Friday, March 05, 2010

Chianti Classico: The 2010 Anteprima

This year's Chianti Classico Anteprima was presaged by the announcement of a divorce, and when I read the title of the Email I thought, "Oh God."

But it's positive; Chianti Classico has finally managed to separate itself from Chianti, and this begs some explanation. Chianti was originally the wine produced in a fairly restricted geographical region between the cities of Florence and Siena. And its quality has always been recognized. Not just by winemakers within the geographical region, but also by wine merchants in the surrounding area, who found it much easier to sell their wines if they put the word Chianti on their labels.

The producers within the Chianti Classico zone (the entire communes of Greve in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti, and parts of the Communes of Barberino Val d'Elsa, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi) responded to this practice by founding a Consorzio, whose members were allowed to affix a seal -- the famous black rooster -- upon their bottles. Of course this didn't keep those outside the region from using the word Chianti, and it by the time legislators examined the matter in the early 1930s "Chianti" was being bottled in much of central Tuscany, and almost all the way to Pisa.

The legislators accepted this situation, setting up a Chianti appellation that did recognize the preeminence of Chianti Classico, but also allowed producers within the Chianti Classico area to bottle their wines as just Chianti if they so desired. As one might expect, producers of quality wines labeled their wines as Chianti Classico. But wine merchants (and there are a number in the Chianti Classico zone) as well as those for whom top quality was less of a goal could and did take advantage of the Chianti option, and sometimes in ways that are less than transparent, for example producing a set volume of Chianti Classico regardless of the vintage, and a fluctuating amount of Chianti. As I said, an unclear situation.

And because legislators are often loathe to tamper with what's already in place, when Chianti Classico became an appellation distinct from Chianti, they allowed the Chianti Classico/Chianti option to stand. But now they have changed their minds, and decreed that wines made in the Chianti Classico zone can no longer be labeled just Chianti. It's all Chianti Classico.

Makers of quality Chianti Classico can only be pleased.



And having said this, some words on the Anteprima.
It was again held in Florence's Stazione Leopolda, and beautifully organized. The one drawback was time: We were given 2 days, and there were -- not counting a multitude of 2009 vat samples -- 359 wines being poured. This is much more than I could hope to taste, so I picked, not entirely randomly, beginning with the 2008 Chianti Classico, and working back through the 2007, 2006 and 2005 vintages, which included both Vini d'Annata and Riserve.

2008 is an interesting vintage. It was quite variable, from place to place, with the wineries at higher elevations, where temperatures were cooler, producing crisper, brighter wines, while those at lower elevations produced wines more typical of hotter vintages, that are softer, less acidic, and in some cases fairly sweet.

2007 is a more nervous vintage, with many wines, both Vini D'Annata and Riserve, which are decidedly nervous, with more marked acidities and brambly tannins that are perhaps not as nice when drinking a wine by the glass far from the table, but work quite well with the sorts of foods one eats with a red wine - legume-based soups, meat-sauced pasta, grilled, meats, stews, and so on.

2006 continues to be quite elegant, and shows very well. Graceful wines, with considerable depth, and they are entering maturity, though the Riserve will also age nicely. It's shaping up to be a memorable vintage.

There were also a few older vintages, in particular 2005, some of which positively impressed me.

The wines are in the order in which I tasted the first wine from each winery.

Chianti Classico, Tasted February 16 and 17 2010


Monteraponi
Monteraponi Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Lively cherry ruby with cherry reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is bright, with lively cherry raspberry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and some brambly accents. Pleasant to sniff and invigorating. One wouldn't guess it's a barrel sample. On the palate it's light, and bright, with lively agile red berry fruit, a mix of currants and raspberries with some cherry underpinning supported by clean brambly tannins that flow into a fairly long slightly greenish finish. A charming wine, and though I don't usually rate barrel samples I'll make an exception here. It will be perfect with grilled meats, especially a platter of mixed meats, and very nice too with fried meats and vegetables. Well worth seeking out.
90

Monteraponi Il Campitello Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is shut tight, nobody home, and this can happen in a barrel sample. On the palate it's elegant, with rich slightly sweet cherry plum fruit that gains direction from mineral-laced plum acidity, and is supported by very smooth sweet tannins. It will be graceful in a fairly ripe key, and if you like the style, which is traditional, with little influence from wood, will be worth looking out for.

Monteraponi Baron'Ugo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with almandine in the rim. The bouquet is still disjointed, with delicate vanilla-laced cedar and spice predominating over fruit. On the palate it's ample, and deft, with rich cherry fruit supported by def slightly brambly acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that show great depth, leading into a delicate berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. At present it's a half-finished canvas, but it will be beautiful.

Castellinuzza e Piuca
Castellinuzza e Piuca Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and some orange in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with berry fruit supported by fairly intense underbrush and by pleasant brambly accents. Zesty. On the palate it's fairly rich, with clean bright brambly sour cherry fruit supported by greenish tannins that have a splintery burr and flow into a clean tannic finish. Nimble, and will work very well with meat based pasta dishes, baked pasta, grilled meats, and also has the acidity and tannin necessary to stand up to fried meats and vegetables. In short, versatile, and an ideal food wine.
88-90

Castellinuzza e Piuca Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Deft cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is elegant and quite fresh, with greenish violets supported by berry fruit and some brambly acidity. Very young. On the palate it's deft, with fairly sweet berry fruit supported by deft acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean tannic finish with underlying sweetness. It does have a certain languidity to it, and this is the vintage; it will drink nicely with grilled meats or stews, and because of the slight additional sweetness will be a good bet with spicier fare as well, including Italian dishes such as peposo.
2 stars

Colle Bereto
Colle Bereto Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with brambly berry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity and a deft cedar underpinning. The impression is almost chewy. On the palate it's it's fairly rich, with bright berry fruit supported by tart berry fruit acidity and tannins that have dusky graphite shaving bitterness, and flow into a fairly tart, long berry fruit finish. Pleasant, and will drink nicely with roasts, grilled meats, or light stews, and also will work well with fried meats and vegetables. In short, versatile, and this is what a Chianti should be.
2 stars

Colle Bereto Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up warmth and savory balsamic accents mingled with some vegetal notes, and sea salt. Not much fruit. On the palate it's fairly rich, with dusky cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a slight milky cedar-laced feel to them, and flow into a clean rather sour berry fruit finish. It's pleasant but very young, and needs another year for the various elements to finish coming together. When they do it will be graceful in a spicy middle of the road key.
2 stars

Isole e Olena
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 2006

Elegant pale ruby with pink rim. Looks quite young for a 2006. The bouquet is delicate, with floral accents and sour berry fruit supported by considerable sour berry fruit acidity. Nice depth, and pleasingly nimble. On the palate it's bright, with rich cherry fruit supported by lively brambly acidity and tannins that though overall smooth do have a brambly burr to them and flow into a clean bright sour berry finish. Again, nimble, and qill work very well with grilled meats or light stews, and will also do a fine job accompanying hearty pasta sauces. Worth seeking out.
88-90

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is very young, with violets and cherry fruit supported by deft dusky acidity and some sweetness. On the palate it's ample, nd fairly rich, with cherry fruit that has underlying sweetness and well as acidity to support it, as well as smooth tannins whose roundness confers a certain languidity to it; it brings to mind a curvy young lady reclining on a futon somehow. Interesting, and pleasant to drink though it's more of a by the glass wine at present than a food wine.
It will be interesting to see how it develops.

