Thursday, May 29, 2008

Notes from the 2008 Chianti Classico Anteprima

Chianti Classico's Anteprima, or Vintage Presentation, was held February 19 and 20 2008. As is always the case at these events, the number of wines presented was much greater than I could properly address in the time allotted, so in tasting I picked and chose, selecting some wines because I'm familiar with the winery and wanted to see what they've done this time, some because someone was whispering admiringly about them, and some because the name of the winery (or the wine) caught my eye.

Chianti Classico is an especially serious offender in this regard -- the table the sommeliers took their samples from looked to be about a hundred yards long, and it was solid bottles. On the other hand, Chianti Classico is a big appellation, and it was very nice to see the variety of wines available: 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003 Chianti Classico D'Annata, and 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva, for a total of 316 wines. Actually doing something with all that variety in the 2 days we had is another matter, and I decided to concentrate on the vini d'Annata, or vintage wines, the wines that are, in theory, made to be set out and enjoyed upon release or shortly thereafter. Not quite quaffing wines, but certainly not the sort of thing one sets aside to return to and meditate over years later.

Unlike some appellations, which encourage producers to release their wines after a set time, Chianti Classico allows quite a bit of leeway, producers who prefer a younger, fresher style can release their wines the spring of the year following the vinification (2006 in this case), while those who prefer a more mature style can hold the wines longer -- many opt for 2 years (releasing 2005s this time) and some wait even longer.

I was pleasantly impressed by the 2006 vintage: it was a nice summer, and this translated well into the grapes, which produced wines that are quite drinkable, with nice balance and pleasant richness of fruit backed up by good structure. As a group they tend to be nimble on their feet, and even though some are rather tannic, they have sufficient fruit to balance the tannic richness, and are bolstered by bright acidities that again keep the wines on their toes. Quite nice, and I found myself scoring them highly; they'll also drink very well with foods, everything from hearty minestrone and ribollita through red sauced pasta dishes and on to grilled meats and light stews. In short, versatile, and if you have friends over don't be surprised if the bottle empties long before you get to dessert.

The rich frutiness of the 2006 also bodes well for the 2006 Chianti d'Annata that will be released next year, and the 2006 Riserve now in barrel and cask.

The 2005 Chianti D'Annata released this year didn't fare as well. Last year I summed up the vintage, which was wet and cold, with the word "tart," adding that many of the young wines had a certain brambly grace to them. Alas, many of the wines that spent another year awaiting release emerged considerably dulled, with the fruit faded in intensity and brightness, and the tannins clearly drawing from oak, which steps in to help the fruit along in a way that would be unnecessary in a better vintage. As is always the case there were some exceptions (brilliant ones, even) to this dreary picture, but when buying wines of the 2005 vintage you'll have to be much more careful than you will when buying the 2006 vintage.

Or those of the 2004 vintage: it was good last year (and 2 years ago) and continues to be quite nice now, with the bottles presented this year displaying considerable poise and grace. It was, and continues to be a vintage well worth looking out for, and I also greatly enjoyed the few Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 wines I tasted.


The wines, roughly in the order I tasted them, in late February 2008
As always, I comment upon barrel samples but do not score them because they are works in progress, and not complete wines.

Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico
Località Mulinaccio 10
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
http://www.chiantigeografico.it

Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel Sample
Deep ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is rich for a barrel sample, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean dusky overtones and hints of underbrush. On the palate it's ample, with clean fairly rich cherry fruit that's supported by rather dry slightly oaky tannins that overpower the fruit to a degree, and it all flows into a clean rather dry finish. It's very young, and has yet to digest its tannic meal. I expect it to be pleasant in a middle of the road key.

Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico Contessa di Radda Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by clean spice and vinous underpinning, laced with a fair amount of acidity. On the palate it's medium bodied, and bright, with clean cherry fruit supported by deft cherry acidity that flows into a clean berry fruit finish. Quick to write, and pleasant to drink, though it's not one of those wines that will grab you and demand your undivided attention. Rather, it will go nicely with foods, and you'll suddenly realize the bottle is gone. Not a bad feat, that.
2 stars

Antico Borgo di Sugame
Via Convertoie 14
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.borgo-di-sugame.com

Antico Borgo di Sugame Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, and brambly, with clean berry fruit supported by slightly greenish acidity. Zesty. On the palate it's light, with bright cherry fruit supported by greenish brambly tannins that flow into a clean rather vegetal finish with underlying bitterness. It's quite simple, and will drink well with red sauced pasta dishes, quickly cooked meats and similar. If you like this slightly rustic style you will enjoy it. If you prefer smoother softer wines it may not work for you.
1 star

Badia a Coltibuono
Località Badia a Coltibuono
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
http://www.coltibuono.com

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fresh, with cherry fruit supported by some brambles and underlying slightly peppery spice from grapes; as it opens hints of graphite also emerge. On the palate it's bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by clean bright acidity that leads into a clean, slightly bitter sour finish. Zesty, in a cheeky sort of key, and will drink well with red sauced pasta dishes, quickly cooked grilled meats, including fattier fare such as sausages, and because of its bracing acidity will also be nice with fried meats and vegetables. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and it will be perfect in the proper setting if you like this rather zesty style.
1 star

Badia a Coltibuono RS Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity and some brambly accents, with underlying vegetal notes that add depth. On the palate it's medium bodied, and quite smooth, with bright slightly sour cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins, while definition and direction come from sour cherry acidity with slight lemony accents that floe into a clean tart finish. It's graceful, in a willowy zesty key, and will drink nicely with red sauced pasta dishes and, light stews, and simple green meats. A nice choice when you want to drink a wine that doesn't demand intense concentration, and you can expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Badia a Coltibuono Cultus Boni Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with moderate berry fruit supported by cedar and some dusky underbrush supported by cherry plum fruit and fairly brash peppery acidity. On the palate it's full and smooth, with jammy berry fruit supported by clean sweet cedar laced tannins, while direction comes from clean slightly sour acidity, and it all flows into a clean fairly bitter finish with tannic underpinning. It's direct, in an up-front sort of way, and will drink nicely with succulent red meats or stews, and will also age nicely for 3-5 years.
2 stars

Barone Ricasoli
Cantine del Castello di Brolio
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
http://www.ricasoli.it

Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and ruby rim. The bouquet is dusky and intense, with rich slightly jammy berry fruit supported by clean spice and some underlying cedar. Brooding. On the palate it's ample, and quite smooth, with fairly powerful cherry fruit supported by clean smooth tannins that have a pronounced cedar laced bitter undercurrent, and flow into a clean moderately long bitter finish. There isn't as much acidity as there is in some of the other wines, and it works more as a balance of bitterness and fruit; it is also quite young and needs another year to completely integrate the tannins into the wine. Because of its relative shortness it will work better with drier meats, either white or red, than it might with something more succulent.
1 star

Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, with elegant balsam-laced berry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity and underlying spice, with a fair amount of vinous alcohol as well. On the palate it's full, and quite smooth, with powerful cherry fruit that gains direction from pleasant cherry-forest berry fruit acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish. Graceful, and will drink nicely with red meats, ranging from roasts through stews and grilled meats. Expect the bottle to go quickly; worth seeking out.
2 stars

Bibbiano
Via Bibbiano 76
53011 Castellina in Chianti
http://www.tenutadibibbiano.com

Bibbiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by some brambly acidity and hints of irises as well. Fresh, in a cheeky, smiling sort of way, and pleasant too, rather like a smiling teen. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright slightly sour cherry fruit supported by clean brambly tannins that have warm greenish undertones, and flow into a clean sour cherry finish with tannic underpinning. It's young, in a graceful sort of way, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or light stews, and will also become gracefully ethereal with time, as the tannins fold into the wine. But I would be tempted to drink it now to enjoy its freshness. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Bibbiano Montornello Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Barrel sample
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is closed, though this is quite normal for a barrel sample; with more swishing some vinous notes and alcohol emerge. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly soft berry fruit supported by clean citric acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean warm berry fruit finish. Pleasant, in a middle of the road key, and thouh it's not really tight I found myself nodding and thinking it will drink nicely with foods. I'd have liked a little better definition, but the vintage is also at work here.

