2015 Casaloste Chianti Classico

SKU #1336370 94 points Wine Spectator

 A beauty, silky and packed with dark cherry, leather, iron and earth aromas and flavors. Harmonious and long, with a well-integrated structure and a mineral-tinged aftertaste. (BS, Web-2017)

92 points Vinous

 The 2015 Chianti Classico is a bold, juicy wine. Black cherry, lavender and expressive spice provide much of its exotic, alluring personality. Lush and racy, but with vibrant fruit and tons of Sangiovese structure, the 2015 is a winner. (AG)  (1/2018)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/7/2018 | Send Email
I can't tell you how many people walk into the store, ask for a GREAT red wine and then scrunch their face up when I recommend Chianti. I get it. Sure there's crap Chianti, but there's crap being made nearly everywhere. I blame restaurants for relying on a classic name and deferring the blame. Nonetheless, for those in the know Chianti remains one of the most exceptional overall regions with a few absolute gems scattered throughout. This 2015 Casaloste is exactly that. This isn't thin acidity basket wine, this is bold rich dark fruited and structured. What might be an overly harsh tannin in a lesser vintage is the perfect counterpoint to the dense black and purple fruit. That means we've got something that's going to just keep getting better in the cellar. It doesn't have the international appeal that some of the ultra ripe style Classicos do, but for any lover of bold structured wines (I'm looking at you Napa lovers) it will be difficult to replicate this experience for less. And while the wine definitely appeals to the broader market, it still has this wonderful rusticity -a hint of gritty texture and subtle savory high note hat will satisfy even the most curmudgeonly connoisseur.

Staff Image By: Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2018 | Send Email
It is hard to find a Chianti Classico under $20 that is worth a look, but the Casaloste falls into that small category! 95% Sangiovese brings depth and complexity to the wine. It fills the glass with savory earth while allowing a beautiful weight of fruit from the excellent 2015 vintage take charge. (All without skimping you on the acidity!) A touch of merlot rounds out the tannin structure to be presently pleasant and a little french oak added for some spice and good measure.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2018 | Send Email
This is a classic in every sense of Chianti Classico, a Panzano producer with character and verve. I've always liked Casaloste but more intellectually than hedonistically, but in this vintage they've put everything together. This is a wine with tannic structure, grit and earth but in this vintage the glorious fruit of 2015 gives those big bones a jacket of supple richness and sweet fruit. Layers of spicy fruit, bright, clean and superbly aromatic. This isn't a simple wine it is just low priced, there is a lot to love hear but it is definitely something to have with food or drop in the cellar for a decade...yes a decade this wine will be tremendous in a decade!
Drink from 2018 to 2025

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/1/2018 | Send Email
This is exactly what I want in a Chianti: Bright fruit flavors driven by lively acidity, slightly grippy tannins, a hint of earth and a real affinity for food, particularly savory and salty things: anything topped with grana padano cheese, charcuterie, grilled sausages. I believe this is one of the more satisfying Chianti's we have featured in a while - molto tipico y delicioso!

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2018 | Send Email
It makes me hungry just thinking about how perfectly this gorgeous Chianti will pair with food. Serious structure well-balanced by dark berry fruit, the harmonious 2015 Casaloste is a crowd pleasing red with depth: its rich palate restrained by earthier, almost savory herbal notes, with solid tannins on the finish. Plus it’s barely twenty bucks and it even has points – mangia!

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2018 | Send Email
I hate to admit, I'm the guy who steers people away from basic Chiantis unless it's from one of my favorite producers - Rocca di Montegrossi, Fontodi or Felsina. I'm a sucker for northern and southern Italian reds and often find mid-tier Chianti a little lacking. You usually have to go up market to get something really special and complex. But here is something that delivers gorgeous Chianti flavors at a price that makes it an upstart to some of the bigger boy wines from one of those other producers I mentioned. Detailed and utterly pleasing, the Casaloste has flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry, savory spices and hints of floral fruits. There's a touch of back bone here in the structure that says, I'm good to rest for a few years or drink me with a big plate of bolognese. Utterly sophisticated and pleasing, I could easily see, Casaloste joining the ranks of my other favorite producers if they keep delivering wines at this quality.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2018 | Send Email
This is bold, dark and structured with earth and mineral tones streaking through the deeply fruited middle. Traces of cocoa and oak add aromatic complexity and flavor but the ripe tannins beg for hearty food. Bring on the chicken cacciatore or eggplant parmigiana.

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2018 | Send Email
This is a lot of a Chianti for under twenty bucks! Casaloste is a small family farm in the foothills of Tuscany, and they produce just a few thousand cases a year using entirely estate-owned, organic vines in the heart of Chianti Classico. Think rich savory wild berries and dark cherries, notes of mocha and herbs with nuances of smoke and toast from French barrels. It has supple, elegant tannins due to the little bit of Merlot, and great acidity from the Sangiovese for a long, focused finish. Get me some gabagool!

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2018 | Send Email
Beautiful, bold, rich expression of Sangiovese for those looking to get into a perfectly priced full-bodied Chianti. This wine gives dark fruit, leather, and some earth on the nose while giving way to red cherry, blackberry, and solid coating tannin. While there is plenty of boldness in this bottle, everything here works together to bring about a pleasing wine experience.

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.