2010 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
Very immediate on the nose, with ripe summer fruit and hints of powder puff and pot pourri. Very young and intense but still a little unsettled on the palate, with some traditional oak aromas still to be assimilated, intriguing complexity and great potential.
Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on Monsanto's 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, a wine that captures the full pedigree of this great Tuscan vintage, and at a reasonable price. Brisk, saline notes form the backbone, as this expressive, nuanced Riserva shows off its focus, delineation and pure clarity. One of the best wines of the year in its price range, the 2010 is all class. Juicy dark berries, flowers, tobacco and spices add complexity over time, but it is the wine's overall finesse that makes the most lasting impression of all. Monsanto has been a bit inconsistent in recent years, but when they get it right the results are striking, as the 2010 Riserva amply proves. This is a fabulous showing. (AG)
This is very aromatic with dried flowers and black cherries. Full body, with very fresh acidity and beautiful fruit. This is long and racy. So delicious now with a mineral undertone and a clean finish. Drink or hold.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva sees more contact with barrel (neutral tonneaux and barrique) but you can hardly tell. This stunning expression exudes femininity and elegance. Wild berries, tar, licorice and balsam herbs emerge softly from the bouquet. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. Castello di Monsanto makes wines that I buy and drink often. They offer great value and few producers reproduce the beautiful aromas and perfumes of Tuscany as well as Laura Bianchi and her family. (ML)
Wine & Spirits
Layering scents of plum skin and cherries over roasted tomatoes, this wine is broad and rich. The tannins feel round but still carry an edge, helping to lend clarity and focus to the flavors. Substantial enough for pasta with boar ragu.
Cherry, raspberry, leather and spice flavors highlight this rich, succulent red, which is firm, yet balanced and integrated, with a long, cherry- and spice-tinged finish. Best from 2015 through 2025.