The wine offers a brilliant ruby red color. As time passes, the hue is enriched with garnet tones that, as the years go by, lighten further toward orange with an ochre tint typical of Tuscan wines. The aroma is satisfyingly intense, fine and elegant, with light scents of ripe fruits and violets. As it evolves, the wine develops an appealing bouquet that is full and complex. It possesses a pleasant fullness and an outstanding balance of body and structure. Somewhat austere in its youth, the wine softens with age, becoming velvety and developing prolonged and appealing aromatic persistence.
This Chianti Classico best accompanies main course meat dishes made with rich sauces, every type of roasted and braised preparation, grilled red meats and game. It is also perfect with aged cheeses, particularly those with rather piquant flavors. It should be served at a temperature ranging from 61-64º F, and should be opened a couple of hours before the wine is to be served, especially if it has been aged four years or more.
Castello D'Albola Winery
The Castello d'Albola estate is situated above the town of Radda, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in the province of Siena, Tuscany. Established in the 11th century, Castello d'Albola was initially owned by the Monterinaldi family. Over the centuries it was transferred to the Samminiati, Pazzi and Ginori-Conti families, and finally to the Zonin family.
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One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.