Bibbiano Vigna del Palannino Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, with rich cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and clean vegetal accents with underlying alcohol and spice. Quite elegant, with a lot going on. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful cherry and forest berry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and clean sweet tannins that flow into a clean deft berry fruit finish with cedar underpinning. It's quite pleasant, and will drink well with succulent stews or roasts now, though it also has the capacity to age well for many years. The sort of wine one hates to pour out at a tasting.
2 stars

Carpineto
Località Dudda 17/B
50022 Greve in Chianti
http://www.carpineto.com

Carpineto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, in a brambly sort of way, with moderate berry fruit and some underlying acidity. On the palate it's light, with bright sour berry fruit supported by brambly tannins that flow into a slightly splintery bitter finish. It's direct, in a fairly simple key, and will drink well with lesser grilled meats or light stews. I found myself wanting a bit more fruit than I found -- it's rather dry -- and would drink it sooner than later.
1 star

Casa Emma
S.P. Castellina in Chianti Località Cortine 3/5/7
50021 Barberino Val D'Elsa (FI)
http://www.casaemma.com

Casa Emma Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with bitter berry fruit supported by some vegetal acidity and underlying peppery spice. A nice lot going on, and fairly harmonious too. On the palate it's medium bodied, ample and smooth, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean slightly sour berry fruit acidity that has some red currant overtones, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean sour fruit laced finish with lasing acidic warmth. Graceful, and I have the impression that the nose is a bit behind the body; it needs another 6-8 months to develop, and will then be quite nice with simple grilled meats or light stews. Indeed, perfect in the proper setting, and worth seeking out.
2 stars

Poderi Castellare di Castellina
Località Castellare
Castellina in Chianti (Siena) 53011
http://www.castellare.it

Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is rich, and quite fresh, with a rush of violets and underlying red berry fruit supported by some brambly accents. Inviting and invigorating. On the palate it's light, with bright slightly sour cherry fruit supported by tannins that have a greenish angular Sangiovese burr and flow into a clean bitter finish; it's a touch less rich than I might have liked, but this is also youth at work, because the tannins are still doing their own thing off in left field, and it will be a few more months before they join the rest of the wine. In terms of accompaniments, it will work well with lesser grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Castelli del Grevepesa
Via Gabbiano 34
50024 Mercatale Val di Pesa (FI)
http://www.castellidelgrevepesa.it

Castelli del Grevepesa Clemente VII Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is deft, with moderately bright berry fruit supported by a mixture of violets and slightly greenish vegetal accents that add pleasing depth. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit that grains pleasing direction from sour cherry acidity, while the tannins that a warm slightly splintery burr and flow into a clean slightly bitter sour tannic fruit finish. Pleasant, in a fresh, easy to drink key, and will contribute nicely to simple grilled meats or light stews. Expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Castelli del Grevepesa Castelgreve Lessenziale Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bitter, with some greenish accents mingled with graphite, mingled with red berry fruit and some peppery overtones. On the palate it's medium bodied, with frankly generic red berry fruit supported by smooth tannins that have a bitter cedary undercurrent and flow into a clean slightly bitter finish. To be quite frank I found it nondescript; there's nothing terribly wrong with it, but it didn't grab me either. In terms of accompaniments, slight stews or grilled meats.
1 star

Castellinuzza e Piuca
Via Petriolo 21/A
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.castellinuzzaepiuca.it

Castellinuzza e Piuca Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with fresh cherry fruit supported by slightly green cherry acidity; the effect is cheeky in a bright smiling sort of way, and brought a smile. On the palate it's light, with pleasing sour cherry fruit supported by deft cherry and lemon acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight greenish Sangiovese burr, and flow into a warm clean tart berry fruit finish. Graceful, in a light key, and will drink very well with simple grilled meats, ranging from poultry through ribs (not too spicy), and also has the acidity necessary to balance fried foods. Expect the bottle to go quite quickly, and you will likely want another. Worth seeking out.
88-90

Castellinuzza e Piuca Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is elegant, with cherry fruit supported by clean mentholated acidity and pleasant greenish accents. Quick to write, but quite harmonious, and I found myself nodding as I sniffed. On the palate it's ample, and rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by clean slightly thin greenish acidity and smooth tannins that have a slight greenish cast, and flow into a clean slightly greenish finish. With respect to the 2006 it's leaner, and this is an effect of the vintage, which was a bit thinner.
2 stars

Caparsa
C.S. Caparsa 47
53017 Radda in Chianti (IS)
http://www.caparsa.it

Caparsa Doccio a Matteo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep pyrope ruby with violet rim. The bouquet is promising for a barrel sample, with bitter accents and rather brooding red berry fruit with underlying graphite shavings. Promising in a very youthful key. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful red berry fruit supported by tannins that have strong cedary underpinning, and flow into a clean dry finish. It's very much a barrel sample, hard as nails, but promises to develop quite nicely, and could well be towering upon release.

Caparsa Doccio a Matteo Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by spice and some bitter iodine accents. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean bitter accents that go their own way, while the rest flows into a clean bitter finish. It's discordant, and needs a bit of time to come together, because at present the various pieces are all going in different directions. It's less together than the 96.

Castello Di Fonterutoli
Via Ottone III, 5
Località Fonterutoli
I-53011 Castellina in Chianti (Si)
http://www.fonterutoli.it/default_eng.htm

Castello di Fonterutoli Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is smoky, with clean peppery spice and hints of cedar, more than with fruit; it gives an impression of being in mid stride but I'm not sure where it's headed. On the palate it's ample and rather languid, with soft cherry plum fruit supported by very smooth tannins that flow into a clean cherry plum finish with underlying tannic support coupled with warm sour berry fruit acidity that provides direction. It somehow brings to mind a 20's siren lying languidly on a couch, giving a lazy come-hither look. Very international in style, and far into the smooth and soft, and if you like this style you will enjoy it very much. But you have to like this style. If you're more traditionally minded it won't work for you.
2 stars

Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep pigeon blood ruby with some almandine reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, in a rather greenish cast, with berry fruit mingled with mentholated acidity and some hardwood ash. Bright, and clearly from a cooler year. On the palate it's full, with rather languid cherry plum fruit supported by clean slightly greenish citric acidity and by tannins that are rather splintery, and flow into a clean greenish finish with tannic underpinning. It's pleasant, though obviously from a lesser year, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or light stews; I think it will do interesting things over time, perhaps becoming lacy in 3-5 years.
2 stars

Castello di Querceto
Dudda 50020 Lucolena
Greve in Chianti Firenze
http://www.castello-querceto.it/

Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black cherry reflections. The bouquet is bright, with herbal and vegetal accents supported by some greenish notes and petroleum, which is a bit unusual in a red but works nicely, and by moderate berry fruit. On the palate it's ample and clean, with fairly bright cherry fruit supported by dusky cherry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr to them, and flow into a clean slightly bitter finish. It's very young, and the nose is in mid-stride, with at least one foot in the air. In other words, it needs another 6-8 months at least to come together and develop, at which point it will be pleasant in a fairly traditional key, and drink nicely with roasts or stews. I think it will be worth seeking out, but it's not there yet.
2 stars

Castello di San Donato in Perano
Località San Donato in Perano
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (IS)
http://www.castellosandonato.it

Castello di San Donato in Perano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright berry fruit supported by sweet berry fruit jam that gains direction from a little lemon zest and some violets. Promising for a barrel sample, and very young in a rather voluptuous key. On the palate it's ample and bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by clean bitter accents and sour cherry acidity, while the tannins are smooth and a bit more splintery than I expected form the nose, and it flows into a rich tart finish with berry fruit and slight hints of sweetness. It promises to be pleasant in a rather rich middle of the road key, and is the sort of wine that will go quickly

