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Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2009

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP93
  • WS92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

#31 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

This Chianti Classico Riserva is ruby red tending towards garnet. The bouquet is rich, intense and complex with notes of black cherry and spice. On the palate, it is full-bodied with rich red berry fruit flavors complimenting a backbone of tannin.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva is striking. Succulent dark cherries, flowers, mint and licorice burst from the glass in this exuberant, sexy Riserva. The tannins are nearly buried by the opulent fruit, but the wine retains great balance, while avoiding any sense of heaviness. The 2009 captures the heat and richness of the year while never abandoning its classic sense of structure. This is a superb wine from Monsanto with plenty of upside potential. Sweet floral notes add an elegant, feminine touch to the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A powerful and opulent style, this red displays ripe cherry, black currant, violet and tobacco aromas and flavors. The tannins are gripping on the finish, which lingers with sweet fruit and mineral accents. Well-proportioned. Best from 2014 through 2021.
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Castello di Monsanto

Castello di Monsanto

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Castello di Monsanto, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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In 1961 Fabrizio Bianchi, a successful textile manufacturer from Milan, purchased Castello di Monsanto and, in so doing, realized a long-held dream. Captivated by the beauty of Tuscany and convinced of the property's winemaking potential, Bianchi undertook the complete restoration of the vineyards and winery, while his wife, Giuliana, oversaw the restoration of the villa. Bianchi has relentlessly pursued the highest standards of quality, with particular emphasis on grape selection, natural vinification and a judicious use of technology.

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.

FED601141_2009 Item# 121176