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Elegant slightly almandine ruby with almandine rim and black reflections. The bouquet is elegant, with rich slightly balsamic cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity; there's considerable harmony to it, and though it's quick to write it has a lot to say. On the palate it's medium bodied, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean bright berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long warm berry fruit finish with deft sour cherry and tannic underpinning. One of those wines one hates to pour out at a tasting; it will drink very well with roasts or stews, and will age nicely for at least 5 years. Worth seeking out.
90

Castello di Ama
Castello di Ama Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with dusky cherry fruit supported by leafy underbrush and some wet earth, with a slight underpinning of greenish cedar. Elegant in a very well polished key, and there's a lot of substance to it. On the palate it's rich, with velvety cherry fruit supported by deft bitter acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long clean cherry plum finish. Quite pleasant in a rich international key, and a far cry from some of the brasher expressions of Chianti Classico. If you like more polished wines you will greatly enjoy it, and even if you prefer the more aggressive styles you will find things to enjoy. Very nicel, and will age well for 5-8 years.
90

Castello di Querceto
Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is dusky, with black cherry fruit supported by smoky accents that bring overtoasted wood to mind, as well as some alcohol; as it opens the fruit comes to the fore, and it brightens considerably, almost like a sun emerging from clouds. On the palate it's full, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by some sweetness, and by moderately intense acidity, while the tannins are dry and rather flat. There's a bit of a disconnect between fruit and tannin, and the acidity isn't quite as rich as I had homed -- it's more mineral than fruit. And his is, I think, a characteristic of the vintage. I would have liked more brightness. This said, it will drink well with grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Impenetrable cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly intense, with vinous accents and berry fruit supported by cedar and pleasant spice. Deft, but also very young, in a fairly rich international key. On the palate it's not quite as rich as I might have expected, though this is youth at work; the fruit is delicate sour cherry supported by deft sour cherry acidity, and the tannins are at present a little too splintery and overshadow. In other words, it needs a year to get its bearings, by which time the tannins will have folded in and the wine will be graceful, aging towards ethereal with time. It will be nice with grilled meats or hearty stews, including venison and other game. But do give it time.
2 stars

Castello di Querceto Il Picchio Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is dusky, with cherry plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and some cedar, which is nicely integrated. Brooding, somehow. On the palate it's elegant, with rich sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight youthful burr, and flow into a clean fairly bright berry fruit finish. Pleasant, but needs a year to come together and for the tannins to fold in completely, at which point it will be graceful in a lacy key. Expect it to age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Casa Emma
Casa Emma Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with moderate cherry plum fruit supported by bitterness and some cedary spice. It has a slightly petulant feel to it, and this is because it's still coming together; with more swishing hits of sandalwood also emerge. On the palate it's ample and rather soft, with moderately intense, sweetish cherry plum fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity and support from smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly sweet finish. It does have sufficient acidity to keep it on its toes, but also a roundness that makes it more luscious than wines of the more traditional style, and as a result it will work better with drier meats, for example roast pork loin, as opposed to grilled lamb chops. It's also a wine one might want to sip by the glass. In short, you will like it if you like softer, smoother wines.
2 stars

Castello di Bossi
Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is out of whack, with considerable oak and some spice that overshadow the fruit; this is typical of a barrel sample. On the palate it's better -- there is some fruit, though it's not quite as intense as I'd have liked -- mostly cherry -- and there is some mineral acidity, though what really comes through is cedar from the wood. It needs time; I hope the fruit will emerge, though to be frank I'm not certain that it will

Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black cherry with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is dusky, with cedar and berry fruit supported by some alcohol and affair amount of warmth. On the palate it's ample and rather soft, with cherry plum fruit supported by moderate mineral more than fruit driven acidity, and by tannins that have a decidedly bitter cedar overlay to them. I'd have liked greater depth and richness to it than I found; it's elegant in an international key, but wood at present overshadows the fruit, and will always play a part.
2 stars

Castello di Bossi Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, and spicy, with greenish accents and some berry fruit, though it's clearly in mid stride and needs time to get its bearings. On the palate it's rich, with full red berry fruit supported by deft bitter berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have an angry cedary burr and flow into a finish that's warm and peppery. A child in swaddling clothes bumbling about, and it will need at least a year to get its bearings. Two would be better, and it will age nicely for a number of years more. It will be worth seeking out, if you like a middle of the road key with deft use of small oak, because here the oak supports without overshadowing the fruit. Or it will when the pieces have fallen into place.
2 stars

Castello di Fonterutoli
Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby; it's close to poured ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with cherry fruit supported by some greenish vegetal accents and oak. Still developing, but it's a barrel sample. On the palate it's ample and smooth with rich cherry fruit supported by brambly acidity and a slight cedar underpinning that flow into a clean fresh finish. Pleasant, and will be quite nice in a smooth international key when it has some bottle age under its belt.

Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and decidedly alcoholic, with greenish vegetal accents and some cedar, but not much fruit at the outset. With more swishing more bitterness and cedar emerge, covering all. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit whose acidity has been well and truly smoothed by the oak, which provides firm direction in the form of cedar laced tannins, and it all flows into a clean rather bitter finish. It's not working for me, not because of the wood use, which though abundant is handled quite well, but rather because the concentration of the fruit isn't sufficient to balance it, and this is a problem that won't fix itself with time.
1 star

Castello di Monsanto
Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Deep ruby. Muted bouquet, though swishing brings up some berry fruit and some cedar. In the works. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry plum fruit supported by clean brambly acidity and by smooth sweet tannins whose youth brings a milky oaky feel to the tongue. It's promising and should develop nicely. Quite nicely, even, becoming gracefully lacy with time. Worth seeking out.

Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is elegant, with sour berry fruit supported by clean mentholated accents and deft acidity. Quite a bit of depth, though it is still quite young and needs time to develop; when it's beyond childhood it will be impressive. On the palate it's elegant, with rich slightly sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean long sour berry fruit finish. Great finesse, and extremely elegant; one could drink it now with a steak or roast, but one would be doing oneself a disservice, because in 3-5 years it will be much, much better. A wine to set aside and enjoy on a special occasion.
90

Castello di Verrazzano
Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with rich brambly cherry fruit supported by deft acidity and some spice. Very young, but has quite a bit to say, and will develop nicely. On the palate it's bright, with rich slightly sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish. A child, but one that will drink well with grilled meats or light stews, and will also work well with fried meats and vegetables during the summer months. Quite pleasant., and will age nicely for 3-5 years at least.
2 stars

Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep dusky cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with greenish cedar mingled with red berry vegetal accents, but not much in the way of fruit. The palate reflects the nose; it's warm on the attack, with cedar-laced tannins and acidity, but not that much fruit to fill it out.
1 star

Cecchi
Cecchi Teuzzo Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Impenetrable cherry ruby; it's close to poured ink. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up moderate berry fruit laced with cedar and some spice; the impression is somehow nondescript. On the palate it's fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by moderate brambly acidity and by smooth tannins that have a slight savory burr, and flow into a clean rather bitter finish. It's not as bright as I might have liked, and while this is in part youth, it is also the style, which is approachable but not zesty. It will smooth nicely as it ages, and if you like smoother softer wines with less acidity you will enjoy it.
1 star

Concadoro
Concadoro Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep ruby with some almandine reflections in the rim. The bouquet is disjointed, with intense cedar and some lacy greenish accents, but not much fruit at present. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich, fairly sweet cherry plum fruit supported by some minerality and some leafy underbrush bitterness, which flow into a tannic cherry plum finish with slight sweetness. It will clean up nicely in an international key, and be fairly soft and quite ripe, a wine to select if you like this softer sweeter fruit driven style. If you prefer brasher wines it won't work as well for you.

Concadoro Vigna di Gaversa Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is bright, with mentholated vegetal accents and alcohol mingling with cedar and underlain by fairly rich berry fruit. On the palate it's graceful, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by brisk acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a brisk spicy overlay and flow into a fairly long clean warm finish. Pleasant, and will drink very well with grilled meats or roasts, and also has the power to stand up to richer meats such as lamb chops or game, while the acidity is such that it will also age nicely for 3-5 years at least. Very traditional.
2 stars

Fattoria La Ripa
Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep cherry ruby with pinkish ruby rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, in a greenish key, with vegetal accents mingled with spice and some sweetness, and underlying berry fruit. It's very young, and still coming together. On the palate it's again very young, with deft greenish berry fruit supported by acidity and spice, with some underlying cocoa that is likely from wood, and it flows into a peppery finish with tannic underpinning. It's woefully young, and a bit softer than La Ripa usually is; this is likely the vintage at work. It will in any case develop nicely over the next couple of years, and become lacy with time.
2 stars

Fatoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with alcohol and sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and some wet bark bitterness. It's developing, but displays pleasant depth. On the palate it's deft, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr, and flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. It's pleasant, in a graceful key, and will become lacy with time. Worth seeking out if you prefer the more traditional style, and even if you prefer softer lusher wines you will enjoy it with a steak.
88-90

Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with mentholated cherry fruit supported by spice and some green leather, also hints underbrush and cedar. Nice balance. On the palate it's it's graceful, with medium bodied cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long tart finish with lasting warmth. It's quite pleasant in a traditional key, and if you like the style will drink very well with grilled meats or light stews, and also has the capacity to age well for 5-8 years or more.
2 stars

Fattoria di Felsina
Felsina Berardenga Felsina Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is Intense, and young, with considerable bitter cedar supported by airy dappled shade and underbrush. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with deft slightly sour cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that do have a slight cedary burr and flow into a clean cedar-laced finish. It's a toddler in diapers, and needs another year to get its bearings, at which point it will be pleasant in a middle of the road to international key, and drink well with leaner grilled meats or light stews, though there isn't enough acidity for fattier fare.
2 stars

Felsina Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with deft cherry fruit supported by some lacy red berry fruit and slightly milky cedar; it's developing and needs a year. On the palate it's ample, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by warm rather soft lemony acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm clean finish. It's more delicate than some, with acidity that's quite sufficient to provide direction but not bracing, and if you like more aggressive wines it won't work as well for you. If you instead prefer smoother more fruit driven wines it's a nice compromise between the softer fruit driven international school and tradition, because the acidity is citric but not excessive, and the wine is quite fresh. It will also age nicely for 3-5 years at least.
2 stars

Gagliole
Gagliole Rubiolo Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, with cherry fruit supported by sweetish cedary accents and jammy overtones. It's pleasant in a ripe international key. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful cherry plum fruit supported by moderate mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a dusky graphite shaving bitter underpinning, and flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's very young and needs another year to come together, at which point it will be pleasant in a fairly rich decidedly international key, and if you like this fruit driven rather soft style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Fattorie San Guisto a Rentennano
Fattorie San Guisto a Rentennano Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with berry fruit laced with the heather of a Tuscan field and some cedar as well, the effect is almost powdery and promises to become lacy with time. On the palate it's straight forward, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by some brambly accents and a fair amount of cedar, which settle into cedar with coffee ground overtones. It's still developing, and though it comes across as thin now this could be the barrel that was sampled from.

Fattoria Viticcio
Fattoria Viticcio Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is muted, with quite a bit of cedar, and some underlying berry fruit. Developing. On the palate it's ample, with fairly intense savory accents, though there isn't as much fruit as I might have hoped, nor that much acidity. It's fairly settled, and oak is stepping in to carry more than I might like.
1 star

Fietri
Fietri Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is bright for a barrel sample, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by brambly accents. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by dusky berry fruit acidity and tannins that have a cedary component and flow into a clean fairly bright finish with caramel overtones that come from the barrel. It's very much up in the air but promises to be pleasant in a middle of the road key, and offer a fair amount to think about.