Castello di San Donato in Perano Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Fairly bright cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is powerful, and green, with herbal and vegetal accents supported by underlying rather tart bitterness. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately rich sour cherry fruit supported by clean citric/cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean moderately tart finish with tannic underpinning. I'd have liked a little more depth than I found, but it is fairly graceful in a rather dusky key, and though I would have liked greater brightness to the nose this is the vintage at work: it will drink nicely with simple grilled meats or light stews. Expect it to age nicely, becoming rather ethereal with time.
2 stars

Borgo Scopeto
Località Scopeto
530101 Vagliagli (SI)
http://www.borgoscopeto.com

Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly bright, with cherry and forest berry fruit supported by some underlying bitterness and pleasing bitter accents. It's pleasantly tight, and promises well, though a fellow taster says it's too polished for a barrel sample. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean soft finish that gains direction from lasting warmth and berry fruit acidity. It's quite graceful, and if they succeed in transferring all this into the bottle it will be quite nice and be worth seeking out. Something to keep an eye out for.

Castello di Verrazzano
Località Verrazzano
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.verrazzano.com

Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Impenetrable black cherry ruby with dusky ruby rim. The bouquet is powerful and brooding, with a great rush of cedar mingled with vanilla laced spice that opens to reveal fairly sweet, almost jammy cherry and forest berry fruit. Quite international in style. On the palate it's ample and smooth,with frankly languid berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that have a considerable bitter cedar component from oak, and flow into a clean bitter finish. It's voluptuous, of the starlet in a glass variety, and quite nice if you like the big, soft, fruit driven wines of the modern style that were perhaps more common a few years ago than they are now. If you are more traditional in taste, you will perhaps not like it as much, though it does offer food for thought even among the traditionally minded. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
2 stars

Castello di Volpaia
Località Volpaia
53017 Radda in Chianti (SI)
http://www.volpaia.com

Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Black cherry ruby with almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, and powerfully disjointed, with a great rush of cedar that covers most everything. Barrel samples can be like this. On the palate it's ample and bright, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by cedar laced tannins that flow into a fairly savory finish, and the interplay is mostly between bitterness and fruit. It needs time, and is frankly too young to judge.

Castello di Vicchiomaggio
Via Vicchiomaggio 4
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.vicchiomaggio.it

Castello di Vicchiomaggio Montevasco Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is closed, though swishing brings up some greenish accents mingled with berry fruit that gains in intensity as the wine opens. Pleasant. On the palate it's bright, with clean lively cherry fruit that gains direction from bright deft citric acidity, while the tannins are clean with a slightly greenish splintery burr that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish with depth from acidity and tannic support. Quite graceful though very young, and promises well for the future; one could enjoy it very much with grilled meats or light stews now, or even fried meats and vegetables or keep it for longer, by which time it will be rather lacy. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you will want another. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Cecchi
Loc. Casina dei Ponti, 56
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.cecchi.net/en/home.asp

Cecchi Messer Pietro di Teuzzo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with cedar and some airy spice, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by bitter accents more than acidity, while the tannins are smooth and cedar laced. I'd have liked more acidity to keep the wine on it's toes, because it comes across as a bit settled. In any case, it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Collelungo
Località Collelungo
53011 Castellina in Chianti
http://www.collelungo.com

Collelungo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, and frankly oaky, with considerable fairly sweet cedar blended into ripe cherry fruit that has jammy overtones, and some bitter accents. Very international, and very young. On the palate it's ample, and bright, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity, while the tannins are clean and sweet, with a slight greenish burr. The palate is much more mature than the nose, and if the nose follows it the end result will be quite pleasant in a smooth but not voluptuous international key. In other words, even if you're a traditionalist by nature you will find things to enjoy here. Worth seeking out to enjoy with a succulent steak or roast.
88-90

Concadoro
Località Concadoro 67
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.aziendaconcadoro.it

Concadoro Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, with youthful cherry fruit that has some concord grape overtones that are laced with petroleum and some spice. A bit unusual, but harmonious overall. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich generic berry fruit supported more by bitterness than acidity, which flows into a clean bitter finish. I found it a bit dry, and would have been happy to find more fruit than I did.
1 star

Concadoro Vigna di Gaversa Chianti Classico DOCG 2003
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with jammy berry fruit that gains direction from some sour citric acidity and is supported by warm greenish accents and a fair amount of alcohol. On the palate it's ample, with bright red berry fruit supported by clean sweet citric acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm clean finish. It's quite graceful, and one would never guess it was from the hot dry 2003 vintage if one didn't read the label; it will drink quite well with succulent red meats off the grill or out of the oven, and will also age nicely for 5-8 years. If you like the more traditional style it's well worth seeking out, and even if you prefer the "modern" style you will enjoy it, because it will offer much to think about as it accompanies your meal.
88

Dievole
Via Dievole 6
53019 Vagliagli (IS)
http://www.dievole.it

Dievole La Vendemmia Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with moderate fruit and some bitter accents, but not much in the way of fruit. A barrel sample. On the palate it's ample, smooth, and soft, with full rich cherry fruit supported by smooth soft tannins and delicate sour cherry/citric acidity that flows into a clean berry fruit finish. Pleasant, in a muscular, well thewed key, and will drink well with stews or roasts. If you like this more muscular -- there's nothing light about it -- style you will enjoy it.
Wanting to score it, a solid 2 stars

Dievole La Vendemmia Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents supported by wet leaves and underbrush, with some savory accents as well and underlying spice. On the palate it's ample, with moderately intense rather bitter berry fruit that gains direction from some mineral acidity, and is supported by clean slightly splintery tannins that have a metallic feel to them, and flow into a clean bitter finish with some tart savory overtones. It's a child of the vintage; this said, it will drink well with simple grilled meats.
1 star

Fattoria di Cinciano
Località Cinciano 2
53036 Poggibonsi
http://www.cinciano.it

Fattoria di Cinciano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is bright, with lively brambly red berry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and sea salt overtones; it's quite zesty in a very keyed up sort of way. On the palate it's bright, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry fruit acidity and smooth slightly greenish tannins that flow into a long clean fruit finish that gains definition from bitter accents and warm acidity. Quite pleasant, a food wine that will drink well with succulent red meats or light stews, and I would also be tempted to bring it to a cookout with rich grilled meats. Expect the bottle to go quickly. Worth seeking out if you like a fairly aggressive, rather scrappy style.
2 stars

Fattoria di Petroio
Via di Moceni 7
53010 Querciagrossa (SI)
http://www.fattoriapetroio.it

Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, in a relatively soft key, with cherry fruit supported by dusky spice and some greenish vegetal notes that gain depth from slight berry fruit acidity. On the palate it's moderately intense, with clean bright berry fruit supported by fairly intense brambly tannins that flow into a warm bitter finish with some underbrush and spicy bitter notes. The oak is fairly intense, and overshadows the fruit, at least at present; it's quite young, and needs at least a year to get its bearings. This said, if you want to drink it now, because of its angry peppery bitterness it will drink well with succulent red meats or light stews.
1 star

Fattoria la Ripa
P.O. Box, 1
50020 S. Donato in Poggio
http://www.laripa.it

Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, in a rather haunting cast, with red berry fruit supported by bitter accents and cedar, with powerful vinous overtones as well. On the palate it's ample, and bitter, with moderately intense red berry fruit supported by moderate citric acidity, and to a greater degree by tannins that have a strong bitter underpinning and flow into a clean bitter finish. It gives an impression of being in mid stride, and at the outset of a rather long journey as well. Put simply, it needs time, at least a year and perhaps more, by which time it will be rather graceful in a lacy key. It will drink nicely with succulent red meats, for example stewed game or roast leg of lamb, and will do interesting things with time. Demanding, and not (at least now) something one can open and toss back. If you like the more traditional style, you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, with greenish herbal notes mingled with spice, balsam, and savory accents. Quite a bit going on, in a fairly austere key. On the palate it's full, with fairly intense red berry fruit supported by clean warm berry fruit acidity and by ample smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean berry fruit finish that has some bitter cocoa underpinning. It's not quite as deft as I expected on the palate, and this is likely a factor of relative youth; it feels like things are still coming together and falling into place. I would give it another year or two, during which time I think it will improve markedly, and then drink it with a porterhouse steak.
2 stars

Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano
Località San Giusto a Rentennano
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (IS)
http://www.fattoriasangiusto.it

Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, and fairly sweet, with cherry fruit supported by jammy accents and spice. Pleasant for a barrel sample. On the palate it's promising, with ample smooth fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderately intense cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean berry fruit finish. Pleasant, in a fairly up front direct key, and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews.

