2004 Rocca di Montegrossi "San Marcellino" Chianti Classico

SKU #1040464 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The estate's top Chianti bottling, the 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva San Marcellino is made from 100% Sangiovese and spent 18 months in French Allier oak barrels. It reveals a powerful, brooding expression of scorched earth, tobacco, dark fruit and toasted oak. The layers of fruit need bottle age to gain volume and depth while the building tannins require time to settle down even though the use of French oak is very refined. This wine of superb weight and density offers temendous potential. Readers looking for a powerful style of Sangiovese will love this wine, but patience is required. Simply put, this is a terrific effort from Rocca di Montegrossi. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. (AG)  (6/2008)

91 points Vinous

 Good full red. Ripe strawberry, red cherry jam, grilled meat and marjoram on the nose. Then very fruity and forward in the mouth and considerably less spicy than the '06, with opulent red cherry and plum flavors. The finish is long and velvety-smooth, but with youthfully chewy tannins providing support. (ID)  (7/2010)

K&L Notes

There was a fight over the last glass out of this bottle, incredibly rich, complex and gorgeously long. A stunning bottle. The wine has a tiny bit of tartrates as sediment you should decant. (12/2008) (Greg St.Clair K&L's Italian Buyer)

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Price: $44.99
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Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/22/2008 | Send Email
I will apologize up front, I'm going to buy a lot of this, so there will be fewer bottle for the rest of you! This is great wine from a single vineyard that looks as if it were glazed with exfoliating Galestro soil! This is amazing sangiovese. Pure is the first word that comes to mind to describe it. It has that classic dark cherry fruit that is highlighted by savory sotto bosco spiciness. The wine is intense, with a broad mid-palate and just enough tannin to give it a firm gentleman farmer’s handshake. The acidity gives this wine a brilliant core from which the fruit and earth really shine. The finish is great, it just goes and goes. The best thing is that this wine will really satisfy anyone looking for immediate gratification, but if you can wait, this wine will be unspeakably incredible in 10 years (I can’t wait!).

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2008 | Send Email
Cinnamon and I just bought a case of this for our cellar. This is exactly what I want from great red wine- typicity, class, refreshment, and (I'm betting with my own money!) the ability to age. Chianti Classico is the most undervalued great red wine region in the world to me, with its only competition coming from old school Rioja. Perhaps the prices are kept low by a persisting image of straw basket bottles blended with large amounts of over-cropped Trebbiano or perhaps it is because fashion diverts attention south to the lower acid, higher tannin wines of Montalcino. Whatever the reason, I am applying my father's cellar building principal to my aggressive purchasing of these wines now- "hit 'em where they ain't"- buy great wines when they are out of fashion! This wine is tight as a tick right now, but has just the right balance of modern polish and great vineyard terroir for the long haul. The pure cherry sangiovese fruit is there, the texture is there and the length is there in spades! The 2004 San Marcellino may be the best value in cellar worthy red in our entire Italian selection, and it is going down into my cellar next to the 1999 and 2001.
Drink from 2010 to 2024

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- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


Specific Appellation:


- Chianti is the most famous wine name in Italy is not the name of a grape but actually a region. Chianti lies in the 35 miles of hills between Florence and Siena, a complex geological region as well as geographically. The extraordinary geography makes grape growing a very challenging feat with multiple exposures and soil types on the same estate. The region comprises 9 different communes not dissimilar to Bordeaux wherein each commune has a particular characteristic that shows in the wine. The wine is made predominantly Sangiovese, the grape must comprise at least 80% of the blend. Chianti Classico is the "classic" region, though many other nearby regions now use the name "Chianti" to make similar wines. The "Gallo Nero" or Black Rooster on many of the Chianti Classico bottles is a private consortium of producers who try and control the direction of production and quality amongst their members.