The Gabbiano Castle has been a focal point in Tuscany since the 12th century. Being between the rival towns of Sienna and Florence, it was more often about war, not wine.
Here’s a section from a 19th-century account of medieval warcraft:
Fulminato da dieci cannoni, non capitolò che sulla breccia: cinquecento Subalpini, nel castello di Gabbiano steccatati, fecero argine per tre giorni a tremila Spagnuoli, e diedero campo a vettovagliar l’antico castello di Verrua.
Struck by ten cannons, he did not capitulate to the breach: five hundred Subalpine, in the castle of Gabbiano, stalked, made embankment for three days to three thousand Spaniards, and gave way to supply the ancient castle of Verrua.
Annali militari dei reali di Savoja dal 1000 sino al 1800, Published 1826
And here’s a gem from the 18th century:
Dopo l’espugnazione di Pavia Frodoino fu dal Re chiamato in quella città, dove fegli dono del Castello di Gabbiano, e sue dipendenze, e poi ancora fidogli un suo figliuolo, chiamato Ugo, allora fanciullo di tenera età, pregandolo, dice.
After the conquest of Pavia Frodoino it was from the King called in that city, where you donate the Castle of Gabbiano, and its dependencies, and then still trust his son, called Ugo, then a child of tender age, begging him, he says
Atti de’Santi, che fiorirono ne’dominj della reale casa di Savoja, Volume 3, Published 1756.
War was a fact of life at Castello di Gabbiano, but winemaking never stopped. With the relative peace of the late 20th Century, much of Tuscany saw a resurgence of wealth and stability. By 1981, the estate had been restored to its 12th-century glory, and soon was producing exemplary wines. Today, Castello di Gabbiano is now owned by Australia-based Treasury Wine Estates. Like many grand estates, they have expanded into agriturismo with a hotel and restaurant now on the property.
Let’s talk about the wine, shall we?
A nose reminiscent of smoking a cigar in a new car. The sauvage aromas cut nicely into barrel spices and sweet vanilla notes. Finish tightens into fresh strawberries, mineral and balsamic with high tones and gritty tannins. A finely tuned medium-bodied Sangiovese with dense oak notes. The finish drizzles chocolate over lush black fruit.