Fattoria Viticcio
Via San Crescis 12/a
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.fattoriaviticcio.com

Fattoria Viticcio Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is young, with fairly rich slightly cooked berry fruit supported by nose tingling spice and hints of hot iron, with underlying cedar. It's up in the air, though I think that when it lands it will be fairly international in style. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with dusky cherry plum fruit supported by bitter tannic accents and fairly dry tannins that flow into a long bitter finish with some walnut skin tannic overtones. It's oddly dried and I found it to be rather settled.
1 star

Felsina
Via del Chianti 101
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI)
http://www.felsina.it

Felsina Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black almandine ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly intense, with peppery cedar laced accents mingled with red berry fruit and underlying vinous warmth. Harmonious, though not really bright. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean savory citric acidity and tannins that have a warm slightly greenish burr, and flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's not a wine that will stand out at a tasting, but it has a certain rather lean grace to it, and will drink nicely with simple grilled meats -- including poultry -- or light stews, and will also be nice with fried meats and vegetables. With time, expect it to become rather ethereal, but I would drink it sooner than then.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Fontodi
50020 Panzano in Chianti
http://www.fontodi.com/

Fontodi Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is powerful and smoky, with a rush of bitter walnut skins. It's badly up in the air. The palate is much better, though still clearly a work in progress, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean slightly sour cherry acidity and by tannins that have a youthful splintery burr to them. It's like looking at a half-finished canvas; there's enough that (with knowledge of the artist) one can say it will be nice, worth seeking out, even, but it's much too soon to judge it.

I Fabbri
Via Casole 52
Località Lamole
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.agricolafabbri.it

I Fabbri Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections The bouquet is fairly rich, with jammy cherry plum fruit supported by clean vegetal accents. Bracing, and pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's bright, with clean rich berry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity, and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean sour cherry finish with savory accents. Pleasing, in a light zesty way, and will drink quite nicely with simple grilled meats or light stews, while it also has the acidity necessary to stand up to fried meats and vegetables. I found it growing upon me. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you may want another.
2 stars

I Fabbri Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, in a rather haunting herbal way, with powerful greenish accents and hints of petroleum laced with cedar, and underlying red berry fruit that is overshadowed by the other things going on. On the palate it's ample, and fairly soft, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by soft sweet tannins that do have splintery overtones, and by moderate berry fruit acidity that flows into a clean sour finish. It's settled, and this is the vintage at work; it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Il Mandorlo
Via Certaldese 2/b
50026 San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI)
http://www.il-mandorlo.it

Il Mandorlo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is out of whack, with considerable vanilla and hardwood ash; with swishing berry fruit also emerges, but it remains unsettled. On the palate it's promising, with fairly bright cherry fruit supported by clean citric acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean berry fruit finish. Promising, and if it follows the path being blazed by the palate will be quite graceful when it all comes together. Worth seeking out, even, in a lighter fresh key.

Isole e Olena
Località Isole 1
50021 Barberino Val D'Elsa (FI)
http://www.isoleolena.it

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing does bring out some berry fruit mingled with slight brambles. On the palate it's bright, with rich fresh berry fruit supported by clean sweet tannins, while the underlying acidity is graceful, and flows into a clean smooth finish. Quite promising, and will be worth keeping an eye out for when it is bottled.

La Madonnina
Via Palaia 39
50027 Strada in Chianti
http://www.triacca.com

La Madonnina Bello Stento Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly bright, with cherry fruit supported by clean spice and some brambly acidity that gain depth from some underbrush and hints of truffles as well. On the palate it's bright, in a delicate fresh key, with fairly powerful cherry fruit supported by clean bright sour cherry acidity, while the tannins are smooth and slightly greenish, with brambly accents. Pleasant, in a light, fairly zesty key, and will drink well with simple red meats off the grill, or with hearty meat-based pasta dishes. If you like more studied, smoother wines it won't work as well for you, but if you like a scrappier, zestier style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Mannucci Droandi
Località Starda
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (IS)
http://www.mannuccidroandi.com

Mannucci Droandi Ceppeto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by clean brambly accents and penetrating spice. On the palate it's bright, almost voluptuous, with rich smooth cherry fruit that gains direction from deft raspberry acidity, while the tannins, which work from below the surface, are smooth and sweet, and flow into a clean tart finish. Pleasant, in a bright up front key, and will drink well with quickly cooked meats or light stews. Expect the bottle to go quickly in the proper setting.

Mannucci Droandi Ceppeto Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with (at the outset) unusual wood fruit interaction that brings cola to mind, and this is a factor of youth; with swishing this fades and clean slightly greenish cherry fruit emerges to greet the world, supported by some acidity. On the palate it's clean, with moderately intense cherry and plum fruit supported by clean mineral acidity and glancing tannins that flow into a clean fairly direct finish with bitter undertones. It's fairly direct and clearly the child of a lesser vintage. This said, it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Montecalvi
Via di Citilie 85
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.montecalvi.com

Montecalvi Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with cherry fruit supported by intense brambly acidity and fairly lively vegetal notes as well, which bring artichokes to mind. Bracing, in a very zesty way. On the palate it's full, and rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have a bitter underpinning, and flow into a clean bitter finish. I'd have liked greater depth to the wine and also more acidity, because it doesn't have as much direction as I might have liked. Not quite floundering, but not as focused as the nose suggested it could be.
1 star

Monteraponi
Località Monteraponi
53017 Radda in Chianti (SI)
http://www.monteraponi.it

Monteraponi Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit behind, with fairly rich brambly bf supported by nose tingling spice, and gives an impression of being in mid stride. On the palate it's bright, with rich cherry fruit supported by lively sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are still slightly splintery, but promise to smooth nicely, and flow into a clean deft sour cherry finish. It's quite graceful in a rich traditional key, and though it needs time badly -- it's not ready to drink as of today -- it will be quite nice in a traditional key, one of those wines that might not wow at a tasting, but that will be one of the fist to go in the dinner that follows the tasting. If you like the traditional style, it's well worth seeking out. But do give it time to develop, at least a year and perhaps 2.
2 stars

Gagliole
Località Gagliole 42
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.gagliole.com

Gagliole Rubiolo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, and fresh, with powerful violets mingled with bf and slight greenish accents, and underlying peppery spice. It's like sniffing a flower basket, and quite refreshing. On the palate it's bright, in a fairly light key, with pleasant sour cherry fruit supported by clean bitter brambly acidity that's also fairly greenish, and lfows into a clean brambly tannic finish. It's not a wine to drink by the glass, but will drink quite well with foods, including fried meats and vegetables. In the proper setting (and in a cookout it would be nice) it will go very fast. Worth seeking out if you like this fresh fairly traditional style, and I would drink it now to enjoy its freshness.
2 stars

Castello di Monsanto
Via Monsanto 8
50021 Barberino Val D'Elsa (FI)
http://www.castellodimonsanto.it

Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is elegant, though a touch overripe, with plums and spice mingled with berry fruit. Nice for a barrel sample. On the palate it's clean and bright, with graceful cherry fruit supported by bright slightly mineral cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have underlying peppery notes. It's quite pleasant, and will develop very well, becoming quite graceful as it matures in the bottle. It will be worth seeking out and do beautiful things with grilled meats or roasts.

