2009 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva

SKU #1131656 93 points James Suckling

 A dense and solid Chianti Classico from a traditional producer that delivers a wine with chewy tannins and fruit, yet balanced and refined. Give it a year or two to open and soften.  (10/ 2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva is striking. Succulent dark cherries, flowers, mint and licorice burst from the glass in this exuberant, sexy Riserva. The tannins are nearly buried by the opulent fruit, but the wine retains great balance, while avoiding any sense of heaviness. The 2009 captures the heat and richness of the year while never abandoning its classic sense of structure. This is a superb wine from Monsanto with plenty of upside potential. Sweet floral notes add an elegant, feminine touch to the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.  (6/ 2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. A hint of game complements aromas of fresh flowers and spicy red cherry. Supple and sweet, with brisk acidity framing the dark fruit and licorice flavors. For such a fresh wine, this boasts impressive texture and breadth. Finishes with very good balance and lift.  (7/ 2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 *#31on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2012* A powerful and opulent style, this red displays ripe cherry, black currant, violet and tobacco aromas and flavors. The tannins are gripping on the finish, which lingers with sweet fruit and mineral accents. Well-proportioned. Best from 2014 through 2021.  (10/ 2012)

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Price: $17.99

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By: Greg St. Clair |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 10/1/2013  | Send Email
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I feel I should recuse myself from reviewing this wine, I like the style too much, I like the family too much and I like the region too much...I like this wine. Yet so many of my colleagues here at K&L as well as major critics all agree.....this is one great Chianti Classico. Classically styled, great earth, spice, fruit, acidity and integrated tannins, if you've had Monsanto before you know what I mean but what really separates this wine from the average Chianti Classico is the persistence of the its finish. I'm typing this note 5 minutes after tasting this wine (again) and it still has a presence on my palate, long, focused, impressive. The 2009 is perhaps just the slightly plumper sister than a couple of previous vintages, but it is just baby fat, this wine is the real deal, the baby fat just makes it more drinkable now.
Drink from 2013 to 2023

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.