jamie goode's wine blog: Three Chiantis

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Three Chiantis

Three Chiantis last night. I dunno about you, but Iíve never really got into Chianti. Most of them tend to fall into one of two camps: either basic, honest, dark cherry fruited examples with a bit of plummy bitterness and a savoury streak, or souped-up, rather oaky Chiantis with the foot full down on the throttle. Iím not terribly keen on either.

These three were nice enough wines, but considering their price tags, disappointed a bit. I liked the fact that they were savoury, with good acidity, but I came away a little underwhelmed: there wasnít quite enough to grab the attention. Of course, itís too small a sample to draw any conclusions from, and it needs to be borne in mind that both 2002 and 2003 were problematic vintages here.

Poggio Torselli Chianti Classico 2003
Ripe, sweet cherry fruit nose with some spicy 'old cask' and mineral/tar notes. The palate is midweight with a tarry, tannic, subtly herbal edge to the cherry and red fruits. A drinkable food wine, but perhaps a little dilute to be really good. Sappy and savoury, I guess. Very good+ 87/100 (£10.95 Flying Corkscrew)

Casaloste Chianti Classico 2004
Sweet dark cherry fruit nose with a savoury twist and some tarry minerality. Slightly roasted. The palate is a little sappy with midweight fresh cherryish fruit. Nice acidity gives it a savoury, food friendly personality. Juicy but perhaps a little lacking in concentration considering the price tag. Very good+ 88/100 (£14.95 Jeroboams)

Cecchi Monteguelfo Chianti Classico Riserva 2002
Light colour. Evolved earthy nose leads to a soft, savoury palate with an earthy character and a drying finish. Drinkable and not without some charm, but disappointing. Very good 82/100 (£9.99 Thresher, Wine Rack)

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At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Alcohol Testing Info said...

With the multitude of alcohol-related horror stories in the news these days it seems to me that you and other wine lovers (and wine tasters) need to get your message out to more people. In 2007, let people know that drinking wine in moderation has been shown to have many health benefits. Spread the news about the fun and good times you have experienced with wine drinking and wine tasting :-)

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Colin said...

I'm like you - I haven't really got into Chiantis either and that is despite an excellent visit and lunch to Castelli di Verrazanno (named after the explorer) in Tuscany where the improvement over the years through their range was illustrated over an excellent lunch.

But it would help if I liked cherries, Sangiovese's typical taste!

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Alcohol test info - this post looks alarmingly like spam, which won't earn you many customers here.

Colin, thanks for your comment. I love cherries - particularly the ripe, succulent ones you can buy for virtually nothing in Portugal during the summer and gorge yourself on. I also had a nice experience visiting Vallado once in June and finding a laden cherry tree in one of their vineyards. Cherries rock!

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Doug said...

Jamie - cherries rock? Surely cherries stone?

Weak, I know.

Colin, you're plum-right - the sour-cherry-taste profile is very much Italian and particularly Sangiovese. Look at words such as ceregio, morellino, cerasuolo with reference to wines.

And whilst I adore Italian reds I'm as often as not disappointed by Chianti Classico which can either flashy and hollow or thin and astringent like stewed tea according to whether it's made in a modern extractive, oaky style or in an unreconstructed, old-fashioned way. Chianti Classico ideally should trip the delicate line between fragrant and meaty (or bloody since Sangiovese derives from an Occitan expression meaning the "blood of Jove"). Isole e Olena's is a beautiful example as is Podere Le Boncie's.

Keep loving those cherries!


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