Piccini
Località Piazzole
53011 Castellina in Chianti
http://www.tenutapiccini.it

Piccini Solco Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish cherry fruit supported by some underlying spice. Fairly direct, and I'd have liked a little more fruit. On the palate it's clean and soft, with ample sour cherry fruit supported by moderate sour cherry acidity and clean fairly sweet tannins. It's direct, and will drink well with simple foods, but I would have liked more depth than I found.
1 star

Poggiopiano
Via Pisignano 28/30
50026 San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI)
Tel 055 822 9629

Poggiopiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly well developed for a barrel sample, with cherry fruit supported by some bitter accents. On the palate it's full, and fairly rich, with powerful cherry plum fruit that gains direction from bright plum acidity, and is supported by very smooth sweet tannins that work from below the surface, as it were. You will enjoy it if you like softer fruit driven wines in an international key.

Poggiopiano La Tradizione Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Barrel sample
Inky pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is charged, with a fair amount of cedar, and this is something one can find in a barrel sample. On the palate it's powerful, with very smooth cherry plum fruit that gains direction from clean plum-mineral acidity, while the tannins are quite smooth, though full, and flow into a clean slightly sour berry fruit plum finish. It will be quite elegant in a brooding international key, and if you like smoother, powerful wines you will like it very much. Indeed, it will be worth seeking out.

Le Corti
Via San Piero di Sotto, 1
50026 San Casciano Val di Pesa
http://www.principecorsini.com

Principe Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby. The nose is shut tight, and this is fine with a barrel sample. On the palate it's bright, with clean cherry fruit supported by lively cherry acidity and supported by clean sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly tart finish. It's less oaky than previous vintages, at least at present, and if it follows this path into the bottle will be quite pleasant in a more traditional key than I have found in the past with Principe Corsini's wines, something that I (for one) look at with favor. I'd expect it to drink quite well with succulent red meats, either out of the oven, off the grill, or stewed.

Principe Corsini Le Corti Don Tommaso Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and lively cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, and frankly oaky, with quite a bit of cedar mingled with bitter accents, but not much fruit -- what there is is hidden under the youthful oak that overshadows all. On the palate it's ample, and fairly rich, with the fullness again coming largely from oak, though there is a certain deftness to it, because it's sweet, not bitter; the fruit present is cherry with forest berry fruit overtones and gains depth from some citric overtones, and emerges nicely in the finish. It's very young, and frankly needs time, at least a year, before the various components come together into a unified whole. It's also quite international, and if you like this heavily oaked style you will enjoy it, because it's deftly done, respecting the relative weakness of the fruit. But you have to like the style.
2 stars

Querceto di Castellina
Località Querceto 9
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.querceto.com

Querceto di Castellina L'Aura Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
The nose is smoky, with hardwood ash and some penetrating spice. Not much fruit, but this is a barrel sample. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by sour red currant acidity and bright slightly greenish tannins that flow into a fairly tart finish. If it holds into the bottle, it will be pleasant in a light, fairly scrappy key. If you like the style it will be worth seeking out.

Querceto di Castellina L'Aura Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is eye opening, with rich violets supported by some vanilla and peppery spice. It's like sniffing a flower basket, and there's something languid about it. On the palate it's full and soft, with ample cherry plum fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and slight acidity, while there is also unusual, and unexpected sweetness that emerges in the finish, which also has some cocoa overtones. It's frankly atypical for Chianti, and as such is, I think, a child of the vintage. If you enjoy ample, smooth, soft fruit driven wines whose fruit is more plum than the brighter berry fruit you will enjoy it, but it is particular.
1 star

Querciabella
Via di Barbiano 17
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.querciabella.com

Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with brambly bf supported by some greenish savory accents and underlying slightly greenish accents. On the palate it's medium bodied, and fairly green, with the acidity carrying much more than the fruit, while the tannins are slightly greenish, and brambly. I'd have liked greater richness and smoothness than I found, at least now -- it's very young, an still quite unsettled, with splintery tannins (from wood?) sticking out at odd angles.
1 star

Ruffino
Marketing and PR: Tenuta Poggio Casciano
Via Poggio al Mandorlo 1
50011 Quarate di Bagno a Ripoli
http://www.ruffino.com/

Ruffino Santedame Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is closed, though swishing brings up spice mingled with some berry fruit with underlying citric acidity that opens rather nicely. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by greenish cherry acidity, while the tannins that hold it together have a youthful splintery burr and flow into a clean rather sour cherry fruit finish. It's pleasant, in a rather aggressive greenish key, and will drink well with foods -- succulent grilled meats through fried foods -- though it's not a wine I would want to drink by the glass far from the table.
2 stars

San Fabiano Calcinaia
Località Cellole
53011 Castellina in Chianti
http://www.sanfabianocalcinaia.com

San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet delicate, with cherry supported by bright citric acidity and peppery spice. Pleasant, in a very young, rather zesty key. On the palate it's full, with bright cherry fruit that gains direction from clean bitter acidity, and is supported by ample smooth tannins that flow into a clean rather bitter finish that gains definition from greenish tannic underpinning. It's a food wine that will drink well with rich pasta dishes or succulent cuts of meat, and will age nicely with time, becoming ethereal.
2 stars

San Felice
Località San Felice
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI)
http://www.agricolasanfelice.it

San Felice Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is closed, though swishing brings up some bitter accents. On the palate it's pleasant, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean rather graceful cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean slightly sour cherry fruit finish. Pleasant, and will drink well with foods: if they transfer the barrel into the bottle as is, it will be quite nice.

Spadaio e Piecorto
Via San Silvestro 1
50021 Barberino Val D'Elsa
Tel 055 807 2915

Spadaio e Piecorto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright cherry fruit supported by nose tingling acidity and spice. Very young, and one-dimensional at present. On the palate it's soft, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and greenish tannins that flow into a clean slightly savory finish. I'd have liked greater depth than I found.
1 star

Tenimenti Angelini - San Leonino
Località I Cipressi
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.tenimentiangelini.it

Tenimenti Angelini San Leonino Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit overripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by hints of gum Arabic and penetrating, nose tingling acidity. Very young, but I don't know if the acidity will fold in with time or not. On the palate it's ample and soft, with overripe cherry plum fruit that has unusual brown sugar overtones supported by smooth tannins that have a slight burr to the, It's not really off, but I found the sweetness in the finish a bit odd.
1 star

Tenuta di Lilliano
Località Lilliano 8
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.lilliano.com

Tenuta di Lilliano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright cherry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and pleasing underlying spice; there's something haunting about the mix. On the palate it's full and bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh ch finish that gains direction from lasting citric acidity. Pleasant, in a clean rather fresh zesty key, and will drink nicely with succulent grilled meats or light stews. If you like studiedly smooth wines it won't work for you because there's a bit more acidity to it, but if you like this style it is pleasant, and will drink quite well with foods. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
2 stars

Terrabianca
San Fedele a Paterno
53017 Radda in Chianti
http://www.terrabianca.com/index.html

Terrabianca Scassino Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with somewhat overripe cherry plum fruit supported by clean spice and underlying savory accents, with some underbrush and greenish notes as well. On the palate it's ample and soft, with bright cherry fruit that gains direction from clean slightly tart citric acidity and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish that is (again) supported by brisk acidity. Pleasant, and will drink nicely with roasts or stews; it needs another year for the bouquet to catch up with the palate, but will be worth waiting for.
2 stars

Villa Vignamaggio
Via Petriolo 5
50022 Greve in Chianti
http://www.vignamaggio.com/

