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Castagnoli Chianti Classico Riserva 1998

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Deep, intense ruby-red in colour, wrapped in complex and highly refined olfactory sensations which gradually evolve from the vanilla, to spices and to liquorice. This is a full, rich and consistent wine with great harmony and depth and long aromatic persistence

    Critical Acclaim

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    Castagnoli

    Rocca di Castagnoli

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    Rocca di Castagnoli, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    Castagnoli is a small estate in Castellina in Chianti on the western edge of the Chianti Classico DOCG. This estate possesses a striking terroir, one of Chianti’s most beautiful. Steep terraces are carved out of a western facing amphitheatre below the winery. The soil is highly decomposed and flaky galestro schist. The Sangiovese vines are pruned and trellised like Syrah of the northern Rhône, with one wooden stake per vine. There are several small micro-terroirs that are vinified separately and ultimately blended into the estate’s three wines: Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, or IGT Toscano Rosso “Salita.” Salita is a single parcel of higher-altitude terraces with southern exposition. The name “Salita” refers to the sun-baked nature of the section of the vineyard.

    Owner Alfred Schefenacker is the driving force behind this tiny estate with amazing potential. He is intent on restoring and developing it into one of the finest estates in Chianti. The Castagnoli terreno is one of cool climate, high altitude Sangiovese (vines are planted higher than 1000 feet above sea level) but one with a lot of lower-end depth and concentration. High-toned aromatics including blood orange are on display, a medium-full bodied frame with smoked meat, black olive and rosemary to complement the red fruits, solid acidity and tannin. It is a unique style in Chianti born of a unique terroir, and it possesses a cool elegance that makes it immediately drinkable and very pleasurable though it will age well.

    Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all: sweeping views of rolling hills, the warm Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine and a rich artistic heritage. Chianti includes many subzones but its best quality generally comes from Chianti Classico, Colli Fiorentini and Chianti Rufina.

    Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 15% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Colorino and Mammolo, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are allowed as long as they are grown within the same zone.

    Basic, value-driven Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner. At its apex, Chianti is full bodied but with good acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic and tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    YNG1477327_1998 Item# 24522