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Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2009

Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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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 Classico, 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.

Chianti Classico

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One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century for its superiority, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.

However, by the 1930s the Italian government’s Dalmasso commission added land to this historic zone in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico is therefore no longer a subzone of Chianti.

Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Itaaly's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino

Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and 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 success growing in California and Washington.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. 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 fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as 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