2011 Domini Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico
95% Sangioveto and 5% Canaiolo. Medium-bodied; with smooth tannins, and good acidity; showing cherry, plum, and earthy aromas/flavors; rather meaty, and lightly floral. Compact, but already approachable, though it will certainly benefit from several more years. Excellent.
2010 Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico
100% Sangioveto, as usual. Medium-bodied, with rather smooth tannins; a little richer than previous vintages that I’ve had. Lightly earthy, with cherry, mixed berry, and rose notes. Shows an additional mineral note with some time. Excellent.
2009 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
90% Sangioveto, with the rest Canaiolo and Colorino. Medium-bodied, elegant, very traditional, with earthy/herbal/meaty cherry notes, and a somewhat firm tannic backbone. Very good/excellent.
2009 Azienda Agricola Biologica Castello La Leccia Chianti Classico
Mostly Sangiovese, with some Malvasia Nera. Full, ripe, balanced, with moderate acidity; shows spicy dark fruits, some minerals, charcoal, and pencils. Good.
2007 Fattoria Castelvecchio “Il Brecciolino” IGT Toscana
40% Sangioveto, 30% Merlot, and 30% Petit Verdot. Strong blackcurrant nose. Full, moderately structured, jammy, internationally styled, with blackcurrant, blueberry, and prune flavors. plus vague bits of earth and baking spices. Did not like.
2006 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva
80% Sangioveto, 15% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Opened three hours before pouring. Nose of mixed peppercorns and mixed berries, with a faint floral aroma. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, balanced, with moderate acidity; smooth, more internationally styled, as expected from the cépage. Tastes of cherries and blackberries, with mushroom, herbal, licorice, and lightly earthy notes. The producer’s website is dead on with their mention of orange peel on the finish.
2007 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico “Millennio”
100% Sangioveto, with 30 months in French oak. Coconut/berry nose. Moderately full-bodied, well balanced, with spicy tannins; tastes of cherries, dark berries, vanilla, and leather. Very good+.
2004 Società Agricola San Felice Pugnitello IGT Toscana
Pugnitello is an ancient grape that was re-discovered in the 1990s. Right now, only a few producers are making wine from this grape; San Felice is the most widely available. Smoky, cherry-dominated nose, with aromas of grilled pork and coconut; shows ripasso-like dried fruit elements. Full-bodied, smooth, a bit warm, with moderate acidity. Tastes of cherries, dark berries, barbecue sauce, and vanilla. For the sake of aromatic comparison, it would be interesting to try a Pugnitello that did not see any barriques, as this one does. Decent, though I’d like to see a bit less obvious alcohol – even though the label says 13.5%, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was closer to 15%.
2004 Fattoria del Colle (Donatella Cinelli Colombini) Orcia DOC “Cenerentola”
65% Sangiovese/35% Foglia Tonda. [The only time that I have only come across the latter grape has been in the Chiantis of Giovanni Morganti of Podere le Boncie, who uses it as a minor blending component. With the Cenerentola (Cinderella), the percentage of Foglia Tonda is significantly higher. The name of the wine comes from the “underdog” status of both this grape and the little-known Orcia region between the more famous subzones of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Anyway, the wine: This is full-bodied, more modern in style, thanks to 12 months in barriques. Smooth and well balanced, with moderate acidity. It has a nose of dark fruits, mocha, smoke, and spices, including paprika; and flavors of blackcurrants, plums, soy sauce, dark chocolate, coffee, and earth. As with the better modern-styled Brunellos, there is a lot more going on here than just new oak and ripe fruit. Very good+.