Chianti. I’ve struggled a bit with it. It can be great, but often it’s a bit difficult and surly. It’s like a moody friend: you have to wait for the right time to approach it, but get it right and things can be great. More often than not, they are complicated. This is a lovely example of great Chianti, as long as you can get past the old fashioned label and genetically modified associations with the domaine name. The Bianchi family who own Monsanto have 72 hectares of vines in the Chianti Classico area, and this wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese with 7% Canaiolo and 3% Colorino, aged for 20 months in French oak. It’s an impressive wine, but it does need some time to show its best.
Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 Tuscany, Italy
14% alcohol. From a single vineyard. This is very supple with juicy cherry and plum fruit. It’s bright with a slightly sappy edge and some fresh raspberry notes, as well as a hint of tar. This is remarkably fresh and taut still, and clearly has a long future ahead of it. It has some grippy structure, but it’s not at all rustic, with keen acidity. The essence of fresh, structured Sangiovese, perfectly poised, but give it cellar time. 93/100 (£45 The Sampler) 12/14