Fietri Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fresh, with lively cherry fruit supported by jammy vegetal accents -- it almost brings green pepper jam to mind -- and by freshly cut yellow peach, which can be present in reds. Invigorating. On the palate it's medium bodied, but not as bright as I might have guessed form the nose; the fruit -- cherry with hints of plum -- is less intense, and it is more minerality than acidity to carry the wine, while the tannins are clean and rather splintery. It's quite young, and fairly direct, a wine that will work well with simple pasta dishes or light stews.
1 star

I Fabbi
I Fabbi Terre di Lamole Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and a touch rustic, with lively berry fruit acidity laced with animal tang and some wet leafy spice. Pleasant, and very much on its toes. On the palate it's fairly rich, with cherry plum fruit that's supported by some sweetness, mineral acidity, and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh tannic finish with dry mineral underpinning. It's a touch ripe, which is typical of the vintage, and also very young, again to be expected. It will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews, and become lacy with time. In short, a good food wine.
2 stars

I Sodi
I Sodi Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with petroleum and chemical accents mingled with some smoke. Penetrating. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean rather greenish finish. I'd have liked a little more acidity, but there is an underlying harness to it, and it promises to clean up nicely in a fairly ripe key.
2 stars

La Madonnina
La Madonnina Bello Stento Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is deft, with pleasant slightly greenish berry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity. On the palate it's also deft, with fairly rich brambly berry fruit supported by slightly greenish berry fruit that flows into a clean bright brambly berry fruit finish. Quick to write, but harmonious, and will drink nicely with foods, in particular cruelled meats and light stews. The interplay is more between fruit and bitterness than fruit and acidity, and as a result it isn't a wine I would drink with fried foods.
2 stars

La Madonnina Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, with red berry fruit supported by dusky greenish accents and some hints of yellow peach, and also pleasing mentholated accents. Nice balance and quite a bit to say. On the palate it's fresh, with rich cherry plum fruit supported more by iodine bitterness than acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a decidedly bitter finish. It's pleasant, though the bitterness makes it slightly more subdued than acidity might, and I will drink nicely with grilled meats roasts, especially leaner meats such as roast beef, cooked rare and sliced fairly thickly. It grew upon me.
2 stars

La Sala
La Sala Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some berry fruit supported by greenish mentholated accents and slight cedar. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by delicate lacy lemon acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight cedary overlay and flow into a warm bright fruit laced finish. It's very young, and needs at least a year to come together, but will drink nicely with foods, in particular roasts or stews. I found it growing on me; there's something sunny about it, and it's worth seeking out.
2 stars

Castellare di Castellina
Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is bright, with greenish cherry fruit supported by heather from a Tuscan field and some brambly accents; there's also a sweetness that suggests languidity. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright, fairly sweet cherry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr to them and flow into a clean rather bitter finish. It's very young, and needs another year to get its bearings, at which point it will be pleasant in a slightly scrappy key, and drink nicely with grilled meats or stews, including, because of its slight sweetness, spicier foods such as a goulash or peposo.
2 stars

Fattoria di Lornano
Lornano Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is frankly oaky with some savory accents as well. On the palate it's ample, with moderate fruit and spice supported by tongue-curling tannins; there is again not much acidity. It will smooth, becoming fairly mineral, but I would have liked more fruit and more acidity than I think it will display.

Monte Bernardi
Monte Bernardi Retromarcia Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and some orange in the rim. The bouquet is bright and brambly, with greenish accents mingled with sour berry fruit and fairly bright spice. Pleasant to sniff, in a lively sort of way. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with bright jammy berry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity that gains in intensity as the fruit flows towards the finish, and by sour berry fruit laced tannins that have a slight greenish cast and flow into a clean tannic finish. Pleasant in a scrappy tomboyish way, and will drink nicely with grilled meats, including fattier foods such as spare ribs or lamb chops, and will also be nice with fried meats and vegetables in the summer. If you prefer smoother softer wines you may find it too aggressive, but there is a cheeky sweetness to the fruit too.
2 stars

Monte Bernardi Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with dusky red berry fruit supported by bitter accents and some spice. On the palate it's ample, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish. It's quite young, and the nose is still coming together; I would give it a year overtones catch up with the palate and then enjoy it with a platter of mixed grilled meats or perhaps friend meats and vegetables. In terms of style, it's fairly traditional, with bright acidity.
2 stars

Podere Terreno
Podere Terreno Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
Barrel sample
Very up in the air, and frankly too young to think about.

Querciabella
Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is very oaky, and this is to be expected in a barrel sample. On the palate it's full, with fairly intense cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity, and by tannins that are again cedar laced, with a hulking bitterness that gains angry graphite shaving bitterness as it settles. It's going to be ample, in a decidedly international heavily oaked key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. But you have to like the style.

Rocca delle Macie
Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is up in the air, with a fair amount of alcohol mingled with berry fruit and bramble, with some heather, but the pieces are going every which way. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly bright sour berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr to them and flow into a fairly bright brambly finish. It's a classic food wine, which doesn't presume to take center stage, but that will drink nicely with foods -- light stews or grilled meats, in particular -- supporting and helping to create a sum that is greater than the parts. If it maintains this path it will be quite pleasant.

Rocca di Montegrossi
Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with back reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is closed, though swishing brings up dusky berry fruit mingled with underbrush and alcohol, and some greenish vegetal acidity as well. On the palate it's bright, with clean fresh cherry fruit supported by lively sour cherry acidity and dusky bitterness, while the tannins are smooth and display a pleasant greenish burr, flowing into a clean rather bitter peppery finish. A fine food wine in a slightly scrappy key that will drink well with grilled meats and vegetables, and also has the backbone necessary to work with fried meats and vegetables. Versatile, and if you like the style, worth seeking out. Expect it to age well for up to a decade.
2 stars

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim that has slightest almandine. The bouquet is ample, with cherry plum fruit supported by deft greenish accents, and gives an impression of being in mid stride; it has a ways to go, yet. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful slightly bitter red berry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that reveal a warm cedary underpinning that carries into a bitter cedary finish. The fruit was quite ripe, but not overripe, and as a result it has a pleasing lusciousness to it, and also acidity that provides direction, while the tannins support. It's international in style, with rich ripe fruit and less of the aggressiveness one finds in traditional Chianti, and if you like the softer smoother fruit driven style it is quite approachable and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews. Indeed, if you like the style it's worth seeking out.
2 stars

Renzo Marinai
Renzo Marinai Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with jammy cherry fruit supported by a fair amount of cedar and some penetrating greenish accents. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich sweet cherry fruit supported by raspberry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean brambly finish. It's a bit scrappy, with lively acidity, and if you like the style it will drink well with grilled meats or light stews, and, in the summer months would be a good bet at a cookout. Fairly direct, but has a wide-eyed openness to it that I rather enjoyed.
2 stars

Renzo Marinai Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim; it's close to poured ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with a rush of iodine and sea salt supported by some spice, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with moderate generic red fruit supported by sweet tannins that have slight brown sugar feel to them. It's settled, and I would have liked more brightness than I found.
1 star

Tenuta di Nozzole
Tenuta di Nozzole Nozzole Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with overripe cherry fruit supported by some sweetness and a fair amount of alcohol, with mentholated accents too. Developing, and this is to be expected in a barrel sample. On the palate it's ample and rather soft, with dusky jammy berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and sweet cedar laced tannins. I'd have liked a little more acidity at this stage, because it would perk up the wine, but we're looking at a partially painted canvas, and some of the blank areas could be interesting with time.

