2010 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva

SKU #1145220 95 points Decanter

 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.

92 points Antonio Galloni

 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.  (8/ 2013)

92 points James Suckling

 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.  (9/ 2013)

91 points 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.  (8/ 2013)

90 points 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  (3/ 2014)

90 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (10/ 2013)

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By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/22/2014  | Send Email
Remember your last trip to Tuscany...a great bottle of Chianti, bread, olive oil, cured meats and cheese...then you came home and tried to recreate it but never could get the wine to taste right...It's an experience that many have. Often the ambiance simply isn't right. Other times the wines just aren't available. However as soon as I tasted this Monsanto Riserva I was transported back to that place, sitting in the Boboli Gardens smelling the herbs and warm Tuscan earth. This wine has all that rustic charm that you often find in Chianti but with just a touch more purity and poise than the table wine served by the liter that you fell in love with back in Firenze! Aromatic red fruits, scorched earth, leather and spice. Medium bodied with nice fresh acidity and a good balance of fruit and savory. This might just be the one that you have been looking for!

By: Illya Haase |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/10/2014  | Send Email
This was my first introduction into Italian wines. I have loved Chianti ever since. This particular vintage is the best I have tasted. This is text book Tuscan earth. With a richness of spice and black cherry. It is worthy of any red meat or roast you can throw at it! So if you are going to pick up just one bottle this is the one. Trust me you will be back for more.

By: Mike Parres |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/10/2014  | Send Email
I met Fabrizio Bianchi from Monsanto in the early eighties and have been a fan and follower ever since. Mr. Bianchi is certainly one of the earliest pioneers in trying to change the image of Chianti as well as the grapes involved. Fabrizio is a big believer in Sangiovese, the main grape in Chianti and the backbone of most Tuscan wines. He was one of the first in Chianti to make wines 100% Sangiovese in the early '70s. The terroir of this region is evident and expressed consistently, spicy, mineral laden, complex fruits and good acidity. I love this 2010, but be warned! It will go quick!

By: Greg St. Clair |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/10/2014  | Send Email
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The fabulous 2010 vintage provides another stunning wine. Monsanto was one of my first loves in Italian wine. It is amazing how they have maintained such high quality for so long, without ever changing style. This wine has more richness, a broader fuller feel on the palate than for most of their wines and the aromatics are a lot more open and vibrant but underneath you can feel the classic Monsanto length and depth. So much fruit now but that baby fat will go away in a year or so and then it will age extraordinarily well.
Drink from 2014 to 2025

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Sangiovese

- 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.
Country:

Italy

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Tuscany

Specific Appellation:

Chianti

- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14