WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

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WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:53 pm

I don’t know whether it has more to do with palate boredom on my part or disappointing performances on theirs, but my usual sub-$10 Italians (Banfi’s “Centine,” Falesco’s “Vitiano,” and Lucignano’s Chianti Colli Senesi) just haven’t been cutting it for me over the past couple of vintages. Hence the following audition for a new house red.


Poggiotondo “Palladio” Chianti 2004

Semi-clear medium garnet with red-orange glints. Woodsy red-fruit scents with a hint of bacony smoked meat. Medium-bodied with muted red flavors marked by acidity and modest tannins. Notably hollow in the middle. A passable five-buck Chianti that happens to sell for $10. 12.5% alcohol.


Fattoria Galiga “Codirosso” Chianti 2005

Since it’s a Kysela Pere et Fils import, I thought it’d be worth a shot. Medium ruby, clear but a little dusky. Dark-cherry nose, with some dust and earth and whiffs of alcohol and spice. Light-bodied. Crunchy-crisp acidity dominates the cran-grape notes. Gains a bit with air. Rough edge to the finish. The nose holds some promise, but this is a gawky young’un with an unpredictable future. Still, a decent five-buck Chianti that happens to sell for $7.50. 12.5% alcohol.


Vecchia Cantina Chianti 2004

Bright, clear medium ruby. Freshly washed red cherries on the nose, with faint hints of sandalwood and hard candy. Light-bodied, the palate is more about snappy acidity than fruit, but there’s a pleasant bit of depth to the red plum and light spice flavors. Soft tannins on the clean finish. The producer is a Montepulciano-based coop with a mostly unimpressive (IMO) line of more up-market Tuscan DOCG wines, including a Brunello and a couple of Vino Nobiles. But this is a charming, honest little quaffer. A dandy five-buck Chianti that happens to sell for $7. 12.5% alcohol.
FEAR THE TURTLE ! ! !
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:13 pm

I like Montepulciano d'Abruzzo a lot more in this price point. The grape seems to be better adapted to making inexpensive wine. (Not to mention that the Abruzzo co-ops do a lot of business in Tuscany...)
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby RichardAtkinson » Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:24 pm

Clinton,

Our House Chianti (cheap) is Querceto Chianti Classico...@ 9.00 / btl. The 03 is very good...none left down here unfortunately...but the 04 is good also. More earthy than a lot of chianti, but pretty nice with any simple fare that might benefit from a good dose of acidity.

It would be worth a try if you run across it.

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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:14 pm

Oliver--
Good point on the Md'A. Didn't know the Abruzzo co-ops did work in Tuscany (as if there wasn't already enough general confusion about "Montepulciano"). What's up with that?

Richard--
I've had that Querceto before and liked it, but it weren't no 9 bucks--more like $14. Nice price down your way. FYI, I think there are two similarly named wines, Q. di Castellana or something (which is the one we're talking about), and Castello di Q. or something (which is more expensive and more highly regarded).
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:23 pm

Clinton Macsherry wrote:Oliver--
Good point on the Md'A. Didn't know the Abruzzo co-ops did work in Tuscany (as if there wasn't already enough general confusion about "Montepulciano"). What's up with that?


They don't, officially, but I'd heard that a lot of M d'A ends up in Chianti bottles, and my M d'A producer confirmed it. I'd rather go straight to the source...
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:02 pm

Clinton,
Please keep up the good work. Let me know what you come up with and what I can expect to pay for it.
Cheers!
James
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Dave Erickson » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:43 pm

Dunno about MdA ending up in Chianti bottles, but I do know that Mario Ercolino is making Sangiovese in Montepulciano di Abruzzo under the brand name "Memo." The IGT is Terre di Chieti. It's a little fatter and rounder than its Tuscan brethren, but still quite pleasant to drink and comes in at $10. Signore Ercolino is formerly of Feudi di San Gregorio, maker of miraculously good white wines from the scorching Campania region.

Also, it's not exactly Chianti, but then it isn't exactly not Chianti: the famous Fossi Rosso, which is blended from various vintages (and quality levels) of Chianti and probably straight sangiovese from who knows where. The redoubtable C.V. Fossi, now three generations in Tuscany, buys excess inventories from winemakers around Chianti and puts out this great little red for $6. See the label on the "Selecting Wines For An Art Exhibit" thread.
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Re: WTN: Battle of the Cheapo Chiantis

Postby Oliver McCrum » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:29 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:Dunno about MdA ending up in Chianti bottles, but I do know that Mario Ercolino is making Sangiovese in Montepulciano di Abruzzo under the brand name "Memo."


Sangiovese in the Abruzzo, I imagine?
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