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A Classic in 2015 Chianti: WS94, Sub-$20 Gem from Tuscany's Next Great Vintage - 02/08/2018 - Italy

As the lowest priced Chianti Classico to ever receive a 94 point rating from the Wine Spectator, the value of the 2015 Casaloste Chianti Classico is incontestable. This limited production red comes for a small, but highly regarded estate in the Panzano region of Chianti Classico. It combines a traditional, classic style of Chianti with a more fruit driven profile and to magnificent effect. A real crowd pleaser, it is done up in an open-knit style while still offering the pleasant rustic touches unique to this historic region. The 25-year-old property of Casaloste takes a very hands-on approach by employing organic practices and limiting production to ensure they have control over the entire winemaking process from vine to bottle. While it is a thrill to drink now in its youth, this 2015 also has the scaffolding to age for a decade or more. This will be an excellent candidate to revisit again and again to follow its evolution. As a category, Chianti Classicos are becoming more and more expensive with each passing vintage, which makes finding a value as good as this extra special. Whether you a Chianti fanatic or simply love a great food-friendly red, the Casaloste is a perfect excellent choice.

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2015 Casaloste Chianti Classico ($19.99)

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)" (01/2018)

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 07, 2018

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 ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 05, 2018

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 ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 05, 2018

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!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 01, 2018

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 ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

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 its barely twenty bucks and it even has points mangia!

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

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 ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

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 ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

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!