Villa Calcinaia
Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry impenetrable. The bouquet is disjointed, with some wood and some oak, but they really haven't come together yet. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with jammy cherry fruit supported more by spicy minerality than acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm spicy tannic finish. It's a trifle lax, and this is an effect of the vintage.

Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with jammy berry fruit supported by some spice and slight vegetal accents. Delicate, and suggests hotter temperatures than some other 2007s. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by acidity that is more mineral than fruit driven, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly bitter, almost pungent finish. It's quite ripe, and though not heat struck is rather jammy in a fruit driven key, and as a result is rather curvy. If you like a richer, smoother, more fruit driven style, you will enjoy it. If you prefer more austere wines you will like it less.
2 stars

Ruffino
Ruffino Santedame Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is rich for a barrel sample, with ample ripe jammy berry fruit supported by some spice and cut flower stem pungency. Developing, but nicely in an international key. On the palate it's ample at the outset, with fairly rich berry fruit that then pulls back, turning a thinner more acidic eye to the camera, as it were, while the tannins are fairly smooth, though they do display a burr. It's very much in mid stride, and needs time to decide what it wants to be. I found the way the fruit pulls back and thins disquieting, but it could be that it's a barrel sample.

Badia a Coltibuono
Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is impressive for a barrel sample, with bright greenish berry fruit supported by clean brambly spice and pleasant vegetal accents. Scrappy, and quite promising. On the palate it's rich, with clean languid slightly jammy cherry fruit supported by deft acidity and savory spice, with clean slightly greenish tannins that provide a firm foundation. As a general rule I don't score barrel samples because they can (and do change) but I'll make an exception here. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Barone Ricasoli
Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is up in the air, with jammy red berry fruit and a fair amount of alcohol overlying some cedar; it's like a puzzle whose pieces are in the proper relative positions but not yet joined. On the palate it's rich, with elegant smooth jammy berry fruit that gains direction from deft berry fruit acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright finish that at present has some black peppery heat, and this is an effect of youth. Quite pleasant, and though it's at the outset of a journey, will clearly go places. It will be worth seeking out.

Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with brambly berry fruit supported by cedar that has a slight milky cast, and by some bitter wet leafy underbrush, with a fair amount of alcohol as well. It's a little more settled than I might have liked, and this could be a phase it is going though. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense rather bitter berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and smooth dusky tannins that carry a considerable volume of bitter graphite shavings. I would have liked more brightness and life to it; it's like someone very relaxed in a chair.
1 star

Castello di Vicchiomaggio
Castello di Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo da Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is brambly, with yellow peach skins, which sound odd but can occur in red wines, supported by spice, cedar, and a fair amount of alcohol. It's not well balanced, but this is also a factor of youth. On the palate it's much more together, with fairly rich, fairly sweet cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's a babe and needs time, at least a year, at which point it will be quite approachable in a fairly luscious fruit driven style. If you like the style, you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Castello di Volpaia
Castello di Volpaia Volpaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Rich deep ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is in mid stride, with some fruit and quite a bit of cedar; this is normal enough in barrel samples. On the palate it's ample,rich, and fruit driven, with bright jammy cherry fruit that gains definition from slight raspberry acidity, and is supported by smooth tannins that have cheeky brambly accents and graphite bitterness. It promises to be fairly luscious, in a rich and fruit driven way, but it will take it another year to reach the starting gate.

Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico
Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico Contessa di Radda Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep pigeon blood ruby with some orange in the rim, and black reflections. The bouquet is fairly bright, with cherry fruit supported by some sour berry fruit acidity and by underlying greenish cedar. On the palate it's deft, with fairly rich decidedly savory berry fruit supported by clean sweet tannins; the acidity is relatively low and more mineral than fruit derived, and the overall impression is pleasant but particular; if you like very savory wines, you will enjoy it, but if you prefer rounder more fruity flavors you will find it dry. Takes no quarter.
2 stars

Casaloste
Casaloste Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. Black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by greenish brambly acidity and some spice. Nice, in a very young key. On the palate it's rich, and fairly languid, with powerful jammy plum cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by smooth sweet tannins and brambly bitterness that flow into a rather tart bitter finish. It's a distinct change from Caseloste of old, with much riper fruit and much less acidity, and, to be honest, I preferred the older style, with its lively aggressiveness. This is soft, and will become softer with time.
1 star

Casaloste Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with quite a bit of cedar mingled with some sour berry fruit and slight spicy accents, though at present what rules is cedar. The palate reflects the nose, with ample plum prune fruit supported by warmth, more than acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a dusky cedar-laced finish with some cocoa accents. It's very well polished and the wood has subdued the fruit. If you like the style, it is well made, but you have to like heavily oaked reds. I found it a bit much.
1 star

Casaloste Don Vincenzo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and lively ruby rim. The bouquet is intense, with chewy berry fruit supported by slightly balsamic acidity and warmth, and quite a bit of cedar as well. Nice balance in an international key. On the palate it's ample, and rich, with ample fairly sweet berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean rather bitter finish. To be frank I found it lacking in acidity; what there is is mineral, and isn't really enough to perk it up. As a result it's large and rather settled.
1 star

Casa Sola
Casa Sola Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and white rim. The bouquet is intense, and pleasant, with fairly intense greenish accents mingled with red berry fruit and spice; it's still quite young and coming together, but has pleasant depth and is also fairly elegant. On the palate it's deft, with fairly rich brambly cherry fruit supported by dusky bitterness and some dusky acidity that flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. Pleasant, in a bitter rather than fruit driven key, and will drink quite well with grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Brancaia
Brancaia Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense and frankly oaky, with considerable elegant cedar supported by airy spice and fairly intense bitterness, which overshadow the fruit almost completely. This may change with time, but may not too. On the palate it's ample, with moderate fruit supported by mineral acidity and vanilla laced tannins. The other components carry the wine more than the fruit does, and it suffers thereby.
1 star

Castello D'Albola
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Barrel sample
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry plum fruit supported by cedar, and though it is obviously in midstride displays a certain grace. On the palate it's ample and rich, with fairly powerful cherry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright cherry finish. Pleasant, in a graceful approachable key, and by the time it has some bottle age it will be a perfect companion to simple grilled meats or light stews, and will, in the summer months, be a good cookout wine too for those who would rather a red to a chilled white. In short, versatile, and pleasing.