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with cherry fruit supported by deft vegetal accents and come citrus acidity that keeps it all on its tows. On the palate it's elegant, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean deft cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have a slight Sangiovese burr and flow into a clean fresh cherry finish that's fairly long. It's graceful, in a delicate and rather understated way, and also still falling into place, but I found myself enjoying it considerably. It's more of a food wine than a wine to drink far from the table; drink it with succulent red meats or light stews, and you can expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Villa Cafaggio
Via San Martino in Cecione 5
50020 Panzano in Chianti (FI)
http://www.villacafaggio.it

Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, and young, with bright cherry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and nose-tingling peppery spice that gain depth from underlying brambly acidity. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with clean rich cherry fruit that gains direction from slightly greenish acidity, while the tannins are clean and rather dusty. It's in mid stride, but should clean up nicely in a middle of the road key, and will drink well with foods, in particular succulent grilled meats or hearty stews. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you may well want another. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Villa del Cigliano
Via Cigliano 17
50026 San Casciano Val di pesa
http://www.villadelcigliano.it

Villa del Cigliano Cigliano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, with greenish citric fruit and bright berry fruit supported by clean underlying citric acidity. Considerable depth. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by clean lemony acidity that flows into a clean deft slightly tannic finish. Young, but quite graceful, and will drink very well with succulent grilled meats hearty stews, and will develop nicely over the next 3-5 years. Worth seeking out if you like this rather youthful style.
2 stars

Villa del Cigliano Cigliano Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, n a greenish key, with vegetal accents and some underbrush mingled with cedar-laced spice. Harmonious, in a cool weather key. On the palate it's fairly light, with wan, rather bitter cherry fruit that gains depth from sour cherry acidity and flows into a clean slightly sour finish, while the tannins are moderately pronounced and fairly bitter. It feels dilute, and this is the vintage; it will in any case drink well with succulent meats or light stews.
1 star

Villa di Geggiano
Via Geggiano 1
Località Pianella
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI)
http://www.villadigeggiano.com

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with cedar and some spice mingled with clean berry fruit. Pleasant for a barrel sample. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and some underlying bitter tannic underpinning that flows into a clean bright finish. It's promising, and will be worth looking out for, I think, if you prefer wines in the more traditional style.

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with red berry fruit mingled with some greenish spice and deft acidity; it gives an impression of being in mid stride. On the palate it's ample, with fairly intense slightly sour cherry and forest berry fruit supported by moderately intense slightly mineral acidity, and by tannins that are smooth and glancing, and flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's quite traditional, and will drink nicely with succulent grilled meats or light stews. Worth seeking out if you like this style, and even if you prefer the studied smoothness of wines aged in small oak you'll find things to contemplate here. I would enjoy it with a platter of mixed grilled meats.
88-90

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and ruby rim. The bouquet is bright and deft , with brambly berry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity, and though this is quick to write it's also quite harmonious in a traditional key, and invites a second sniff. On the palate it's ample, with bright cherry fruit that gains direction form moderately intense cherry and forest berry fruit acidity, while the tannins are fairly smooth, though they do display a slight burr that carries into a clean bitter tannic finish. Pleasant, and quite young, in a traditional key; it will drink very well with foods, and be about perfect with a platter of mixed grilled meats. If you like the more traditional style you will like it very much.
2 stars

Villa Mangiacane
Via Faltignano 4
50026 San Casciano in Val di Pesa
http://www.mangiacane.it

Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some acidity and cedary accents. On the palate it's pleasant, though a bit more oaky at present than I might like, with clan berry fruit supporting the wood rather than the other way around; it's pleasant, and promises to work its way into a fairly international style.

Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, with cherry fruit laced with smoke and spice, and supported by intense cedar; there's something dusky and brooding about it. On the palate it's ample, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by pleasing sour cherry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean slightly sour cherry finish. It is obviously from a wet vintage -- there's a leanness to it that richer vintages don't have -- but I found myself enjoying it; I would give the nose a year to develop and drink it with grilled or roasted red meats.
2 stars

Casaloste
Via Montagliari, 32
50020 Panzano
http://www.casaloste.com

Casaloste Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with clean red berry fruit supported by moderate citric acidity. On the palate it's ample with bright cherry fruit supported by greenish citric acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly sour berry fruit finish that continues at length, gradually fading. It's more acidic than many, and this is typical of the winery, but if you like the style, which is fairly brash, it will drink quite well with succulent grilled meats or roasts, and also with hearty stews. But you do have to like the style.
2 stars

Castello di Cacchiano
53010 Monti in Chianti
Tel: 0577 747 018

Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Lively cherry ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with rather haunting greenish accents mingled with red berry fruit and some vegetal accents. On the palate it's ample and rather bitter, with moderate berry fruit supported by clean mineral acidity and savory accents that flow into a clean fairly dry tannic finish. Quite deft, though there isn't as much richness to the fruit as one finds in better vintages. It does in any case display considerable finesse, and if you like the more traditional style it is very nice. In a lesser key, but nice, one of those wines that some people (me, at least) think at length about.
2 stars

Castello di Meleto
Località Meleto
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (Siena)
http://www.castellomeleto.it

Castello di Meleto Pieve di Spaltenna Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, with haunting greenish accents mingled with red berry fruit and some mentholated spice. Pleasant. On the palate it's fairly full, with moderately intense cherry and forest berry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean slightly greenish berry fruit finish. It's fairly direct, but graceful, and will drink nicely with foods though I wouldn't open it far from the table. A child of the vintage, but a nice child.
2 stars

Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is more fresh than I expected for a 2005, with violets and spice mingled with dusky berry fruit and bitter undertones that increase in intensity as the wine opens, while some citric, almost grapefruit acidity emerges. On the palate it's ample, and fairly soft, with sweetish forest berry fruit that gains direction from moderate raspberry acidity, while the tannins, which work from below the surface, are smooth and soft, and it all flows into a fairly long warm finish. It's lax,, and feels like it has settled and spread, somehow.
1 star

Castello di Monastero
Località Petroio 30
53017 Radda in Chianti (SI)
http://www.castellodimonastero.com

Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is delicate, with savory accents and some greenish overtones, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate cherry fruit supported by greenish cherry acidity and moderately intense smooth tannins that flow into a clean slightly green tannic finish. It's fairly direct, with moderate fruit, and very much a child of the vintage. Drink it with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Villa Calcinaia
Via Citille, 84
50022 Greve in Chianti
http://www.villacalcinaia.it

Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, and distinctly balsamic, with warmth and slight barnyard tang mingled with underlying acidity, but not much fruit. Old style. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately intense rather leathery cherry fruit supported by warm balsamic acidity that has savory accents, and by smooth sweet tannins that do have splintery overtones, and all flows into a clean rather bitter finish. It's very traditional in style, and also a bit rustic, and if you like the style you will like it, and it will work well with simple grilled mats or light stews. Indeed, in the proper setting it will drink very fast. However, if you prefer riper, richer, more fruit driven wines it won't work for you.
1 star

Castello Di Ama
Località Ama
53013 Gaiole in Chianti
http://www.castellodiama.com/

Castello di Ama Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep ruby with black reflections and ruby rim. The bouquet is powerful and elegant, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean slightly brambly cherry acidity with underlying heather and jammy accents, and some spice as well. Quite harmonious in a vibrantly fresh youthful key. On the palate it's full ad rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by deft cherry acidity that is supported by slightly greenish tannins that flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. Quite graceful, and all the more impressive considering how cold it was and how much it rained in 2005. It will drink beautifully now with rich grilled meats -- a porterhouse cut would be good here -- and will also age nicely for at least 3-5 years. Worth seeking out.
92

Castello di San Sano
Località Palazzino - San Sano
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
http://www.castellosansano.com

