February 2010: Chianti DOCG (Tuscany)

March 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment


Ken O’Hara, Catherine Reynolds & Matt Gubitosa at the blind tasting

Chianti doesn’t always speak to the American market as these are classic food wines intended to be enjoyed with the acidic foods that are found in Tuscany, e.g. tomato based sauces. When Americans try this type of wine as a sipper, it can be a little tart … but with the right pairing it’s a match made in heaven. Apparently, though, the panel didn’t need food to be wowed! I don’t think we’ve ever had such across the board agreement in the scoring of the wines nor have the overall scores ever been this high. They loved these wines!  Hope you will too …

 
Ken adoring the lineup after the unveiling

EXCELLENT (90-95 points)
San Felice 2005 Chianti Classico Riserva
(93 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $23
Tasting Notes: N: nice gamey nose, wet hair, spicy dark bing cherry, big fresh fennel beams on the nose. P: juicy yet firm flavors of black cherry forest cake, winter spices, game roast, fennel and good times, leathery oak. (Ken) Tasting Notes: Big nose – purple flowers, spice – it’s like smelling a bottle of Calvin Klein. The mouth? Let’s just say it reminds me of a gorgeous day in Tuscany, the kind that includes wild boar, veal meatballs, squash gratin & vin santo as a chaser. All al fresco of course! Salute – I love Italy! (Gina) Tasting Notes: Gorgeous, very inviting nose. Aromas of black cherries, licorice, wild flowers, rosemary and thyme. Fantastic weight, depth and length. Very elegant and complex. Beautiful integrated acidity and tannins. Flavors are herbal with lots of blackberries and black cherries with hints of earth. A beauty! (Jens)

Fattoria di Felsina 2007 Chianti Classico (92 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $29
Tasting Notes: It can’t get better than this. Classic Chianti aromas of dark fruit, dark cherries and leather with lots of herbal components. Harmonious, elegant, well-balanced. Gorgeous texture with superb acidity. Flavors of dark black cherries, balckberries, rosemary and thyme. Long, elegant finish with fine tannins. (Jens) Tasting notes: Cherry skins, dusty, sail to the old world, violets, floral notions on palate, very supple, sprinkling of spices. (Catherine) Tasting Notes: N: warm baked plums, summer savory, Mexican farm leather, supple & round. P: Medium weight, summer herbs, beautiful dried cherries, cocoa. (Ken)

Rocce delle Macie 2003 Chianti Classico Riserva de Fizzano (91 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $41
Tasting Notes: Nose – stinky mushroom, olive pits and campfire. Whoa – massive explosion of plums, tar and tannins – but I love it. I’m still licking my teeth from the viscosity. Complex and a finish that lingers. (Gina)  Tasting Notes: Beautiful color. Very inciting aromas of blackberries and black currants with floral and herbal notes. Beautiful mouthfeel. Good concentration and complexity. Wonderful length and depth, lots of layered dark fruit with some leather and tar. Fine tannin on the long finish. (Jens)  Tasting Notes: Medium red color. Cherry candy aroma but hints of yogurt and sulfur. Elegant medium body. Balanced acidity but nice lingering tannic finish. (Matt)

Viottolo 2005 Chianti Classico Riserva (91 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $21
Tasting Notes: translucent, plummy, wet earth like walking into an old village, very very nice, feminine & graceful, touch of passionfruit/apricot. (Catherine)  Tasting Notes: Fresh raspberries in the nose, caramel & violets. Balanced acidity – fresh fruit follows through on the mouth. Smooth on the finish – I’m thinking salami and pecorino … Bring it! (Gina)

Borgo Scopeto 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva (90 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $35
Tasting Notes: N: Cherry candies, cherry cordials, anise stewed cherry sauce with duck!, cherry cola. P: WOW! Priorat-like, more stewed cherries, cinnamon sticks, bouquet garni, mocha. (Ken)  Tasting Notes: Intoxicating, smoky, bacon, black cherry. In the mouth, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Chewy, earth, crazy good dark fruit. I’m going to help myself to another taste … “just to make sure.” (Gina)

Bibbiano 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva (90 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $31
Tasting Notes: Inciting aromas of dark fruit with thyme and oregano – wonderful acidity and concentration. Elegant, comoplex with wonderful flavors of blackberries, blackcherries, violets, wildflowers and lots of herbal components. Long, long excellent finish with fine tannins. (Jens)  Tasting Notes: Animally, dark brooding fruit, cassis, liqueur-like, mouth-filling ripemess, feels modern, toast spread with jam, raspberries. (Catherine) 

Borgo Scopeto 2006 Chianti Classico (90 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $18.50
Tasting Notes: N: dusty violets, dried crushed rose petals, sun-dried cherries, roasted fennel. P: super dry, yet seriously firm flavors of spicy tobacco, cherry wood, plums & herbs. (Ken)  Tasting Notes: Black currants, something funky on the palate, black licorice, serious but juicy, toasted marshmellow finish. (Catherine)

VERY GOOD (85-89 points)
Renzo Masi 2006 Chianti Riserva
(89 points)
Region: Tuscany, Italy; Varietals: Sangiovese; Retail: $16.50
Tasting Notes: Dark red wine. Very pleasant aromas of freshly cooked cherries or cherry pie with hints of clove & cinnamon, medium body but powerful cherry liquor-like flavors, with zesty, almost fracing acidity and a lingering, almost bitter tannic finish. (Matt)  Tasting Notes: Nose: dark plum spice – mushroom; luscious round black fruit, probably would be more complex with more time to breathe … breakfast tomorrow? (Gina)

February 2010 Tasting Panel:  Jens Strecker, Gina Gregory, Ken O’Hara, Catherine Reynolds, Matt Gubitosa.

A special welcome back to Catherine who has spent the last year recovering from an aneurysm.  Look at her … she looks wonderful!

The following wines are in-stock or can be ordered at the following local wine shops: Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar
email: info@portaliswines.com
phone: 206-783-2007

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January 2010: Southern Rhône (France) March 2010: Oregon Pinot Noir

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