or even their appellation to make spectacular wines, and it shows up amply in this selection.
Witness the fact that in the 80s and 90s, they were crafting Merlot and Chardonnay that could compete with the finest chateaux in Bordeaux and the greatest producers in Burgundy. Our selection is worthy proof of that.
This Primitivo comes from Puglia, also known as the "heel of the boot" as it resembles literally a heel in the southernmost state in Italy. The Primitivo grape is known as Zinfandel in the U.S. and when it crossed the ocean to get here, it was thought that its birthplace was Italy. But, since then DNA testing has shown that its origins are actually Croatia, where it is known as Tribidrag.
After picking, the grapes are crushed in cold tanks where they ferment slowly, extracting more flavor and color from the skin and pulp. They then spend eight months in oak barrels to further complex. The result is a spectacular amalgam of dark cherry and cranberry with spice tones to enhance cranberry-glazed spareribs or a spicy pozole.