Castello di San Sano Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some sour berry fruit supported by greenish accents and some spice, with underlying cedar as well. On the palate it's fairly full, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by tannins that have a splintery greenness to them, and by moderate fairly mineral acidity that leads into a clean slightly green finish. It feels oddly empty, and brings to mind a thin man wearing a coat several sizes too large.
1 star

Fattoria di Corsignano
Località Corsignano
53010 Vagliagli (SI)
http://www.fattoriadicorsignano.it

Fattoria di Corsignano Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is dusky, with bitter accents, and brooding berry fruit, with some underlying cedar as well. On the palate it's medium bodied, and a bit thin, with bitter berry fruit supported by mineral acidity tannins that have bitter accents that bring underbrush to mind, and flow into a clean bitter finish with dusky vegetal accents. It's a bit thin, but will drink nicely with simple grilled meats or light stews; I found it growing upon me because it's quite frank in its approach. What you see is what you get, without any really obvious attempts to compensate for Nature's stinginess, and as a result what comes through is authentic and drinkable, albeit in a lesser key.
2 stars

Fattoria di Corsignano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is still a bit up in the air; swishing brings forth dusky berry fruit supported by clean vegetal spice and tart accents. It's on the move but hasn't arrived yet. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity and slightly greenish splintery tannins that flow into a warm clean tart berry fruit finish. Pleasant, in an up-front way, and will drink nicely with succulent grilled meats, including sausages or ribs, and also has the acidity necessary to stand up to fried meats and vegetables. In short, a nice summer wine that will also contribute considerably to a cookout.
2 stars

Fattoria di Montecchio
Via Montecchio 4
50020 San Donato in Poggio (FI)
http://www.fattoriamontecchio.it

Fattoria di Montecchio Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. It's a bit stinky, but this is to be expected in barrel samples, with underbrush as well, but not much fruit. On the palate it's full, and quite soft, with moderately intense rather generic berry fruit supported by slight acidity and tannins that are both smooth and cedar laced, flowing into a clean soft finish. It's lax now, and lacking in fruit. Time will tell.

Fattoria di Montecchio Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The nose is a bit more mature than some, with balsamic notes mingled with petroleum and underlying greenish spice. Not that much fruit, however. On the palate it's ample and a bit soft, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by sour cherry plum acidity, and by smooth tannins that have a slight greenish burr to them, and flow into a clean bitter finish. It's a bit settled, and I found myself wanting greater richness and depth.
1 star

Fattoria di Vegi
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.vegi.it

Fattoria di Vegi Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is dusky, with bitter balsamic accents and some mineral acidity but not much fruit. On the palate it's brighter than the nose suggests, though still fairly lax, with soft cherry raspberry fruit that's nicely supported by raspberry acidity, and by ample tannins that have a slight splintery burr to them, and flow into a clean tart finish. I liked it better on the palate than the nose, but also found it empty; the tannins ad structure are larger than the fruit they hope to contain, and as a result the wine is rather cavernous. It will, in any case, drink well with light stews or simple grilled meats.
1 star

Fattoria Ispoli
Via Santa Lucia 2
50024 Mercatale Val di Pesa (FI)
http://www.fattoriaispoli.com

Fattoria Ispoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by greenish jammy accents that bring pepper jam to mind, as well as underlying spice and slight greenish accents. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by clean bitter tannins that flow into a decidedly tannic, fairly bitter finish. What's missing is acidity; as a result the wine feels quite flat, and distinctly settled.
1 star

Le Fonti
Località Le Fonti
50020 Panzano in Chianti (FI)
http://www.fattorialefonti.it

Fattoria Le Fonti Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is powerful, with quite a bit of alcohol and some nose tingling spice, but not much fruit, and the effect is rather lumbering. On the palate it's ample, and soft, with moderate red berry fruit supported by fairly smooth tannins that do have a slight burr to them, but not much in the way of acidity; as a result it feels rather settled, and slightly dilute as well. In short, a child of the vintage.
1 star

Fattoria Nittardi
Località Nittardi
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
Tel 0577 740 269

Fattoria Nittardi Casanuova di Nittardi Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense and rather greenish, with petroleum accents mingled into dusky shadow and some nose tingling barnyard tang, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it's a bit brighter than the nose would suggest, though not really lively; the fruit is cherry with clean raspberry accents supported by more and brighter acidity than one might guess from the nose, supported by rather green tannins that flow into a clean tannic finish. It's a bit settled, and I'd have liked more fruit in the nose, but is a good expression of the vintage and will drink nicely will drink nicely with grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Candialle
Via San leolino 71
50020 Panzano in Chianti (FI)
http://www.candialle.com

Candialle Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, and fairly rich, in a youthful key, with cherry and forest berry fruit supported by dusky greenish acidity and some hints of cedar and gum Arabic. It's a bit unsettled, but this is youth at work. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by soft sweet tannins while direction comes from bright cherry acidity. It's a bit lax, and I found myself wanting tighter definition to the fruit and the tannins, which are splintery. In its defense it is young, but I'm not sure how much the tannins will do with time. This is in a tasting situation; the splinteriness of the tannins will be much less evident if one is drinking the wine to wash down grilled sausages or fried meats, and it will complete either task admirably.
1 star

Setriolo
Località Setriolo 61
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
http://www.setriolo.com

Setriolo Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry erry rim. The bouquet is muted, which is fine with a barrel sample. On the palate it's bright, with fresh raspberry laced cherry fruit supported by clean raspberry acidity and tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean bright finish. It promises to become quite graceful with time, and will be pleasant with hearty pasta dishes, succulent grilled meats or light stews, and will also be nice with fried meats and vegetables.

Setriolo Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, in a slightly rustic key, with warm balsamic notes mingled with wet horse and fairly bright underlying acidity. On the palate it's full, with smooth elegant cherry fruit that gains direction from delicate cherry - sour plum acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright finish. It's pleasant, in a distinctly traditional key, and if you like the style it will drink quite well with succulent grilled meats, including white meats, and also be nice with stews or roasts. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you may want another.
2 stars

Azienda San Michele a Torri
Via Di San Michele 36
50018 Scandicci
http://www.fattoriasanmichele.it/

Fattoria San Michele a Torri Fattoria La Gabbiola Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is closed, though swishing brings up some cedar and moderate berry fruit. On the palate it's fairly rich, with clean sour cherry fruit that gains direction from moderately intense mineral acidity, while the tannins are clean and smooth, with greenish cedar accents, and flow into a warm savory finish. Pleasant, and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Il Colombaio di Cencio
Località Cornia
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
http://www.ilcolombaiodicencio.com

Il Colombaio di Cencio I Massi Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is intense, and frankly oaky, and this can happen with barrel samples. On the palate it's bright and fairly rich, with moderately intense cherry and forest berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and smooth tannins that lay a warm cedar-laced burr over the tongue and flow into a clean cedary finish. It's fairly promising, in an ample rather soft key.

