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The 2012 Chianti Classico Presentation

What Impressed Me

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Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 1999

Cherry ruby with pale rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with pleasant vegetal accents and cherry fruit supported by spice, in particular cumin, and savory notes; were the cumin stronger it would be animal, but it instead complements the rest of the b. On the palate it's bright, with deft cherry fruit supported by slightly greenish acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh slightly bitter cherry finish. Quite nice, and will be inspiring with a steak.
Score: 88

Caparsa Doccio a Matteo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is shit tight, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and slight spice, and also some strawberry fruit as well. Needs time. On the palate it's still coming together, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by spice and quite intense finely woven tannins that are at present rather dry, and flow into a dry tannic finish with lasting savory accents and hints of dried flowers. It's further behind than the Caparsino (see bleow), but perhaps has more potential, and when the tannins have folded in, in 2-3 years' time, will be very nice.
Score: 88

Borgo Casa al Vento Aria Chianti Classico DOCG 2009

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with bright berry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some spice, and by some strawberry acidity, with slight greenish accents as well. On the palate it's ample, with bright cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr, and flow into a clean fairly long berry fruit finish with dusky tannic underpinning. Pleasant, and quite fresh, it will drink very well with foods, and also will age nicely for many years.
Score: 88

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009

Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, with bright berry fruit supported by dusky slightly greenish acidity and clean spice, with some underbrush and some cedar mingled with hints of chalk dust. Quite young but there's quite a bit going on; it's much more complex than Peppoli and more traditional in feel. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright cherry fruit supported by deft vegetal-laced berry fruit acidity and pleasing savory accents, while the tannins are fairly smooth, though they do have a youthful Sangiovese burr and flow into a long fresh finish that combines berry fruit with savory accents and a tannic underpinning. Pleasant in a more traditional key and will drink quite well with red meats, especially off the grill.
Score: 86-8

Carparsa Caparsino Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2008

Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is shut tight, of the nobody home variety, though with swishing some floral accents and berry fruit emerge. On the palate it's bright, with rich, lively cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are slightly splintery, youth at work, and flow into a rather peppery finish. It's quite pleasant but woefully young, and needs another 3-5 years to be more presentable. A wine for the future, in a fairly traditional key, and if you like the style you will very much enjoy it, though in a while.
Score: 86

Villa Calcinaia Vigna Bastignano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009

Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with slight greenish vegetal accents mingled with sour berry fruit and some splintery notes; it has a deft feel to it. On the palate it's bright, with fresh sour cherry fruit supported by greenish wild strawberry acidity and by tannins that are dry and have a greenish cast and flow into a clean fairly bright finish. Pleasant, in a graceful key, and will drink very well with roasts and hearty stews.
Score: 87-8

Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2008

Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with jammy cherry plum fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some spice, and by some leaf tobacco as well, also some dried flowers. Pleasant in a fairly traditional but ripe key. On the palate it's bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour berry fruit acidity that also has some wild strawberry accents, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long clean sour berry fruit finish with some sweetness that is also alcohol. Quite pleasant though still very young, and while one could drink it now with succulent meats, it will reward those who have the patience to give it time. Something to think about if you're more traditionally minded.
Score: 86-8

Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by quite a bit of cedar and powerful spice, nutmeg in particular, and also by some delicate floral accents. Quite a bit going on in a decidedly international key. On the palate it's full, with bright red cherry fruit supported by warmth and acidity, and by tannins that are smooth with a clean savory cedar overlay that gradually fades into bitterness in the finish. Quite pleasant in a very international key, with ripeness but not overripe, and if you are of more international tastes you will enjoy it very much; even a traditionalist will find things to ponder.
Score: 86-8

Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2008

Deep cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is intense, with a great dela of cedar and some greenish accents with underlying berry fruit that is sufficient to (barely) emerge, with moderate acidity as well. Very international in style. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by fairly bright acidity, and by tannins that are ample and cedar laced, flowing into a warm savory cedar laced finish with fairly tart underpinning. A fellow taster might have liked more acidity, but I found it to be well balanced, with acidity and fruit working well together; what it needs is time because the nose is at least a year behind the palate. If you are not really traditionally minded you will enjoy it, however.
Score: 86-7

Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2008

From 2 vineyards, one planted on clays, the only clayey vineyard they have, and the other facing west. Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, with brambly cherry fruit supported by deft slightly vegetal acidity and by pleasing bitter accents, with slight cedar as well. On the palate it's deft, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by slightly dusky berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do have a certain peppery tang of youth, and flow into a fairly long slightly greenish sour cherry finish. Pleasant in a graceful key, and though it does need another year to get its bearings will age quite nicely, and be very nice with red meats.
Score: 86-7

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