Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wines of the week - Chianti Classico to Martinborough Pinot Noir

There has been no shortage of wines come across my path this week, both as an independent wine writer and in my role as wine programme director at Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington. Of all the goodies - the new Greystone Vineyard Ferment, the latest Moy Hall Pinot Noir and the latest from Pegasus Bay, among many more, this wine below is the stand out, for me. Its full body and ripe dark flavours give it a significant point of difference and every sip delivers surprising new layers of flavour. 

I've also visited this hillside vineyard and planted a vine on it in 2009 when I was last in Toscana, the most famous Italian wine region and undoubtedly one of the world's greatest regions. It was a real privilege to taste this beautiful wine again. As for where to buy it, a link to the importers is beneath the wine. 


2017 Valiano Poggio Teo Chianti Classico RRP $60

Here is a velvet smooth, deeply satisfying Chianti Classico with a full body, impressive smooth tannins and subtle hints of spicy, earthy flavours married to lovely red and black cherry fruit aromas. This is a stunning wine and comes from a meticulously hand tended, 10 hectare vineyard on the hill of Poggio Teo vineyard in Chianti Classico. 

The chilly air can feel surprising in Tuscany, a region where cypress trees sway and sun shines its dappled light through established trees, suggesting a picture of perfection and warmth. But this region can be cool too, frosty even on the sides of some hills, such as the beautiful Poggio Teo site, which has significant diurnal temperature shifts between day and night. This vineyard faces north, east and south and is situated at 400 metres above sea level, making it the highest altitude vineyard on the Valiano estate. Sand, rock and clay soils are interspersed on this complex hillside, providing drainage, warmth and mini water reservoirs (the clay) to the vines. 

The importer of this wine to New Zealand is Produdotti d'Italia. Find out more here