Castello di Radda
Castello di Radda Poggio Selvale Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense in a brambly aggressive key, with stable straw and bright slightly balsamic acidity and a savory underpinning; there's also tart mentholated berry fruit. On the palate it's pleasant, with rich sour cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins, while there is abundant brisk sour berry fruit acidity to provide direction, and it all flows into a fairly long warm sour berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. Pleasant, in a fairly traditional key, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or roasts, and also has the wherewithal to stand up to game or fattier cuts such as leg of lamb. If you like the style you will enjoy it very much, and it will also age nicely for a decade and perhaps more. A pleasant discovery!
2 stars

Castello di Radda Poggio Selvale Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by leather and fairly bright acidity; it's still developing, but promises well. Also some mentholated notes on the nose. On the palate it's medium bodied, with rich cherry fruit supported by lively sour cherry acidity and by smooth tannins that do have a fairly warm burr, and flow into a clean warm berry fruit finish. Pleasant, but needs another year for the nose to catch up with the palate. When it does, it will drink very well with foods, especially grilled or roasted meats, and is worth seeking out if you like the style, which is traditional and rather brash.
2 stars

Castello di Radda Poggio Selvale Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is rich, with cherry fruit supported by clean slightly vegetal brambly accents and deft mentholated spice, with some dappled shade as well. Quite nice, and a lot going on. On the palate it's rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by brisk sour cherry acidity that gains direction from brambly accents, while the tannins are smooth and sweet, with considerable backbone, and flow into a clean bright sour cherry finish. Graceful in a traditional key, and if you like the style it will drink very well with succulent roasts or stews, including those from richer meats such as lamb or venison. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
88-90

Castello il Palagio
Castello il Palagio Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with red berry fruit and spice; it's quite young, but has a certain depth to it, and nice balance. On the palate it's ample and rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by mineral acidity and tannins that have a warm splintery burr and flow into a clean fruit laced finish. Pleasant; it's a food wine more than a wine to drink by the glass, and will drink nicely with succulent grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Il Mandorlo
Il Mandorlo Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit up in the air, with vanilla and spice on the one hand, and some red berry fruit on the other. On the palate it's bright, with rich cherry fruit supported by lively cherry acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright finish. Brash, and promising, in a rather skittish key; if you like the style, which is fairly aggressive, you will enjoy it considerably with grilled meats or light stews

Fontodi
Fontodi Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with a good degree of cedar mingled with berry fruit and some spice. It's still developing, and has a ways to go. On the palate it's rich, in a luscious fruit driven key, with bright sweet ripe cherry fruit supported by moderately intense acidity that is quite enough to provide direction, and supported by tannins that still have a cedary imprint to them that has yet to fold in. Elegant, in an rich fruit driven international key, and quite welcoming. If you like the style you will enjoy it very much. But do give it at least a year.
2 stars

Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. Looks elegant. The bouquet is pungent, with cedar and spice mingled with some acidity, but not much fruit. It gives an impression of being in mid-stride and not happy to be disturbed. On the palate it's considerably further ahead though still a work in progress; the fruit is elegant, bright cherry fruit supported by clean bright berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have warm savory cedar accents, and flow into a clean distinctly savory cedar laced finish. It's a work in progress, and displays considerable potential, but it's simply not ready yet. Give it a year, or better two, and it will be very nice with a steak or roast. Give it longer, and it may become a meditation wine. But that's for the future.

Villa di Geggiano
Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with cherry fruit supported by clean greenish vegetal accents and warm alcoholic underpinning. Deft, with considerable depth, and has quite a bit to say. On the palate it's ample, with deft vegetal laced cherry fruit supported by bright acidity and clean smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean rich finish with an intriguing savory bitter underpinning. Quite pleasant in a rich traditional key, and will drink very well with grilled or roasted meats now. It also has the capacity to age well for 5-8 years at least, becoming lacy with time. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
88-90

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Lively ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, and vinous, with fairly warm cherry fruit supported by dusky acidity and some underlying bitterness, with clean vegetal accents as well. Nice balance and very young. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and tannins that are quite warm, and have a burr that flows into a clean sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant, in a fairly traditional key, and will drink well with grilled meats or lights roasts in the near term, though I would be tempted to wait, as it will reward those who can give it 3-5 years or more. It has quite a bit to say.
2 stars

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted at first swish; more swishing brings up bright sour cherry fruit supported by greenish mentholated accents and lemony acidity. On the palate it's more languid than I expected, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by soft languid cherry and lemon acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean cherry laced finish. It's a bit softer than some vintages, and a bit more relaxed. This said, it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Mannucci Droandi
Mannucci Droandi Ceppetto Chianti Classico DOCG 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim fading to almandine. The bouquet is eye opening, with laced with iodine and mentholated spice. Interesting, though it gives an impression of being up in the air. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with ample candied cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a sweet underpinning, and flow into a finish that has quite a bit of alcohol overlain by greenish cedar. It's disjointed, going in several directions at once, and I found the green tannic sweetness in the finish somewhat disquieting. I would give it a couple of years overtones get its bearings, but fear it will always be more dusky than bright.
1 star

Ormanni
Ormanni Borro del Diavolo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is intense, with fairly rich slightly jammy berry fruit underlain by intense cedar with some cocoa accents. Young, in a rich key, and has quite a bit to say. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by smooth deft cherry acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have slight vanilla overtones and flow into a long clean sour berry fruit finish. It's very young, and will benefit from several more years in bottle, though one could drink it now with a porterhouse steak and be very happy. A beautiful wine.
88-90

Ormanni Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with warm slightly balsamic cedar supported by spice and alcohol, but not much in the way of berry fruit. On the palate it's full, and rich, with fairly sweet languid cherry fruit supported by moderately intense sweetish acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr and flow into a clean dry tannic finish. It's in mid stride, more on the nose than the palate, and needs time to come together. When it does, in a year or so, it will be pleasant in graceful middle of the road key, and work well with grilled meats or roasts.
2 stars