Il Colombaio di Cencio I Massi Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with powerful red berry fruit supported by some brambly accents and hints of bitter hardwood ash with underlying bitter cocoa. Harmonious, and a fair amount going on. On the palate it's rich and full, with elegant cherry fruit supported by deft cherry acidity that gains depth from pleasant slightly greenish overtones, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish with a warm tannic underpinning. Quite pleasant, and will drink very well with succulent red or white meats -- steak comes to mind, as does chicken pot pie. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you may want another. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Il Colombaio di Cencio I Massi Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by spice and cedar, with some peppery accents and underlying bitterness. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that do have a cedar overlay to them, and flow into a warm cedar-laced finish with sour cherry fruit. Pleasant, in a youthful key; it will benefit from another year in bottle, and will drink nicely in any case with succulent roasts or hearty stews. Wild boar would be just the thing.
2 stars

Il Molino di Grace
Località Il Volano
Panzano in Chianti
http://www.ilmolinodigrace.com

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is elegant, with violets and red berry fruit mingled with dusky cedar and underlying spice. Nice balance and harmonious, though it's obvious that the wine is not from a hot vintage. On the palate it's graceful, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by clean citric acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that are ample but not overlarge, and flow into a clean cherry fruit finish that gains definition from acidity and savory accents. Graceful, and quite pleasant to drink; it's like a pretty girl who speaks quietly, forcing one to concentrate to hear, and who has something to say. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

La Marcellina
Via Case Sparse, 74
50020 Panzano in Chianti
http://www.lamarcellina.it

La Marcellina Comignole Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bitter, with some cedar laced with slight balsamic notes, hardwood ash, and sea salt, but not much fruit. On the palate it's a bit unusual, with warm cedar-laced fruit supported by slight acidity that flows into a clean cedar-laced finish that whose sweet accents bring a strawberry cupcake to mind. It's decidedly unexpected and a bit disconcerting.
1 star

Le Cinciole
Via Case Sparse 83
50020 Panzano in Chianti (FI)
http://www.lecinciole.it

Le Cinciole Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with spice and herbal accents, in particular licorice, mingled with some rhubarb and alcoholic warmth, but not much fruit. On the palate it's a bit brighter than the nose suggests, though still shadowy, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by moderately intense mineral acidity and clean bitter accents that flow into a clean fairly light mineral finish with some savory overtones. I liked it better on the palate than the nose, which is still developing, and I found it growing upon me, because the palate is quite pleasant. It will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Lornano
Località Lornano 11
53035 Monteriggioni (SI)
http://www.fattorialornano.it

Lornano Le Bandite Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is rich and inviting, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean spice and some savory cedar; it's quite young, but there's a lot going on, and it's pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's bright, with clean deft cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that do have slight cedary overtones, and by deft cherry plum acidity that carries into a clean graceful finish. Quite nice, and will drink well with quickly cooked, not too rich meats, or with simple pasta dishes. A beautiful expression of a lesser vintage, worth seeking out..
2 stars

Lornano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up spice mingled with hardwood ash and some balsamic overtones. On the palate it's full, with bright slightly sour cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have a warm cedary burr, and flow into a clean deft berry fruit finish. It's a little overripe, but pleasant, and will drink nicely with stews or roasts in the short term, while I think it will also age nicely for at least 5 years, perhaps 10.
2 stars

Ormanni
Località Ormanni
53036 Poggibonsi (SI)
http://www.ormanni.it

Ormanni Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with moderate forest berry fruit overshadowed by clean spicy accents, cedar, and some greenish overtones. On the palate it's full, and rather soft, with ample cherry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly tart finish. The palate is more interesting than the nose, and actually rather graceful; I found myself taking a second sip to enjoy it. A nice expression of a difficult vintage, and it t will drink well with succulent red meats or light stews.
2 stars

Rocca delle Macie
Località Le Macie
53011 Castellina in Chianti
http://www.roccadellemacie.com

Rocca delle Macie Tenuta Sant'Alfonso Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, with nose tingling spice mingled with greenish accents and peppery overtones. On the palate it's full with moderately intense generic berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and peppery spice that flows into a clean slightly splintery finish with tannic underpinning. I'd have liked greater depth than I found; it's angry, with the tannins from wood carrying most of the show.
1 star

Rocca di Montegrossi
Località San Marcellino
53010 Monti in Chianti (SI)
Tel 0577 747 977

Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents mingled with berry fruit and peppery spice, and a fair amount of underlying acidity. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by clean sweet tannins that do have a slight greenish burr to them, and flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish with bitter overtones. It's not as rich, nor as deft as a 2006, but has a pleasing fullness to it, and I would give the bouquet another year to develop before drinking it with succulent red meats, either out of the oven or off of the grill. It's a bit shrill -- and effect of the vintage -- to be drunk by the glass, but it will work well with the proper foods.
2 stars

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful with balsamic notes and pronounced greenish accents, with underlying acidity, but not much fruit. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful balsam-laced red berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and smooth sweet tannins, with unusual residual bitter sweetness -- perhaps a wood-fruit interaction -- that I didn't completely expect. It comes across as trying too hard. In its defense, it is quite young.
1 star

Tenuta di Nozzole
Via di Nozzole 12
Località Passo dei Pecorai
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
http://www.tenutefolonari.com

Tenuta di Nozzole Nozzole Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up spice mingled with some tart greenish accents and hints of nose-tingling acidity. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately intense generic berry fruit supported by warm mineral acidity and tannins that have a splintery green underpinning and flow into a splintery tannic finish. It's very much a child of the vintage; in terms of accompaniments it will drink well with succulent meats that beg a sip to clear the palate between bites.
1 star

Villa Branca
Via Novoli 10
500124 Mercatale Val di pesa (FI)
http://www.villabranca.it

Villa Branca Chianti Classico DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit wild, with warm balsamic notes mingled with underbrush and a fair amount of acidity, while there is also wet horse. On the palate it's ample, in a soft rather lascivious way, with clean cherry fruit supported by cherry acidity and by tannins that are warm and splintery, and owe a far amount to oak, which presents in the form of an angry final burr. It's quite young, and to be frank needs another year to come together; when it does it will drink nicely with succulent red meats or light stews.
2 stars

Castello di Bossi
Località Bossi in Chianti
53033 Castelnuovo Berardenga
http://www.castellodibossi.it/default.htm


Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep black lam with black reflections and lam in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with red berry fruit nicely balanced by spice with underlying berry fruit acidity that provides direction. Harmonious, and quite young too. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with powerful cherry fruit supported by clean slightly sour berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long clean berry fruit finish. It's deft, and will drink nicely with succulent red meats, including richer fare such as leg of lamb or venison. It will also age nicely for a 5-8 years, and will likely become lacy with time.
2 stars

Podere Terreno alla Via di Volpaia
Località Volpaia
53017 Radda in Chianti (SI)
http://www.podereterreno.it

Podere Terreno alla Via di Volpaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Deep almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with underbrush mingled with brambly acidity and underlying delicate fruit with hints of dried flowers. On the palate it's medium bodied and deft, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean slightly mineral berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that display clean slightly greenish overtones and flow into a fresh, bright berry fruit finish with a clean slightly brambly underpinning. It's quite pleasant in a decidedly traditional key -- no small oak here -- and will drink nicely with grilled meats or roasts, If you like the style you will enjoy it very much, and may want a second bottle.
88-90

Villa Montepaldi
Via Montepaldi 12
50026 San Cascianto Val di Pesa (FI)
http.//www.villamontepaldi.it

Villa Montepaldi Tagliafune Chianti Classico DOCG 2004
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some berry fruit supported by clean spice and slight cedar. On the palate it's full and smooth, with fairly intense rather generic berry fruit supported by moderately intense sour cherry acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bitter tannic finish. It's pleasant, but fairly direct, and I'd have liked a bit more depth than I found.
2 stars

3 comments:

Italian Wine Blog said...

Wow, great post.

Good to hear the 06 Classicos are looking good.

Are you expecting them to drink young with such fruitness from barrel?

Sarah

Kyle Phillips said...

I think they will, but I think that many will also age nicely (for 5-7 years), and I have considerable hopes for the 2006 wines that will be released next year by those who hold their vino d'annata longer. I also think the 2006 Riserve will be nice.

Kyle

Anonymous said...

A very good 2006 indeed! This past spring I was able to do some barrel tasting in Tuscany's Maremma including Tua Rita's in Suvereto. The 2006 vintage which were to be bottled the following day (assuming they stood up to the enologist's expectations) were indeed extraordinary. All red wines tasted, from the cult Merlot Redigaffi (which was cleverly well balanced, not a jammy concoction that some reviewers may lead one to believe and that some others in the area are producing) to the Bordeaux style Giusto di Nostri and the the indigenous Sangiovese blend Perlato del Bosco were superb. It is hard to believe that such a young vineyard/winery can produce wines of such interest and finesse.

Carlotta