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La Maialina Chianti 2008

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP88
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Winemaker Notes

Ruby red in color. Bright aromas and flavors of red cherries and ripe strawberries with hints of sweet spices and a soft finish.

Critical Acclaim

RP 88
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 Chianti is a very serious wine for the money. The floral aromatics render an impression of accessibility but the darkness and richness of the fruit that follow hint at a far more important pedigree. Dark red berries, flowers and minerals add the final notes of complexity on the impressive finish.

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La Maialina

La Maialina

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La Maialina, , Italy
La Maialina
La Maialina celebrates the history, culture and cuisine of Chianti, prized since antiquity for its rich soil and favorable climate. Rolling hillsides lend themselves to the optimal cultivation of the Sangiovese grape, ripening to perfection during the dry, warm summers. The La Maialina wines express the essence of Tuscany and the tradition of quality that defines this historic region. The name La Maialina (little pig) references the Cinta Senese heirloom breed that originated in the Siena area during the 1300’s and is the only Tuscan native pig to survive extinction. Produced by the revered Attilio Pagli, La Maialina Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Chianti Classico Riserva are crafted to express the essence of the territory and tradition of quality of this historic region. Settled first by Etruscan then the Romans, the earliest documentation of a “Chianti wine” dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the “Chianti Mountains” around Florence. The Chianti denomination was first delimited in 1932 by ministerial decree and its boundaries have remained unchanged.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina...

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By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

SWS150914_2008 Item# 121622

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