Ormanni Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is intense, and quite young, with cut flowers and spice underlain by red berry fruit; it's nicely balanced and frankly luscious. On the palate it's ample, with smooth fairly sweet ripe cherry plum fruit supported by deft mineral acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a moderately long plum-laced finish with a slight tannic underpinning. It's fresh and young, and is a wine that I would drink sooner than later, because there isn't that much acidity holding it up. Pleasant in a richly fruit driven key, and if you like ample smooth soft wines you will enjoy it; it's almost better suited to being drunk by the glass rather than with foods. If you prefer more austere, more aggressive Chianti it won't work for you.
2 stars

Riecine
Riecine Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some dusky accents and spice mingled with slight red berry fruit and hints of underbrush; it's graceful but developing and has a ways to go. On the palate it's elegant, with rich cherry fruit supported by pleasant lemony acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long clean tart berry fruit finish with slight plum accents and a tannic underpinning. Quite pleasant, and it will reward those who have the patience to give it a year or two to develop. It will work very well with rich pasta sauces, grilled meats, and roasts.
88-90

Riecine Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Delicate almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is deft, with red berry fruit supported by lacy cedar and slight leafy underbrush that adds depth. Beautiful balance. On the palate it's full, and rich, with deft sour cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that display slightly balsamic warmth and flow into a fairly long warm sour berry fruit finish with, again, slight balsamic accents. Quite pleasant, and though it's a touch dry to drink by the glass, it will work very well with hearty roasts or stews, and will be hard to beat with a porterhouse steak. Expect it to age well for a decade or more.
88-90

Lamole di Lamole
Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006

Deep ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is elegant, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by spice and some greenish vegetal notes, also hardwood ash, savory accents and some sweetness. On the palate it's medium bodied, with berry fruit that's less bright than I expected, supported by smooth sweet tannins, moderate acidity, and an unusual sweetness that brings brown sugar to mind in the finish, which becomes peppery as it fades. It's particular, and may have overripened some in the vineyard. Pleasant enough in a middle of the road key but particular, if you prefer wines with more acidity it won't work as well for you.
1 star

Lamole di Lamole Vigneto Campolungo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and jammy with hints of brown sugar and spice more than fruit. Chewy, somehow. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by some mineral acidity, and by smooth tannins that flow into a clean fairly sweet finish. There's a hint of brown sugar to the finish too, and I found the fruit more non-descript than I might have liked.
1 star

La Porta di Vertine
La Porta di Vertine Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with rich alcohol and cedar balancing the honors between them, and underlying spice with some, but not much berry fruit. Lots of oak. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with sweet cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity, and by tannins that have a milky cedar feel to them, and flow into a fairly rich plum cherry finish that's also fairly long. The oak has called the acidity firmly to heel, and it's both smooth and fruit driven, in a quite ripe key. If you like this style you will enjoy it. If you prefer brighter more aggressive wines it won't work as well for you.
2 stars

La Poeta di Vertine Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with berry fruit and quite a bit of cedar mingled with a fair amount of alcohol, and mentholated overtones. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, and quite soft, with fairly rich cherry ft that gains softness from a degree of sweetness, and is supported by sour berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that are well polished, and flow into a clean fairly bright sour cherry fruit finish. Pleasant in an approachable key, what one might call ammiccante in Italian, which means finger-crooking. If you like the style, which is fairly lascivious, you will enjoy it; it brings to mind a pretty girl showing her finery.
2 stars

Agricola San Felice
San Felice Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with red berry fruit supported by clean hints of green leather and spice. Pleasant, and graceful in a rather austere key. On the palate it's delicate, with fairly rich, fairly sweet cherry fruit supported by warm citric acidity and by smooth fairly sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly delicate finish. Pleasant, in a more delicate key; if you like powerful concentrated wines it won't be enough for you. But if you prefer finesse, it is pleasant, and graceful, and will become lacy with time. A good bet with simple grilled meats, light stews, and will also be a good wine to enjoy with grilled meats outdoors.
2 stars

San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is dusky, with balsamic accents and acidity supported by greenish notes and hints of stable straw and leather. Pleasant in a traditional key. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly bright sour berry fruit supported by balsamic acidity and sweet splintery tannins that do display a burr, and flow into a fairly long dry warm finish with lsight balsamic overtones. It's a little more mature than some other 2006 wines, and is a bit more particular; if you like richer fruit driven wines it won't work as well for you. If you on the other hand prefer a more austere style, it is pleasant, and will age nicely, becoming lacy with time. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
2 stars

Fattoria di Rignana
Rignana Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is eye opening, with spice and gum Arabic mingling with lacy accents and some hionts of flowers, but not much fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by mineral rather than citric acidity and by tannins that are quite splintery, and flow into a cool splintery tannic finish that's close to tongue curling. I'd have liked more brightness than I found.
1 star

Villa Mangiacane
Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and quite young, with considerable cedar and some spice mingled with some red berry fruit, though it gives an impression of being in mid stride. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with moderately intense generic red berry fruit supported by mineral acidity that flows into a fairly dry tannic finish. I'd have liked greater richness to the fruit, and more depth to the acidity, which is brambly more than fruit driven.
1 star

Villa Sant'Andrea
Villa Sant'Andrea Borgoconda Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006

Dusky cherry ruby with black reflections and lively almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit rustic, with warm balsamic acidity supported by hints of stable straw, some mentholated spice and green leather, with underlying red berry fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by warm sour cherry acidity and clean soft tannins that flow into a warm smooth sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant, and more graceful than I expected from the nose; it is traditional in feel, and if you like smoother softer fruit forward wines it won't work as well for you. It grew upon me.
2 stars

San Vincenti
San Vincenti Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is graceful, with violets and warm cherry plum fruit supported by some jammy accents. Rich for a barrel sample. On the palate it's fairly rich, with berry fruit that's duskier than one might have expected from the nose, and an angry tannic underpinning that comes from the barrel. It's too young to say much about.

