To prove to those unconvinced that Chianti Classico can be among the world's greatest wines, in the same league as Barolo, Bordeaux, or Côte-Rôtie, Giovanna Morganta's Le Boncie wines are some of the first I reach for. Although far smaller and lesser-known than the great Montevertine, and styled differently, these wines are undoubtedly in the same league. If Montervertine is all high-elevation tension and minerality; Le Boncie is gorgeous, soaring fruit that manages to conjure up Burgundy. If your notion of Chianti is a simple acidic red good for weeknight pasta but not much else, Le Boncie is one of the wines that will change that.
Today, we're pleased to offer Le Boncie's flagship bottling "Le Trame," as well as her more affordable "Cinque."
Although I believe Chianti can offer some of the best value in the world of wine, it can be difficult to navigate. It suffers from a deep identity crisis. On the one hand, the stunning views and regal estates have attracted international winemakers intent on producing exorbitantly expensive bottles from Bordeaux varieties. On the other, even families with centuries-long histories in the region seem content to make acceptable but unexciting wines in vast quantities. So when someone like Giovanna Morganti, who marries global vision with a deep respect for tradition, comes along, we get the rare opportunity to see what Chianti is capable of.
Giovanna's father was an influential enologist in the region, and she followed in his footsteps until he passed along a few hectares of prime land in the village of Castelnuovo Berardenga. There, Giovanna planted Sangiovese, of course, along with local peculiarities like Foglia Tonda and Mammolo. She also resurrected the old vine training system known as "alberello," in which vines are kept very small and yields very low (see picture above). This meticulous farming, paired with gentle winemaking, is certainly the reason her wines show off such a seductive, silken fruit profile.
We have two wines on offer from Giovanna. The first is Giovanna's flagship wine, "Le Trame" 2017. Mostly Sangiovese with splashes of the other indigenous varieties, the wine is fermented in open-top casks with indigenous yeast and only a touch of sulfur. This is simply some of the purest, most beautiful wine ever to come from Chianti, soaring fruit underpinned by deep minerality and classically firm Sangiovese structure.
Also available is Giovanna's second wine, "Cinque" 2018, a Sangiovese-led blend of five grapes from her home estate and a newly acquired vineyard. This is fermented in cement and stainless steel and aged one year less than "Le Trame." Softer and fuller than "Le Trame," it nonetheless captures Giovanna's pure fruit profile, and is one of the best weeknight reds I can think of.