Chianti for Every Day

It's time to revisit this wine lover's staple. Better than ever and still great values.

This offers up a complex array of intense strawberry fruit fanning out over nuanced, woodsy, stemmy, mineral, leather and earth aromas that have a faint edge of gamy truffle. Rather fruit-driven in the mouth, there is still a nice acidic cut here, though not enough to rob the wine of a softly sweet edge to the dark cherry and stemmy strawberry fruits. The tannins are super fine and fresh, adding a bit of volume in the mouth, and everything comes together with great balance and impressive length. Just lovely and very complete. 90 points
Rather elegant on the nose, with a decidedly herbal and slightly vegetal edge to the fruit. There are attractive aromas of stemmy strawberries and red cherry here, layered over soil and green herb base notes. Narrow and focused in the mouth, this shows lovely integration resulting in a feline, elegant texture supporting jammy red fruits framed by the ripe if slightly astringent fruit tannins. There's a touch of wood here but it's well used, adding just a hint of spice and not obscuring the soil-driven finish. This is small but detailed, with a sort of feminine power. 89 points
A bit funky and meaty, this shows enticing aromatic complexity with a core of dark fruit laying over sweet leather and fennel pollen base notes. Air brings up the wild cherry, strawberry, and herb aromas above the barnyard base. Finely textured with just a suggestion of sweetness in the mouth, the fruit here recalls freshly sliced cherry, pure, precise and softened with hints of large format wood. The acidity is brisk and refreshing and the smooth texture is supported my modest ripe tannins that taper off on the moderately long warmed spice and wild cherry finish. Delicious. 88 points
Very ripe on the nose and quite woody, with a mix of blackcurrant and slightly jammy black cherry fruits that show a hint of pepperiness and are topped by pretty floral and pollen nuances. Round and front loaded in the mouth, this explodes early on the palate, with rich blackcurrant and black cherry fruit supported by noticeable tannins. There's good depth and richness on the palate, but assertive wood tannins cut the finish short, leaving a modest wood spice-inflected finale. A big wine, and quite nice if not terribly typical. 87 points
Very floral on the nose, with a machine oil element over a base of woodland spice notes. This is young and tight showing oily dried herbs, dried flowers, licorice, chalk and bitter citrus pith flavors in the mouth. It's broad and transparent with a nice softness to it, finishing with woodsy, burnished raspberry fruit, cranberry acidity, and slightly tacky tannins. Compact and a bit muscular, this should improve with another year or two in the bottle. 87 points
Lovely leather, earth and wild cherry aromas show gentle floral, cinnamon  and mossy green accents on the nose. Broad and slightly aggressively structured, this has great acidity and enough fine-grained tannins to support the fine core of black cherry fruit adding texture and volume in the mouth. There's a lovely austerity to the finish, showing a hint of chocolate framing the wild berry fruit that shows fine persistence. Lovely balance with just a hint of rusticity, this is attractive Chianti. Give it some air or a year in the bottle and this will smooth out nicely. 87 points

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  • Snooth User: Welkja
    Hand of Snooth
    1230782 807

    Chianti and Chianti Classical are wines I enjoy with tomato sauced Italian foods, the way the people of Italy intended most of these wines to be used. It is great how you pointed out the improvement of wines of this region today and now I enjoy many of these wines by themselves as they have improved. I will continue to consume wines of this region as they improve in the future.Thank you for an informative article and look forward to trying some of the wines reviewed.

    May 13, 2013 at 3:07 PM

  • Snooth User: petroniano
    1049228 20

    the plural of fiasco is fiaschi, pronounce fee-ah-skee.

    May 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

  • Snooth User: teddz
    880703 30

    Welkja, tomato sauces are not used much in Tuscany, where Chinati is made.

    Jun 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM

  • Snooth User: teddz
    880703 30

    Castello di Romitorio 2009 $13 (recently replaced by the 2010). Poggio Amorelli 2008 $15. Renzo Massi 2009 Riserva $15. All nice examples ... The Massi 09 riserva is unusually ripe for a chianti.

    Jun 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

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