San Vincenti Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted; swishing brings up delicate red berry fruit supported by currant acidity and some spice, while there are also suggestions of sweetness and menthol, with peach skin as well. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with moderately intense generic red berry fruit supported by cedar-laced tannins that flow into a dry tannic finish. I'd have liked greater richness and depth to the fruit, which I found to flag.
1 star

Tenuta di Lilliano
Tenuta di Lilliano Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, with fairly rich forest berry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity that has some balsamic notes, and gains depth from some mentholated accents. On the palate it's rich, with elegant red berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and deft lemony berry fruit acidity that flow into a long clean warm finish. Graceful, in a fairly traditional key, and will drink very well with foods. Worth seeking out, nd even if you prefer smoother more fruit forward wines you will find aspects to enjoy.
2 stars

Vignamaggio
Vignamaggio Terre di Prenzano Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is pleasant, with cheeky cherry fruit supported by lively berry fruit acidity and some mentholated accents, with sweetish notes as well. Quite a bit to say. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by warm citric acidity that gains in intensity as the wine flows into the finish, while the tannins are smooth and fairly sweet, providing a tannic underpinning to the acidity of the finish. It's pleasant in a slightly overripe key whose sweetness is balanced by acidity, and while it isn't a wine to drink by the glass it will work well with grilled meats or light stews, and will also age nicely for 3-5 years.
2 stars

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, with floral accents and some wet clay mingled with spice and some cedar. It's lesser key, somehow, giving an impression of holding back. On the palate it's richer than the nose suggests, with pleasant cherry fruit supported by graceful acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long clean berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. Pleasant, though it needs at least a year for the nose to catch up to the palate, and will age thereafter for 5-8 years. It has a cheeky elegance to it, and will drink quite well with foods.
2 stars

Vignamaggio Castello di Monna Lisa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, in a rather overripe key, with plum prune fruit supported by dusky mineral acidity and a fair amount of alcohol. Gives an impression of softness. On the palate it's ample, with slightly brighter fruit than I expected, red cherry that gains direction from currant acidity, but is, overall, fairly soft, and flows into a clean fairly bright berry fruit finish with smooth tannic underpinning. It's quite pleasant, in an ample rich key that is fruit driven, but not overripe, a combination that's more difficult to find than one might expect. If you like ample fruit driven wines, it will drink well with succulent roasts or stews.
2 stars

Vignavecchia
Vignavecchia Chianti Classico DOCG 2007

Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, in a fairly rustic key, with balsam laced berry fruit supported by some wet stable straw and a fair amount of alcohol, also some savory accents. On the palate it's ample, and smooth, with rich cherry fruit supported by bright sour berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright tannic finish. It's middle of the road key, and will benefit from another year; it will drink nicely with grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Fattoria Ispoli
Fattoria Ispoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and a bit funky, with balsamic accents and spice mingled with balsamic acidity and hints of wet stable straw, and underlying it all some cedar. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long finish that has unusual brown sugar sweetness to it, mingled with a touch of savor. One has the impression that the grapes were very ripe when harvested, and the acidity as a result faded. If you like ample soft fleshy fruit driven wines you will enjoy it, but you have to like this style. If you prefer more aggressive acidities it won't work for you.
1 star

Fattoria Ispoli Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and penetrating, with hardwood ash and spice mingled with alcohol and some cocoa, and also with dried orange peel. Not much fruit and this may be youth, or it may be overshadowing by oak. On the palate it's ample and soft, with very ripe cherry plum fruit supported by some citric acidity, and by moderately intense tannins that flow into a clean fairly long fairly acidic finish. I found it to be a bit ample and a bit soft for my tastes, and would have preferred more depth and tightness, but if you like this big soft fairly sweet style it will drink well by the glass, or with drier meats such as roast pork loin.
1 star

Poggio Bonelli
Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

They don't declare it as a barrel sample, but the bottle had a special label for the presentation. The bouquet is up in the air, with peach fuzz and green peach sweetness mingled with some reduced accents. In mid stride and not happy. On the palate it's ample and very ripe, with rich cherry peach fruit that will likely shift towards plum with time, supported by sweetness and just enough acidity to keep it from settling, and by bitter savory tannins that flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's ample, soft, and fruit driven, and if you like the style you will enjoy it, though I would have liked more acidity to provide firmer direction.
1 star

Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with cherry fruit supported by some spice and slight mentholated accents, and also by deft cedar that supports without impinging. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by some sweetness, and by moderately intense minerality more than acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have an underlying bitterness tot them that continues into the finish. It's pleasant, though a touch more acidity would have given it more verve and life. I found it a bit flat, but the fruit is nice.
1 star

Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, with dusky red berry fruit supported by some balsamic accents and warmth, with some animal accents too,and slight underlying cedar. Nice balance and harmonious. On the palate it's rich, with clean cherry plum fruit supported by sour plum acidity and by ample smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long sour plum finish. It's a bit overripe, and it deflates rather quickly, fading into plum laced acidity, and that's long, as are the cedary tannins underpinning it, but I would have liked fruit that was not as overripe. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like big soft overripe wines.
1 star

Castello di Cacchiano
Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2005
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, and rather languid, with berry fruit supported by leaf tobacco and deft spice from the grapes, as well as some savory accents. It's beginning to mature, and has quite a bit to say. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by dusky berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long warm finish. Quick to write, but graceful, and will drink well with roasts or stews, though I would give it a few more years to develop, and expect it to age well for a decade or more. One of those wines one hates to pour out at a tasting.
90

Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2006
Elegant almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with some ut not too much berry fruit supported by mineral spice and hints of green leather, as well as alcohol; it gives an impression of being in mid stride and still developing. On the palate it's full, with rich cherry raspberry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and by deft lemony acidity that flow into a clean bright finish. The palate is pleasant, and well havead of the nose; I would give the nose a year to catch up, and then enjoy the wine with a steak or hearty stew.
2 stars

Il Colombaio di Cencio
Il Colombaio di Cencio I Massi Chianti Classico DOCG 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is greenish, with cedar and some black currant fruit supported by spice and dappled shade; it gives an impression of coolness. On the palate it's graceful, with ample soft cherry red currant fruit supported by deft red currant acidity and by smooth tannins that flow into a fairly soft currant-laced finish. Pleasant in a richly concentrated, soft, but not overripe fruit driven key, and if you like this style you will enjoy it. But you have to like the style. If you prefer tighter wines, it won't work as well for you, but I found myself rather enjoying it and thinking it's something one could sip by the glass.
2 stars

Il Molino di Grace
Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico DOCG 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with rich berry fruit supported by green leather and some acidity, and by some hardwood ash, with underlying sweetish accents as well. On the palate it's ample, with sweet soft cherry plum fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly bright berry fruit finish. It's ample and soft without being overripe, and in this context pleasant; if you like the style it will drink well with drier meats, for example roast pork loin. It also has sufficient acidity to age, and may do interesting things with time
2 stars

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