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Castellare Chianti Classico 2011

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS90
  • RP90
13.5% ABV
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • WS88
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A bright ruby red color, this Chianti Classico shows well-integrated aromas of ripe black cherries, forest floor, tobacco, and a hint of cedar spice. On the palate, it shows both firm structure and refreshing acidity, making it a versatile food wine.

Perfect for rich meat-based sauces, bean soups, barbecue, and roasted game.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A graphite aroma introduces a burst of fresh cherry flavor in this fluid, supple red, with ample tannins. The density carries the detailed fruit, spice and tobacco notes, with fine length. Drink now through 2022.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Chianti Classico delivers a classic interpretation of Sangiovese – called "Sangioveto" on Paolo Panerai's insistence – with 5% Canaiolo. The wine shows enormous fruit purity and floral lift that brings the bouquet to life before your eyes and nose. You'll want to stock up on these bottles and keep them handy for informal nights when friends or family stop by for dinner. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.
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Castellare

Castellare

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Castellare, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Image of winery
The vineyards of this 46 acre estate are found in a natural amphitheater in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region. The story of Castellare is the story of Paolo Panerai, who entered the world of winemaking at age 37 after a career in Italian journalism. Panerai feels it is important to understand and respect the experience of the world's best wineries and to apply this understanding to viticulture in Italy. He has great respect for technology from other winemaking regions and chooses to utilize this technology to move forward while rediscovering and reshaping some of the great traditions of Tuscany.

The birds on Castellare's labels symbolize Panerai's commitment to environmentally sound cultivation. Herbicides are not used, nor are any systemic pesticides. Chemical treatment of any kind is shunned. Hunting is also prohibited on the property. As a result of these practices, the property has become a virtual refuge for wildlife, including many of the birds pictured on the labels.

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 undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky 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.

MNC3723F_2011 Item# 123470