Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

http://theviptable.blogspot.com/
Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

Chianti Classico (New releases and top picks)

With the start of each new year comes the myriad of Italian wine tastings that have become the highlight of these early winter months.  Each year, I find myself tasting the new releases of all my favorite wines.  One wine in particular always stands out to me, Chianti Classico.  

 

Thinking back over a decade, Chianti Classico was the wine that showed me that I loved Italian wine.  They are excellent food wines with gorgeous fruit, earth and that perfect blend of Italian acidity.  What's more, many of them can age in the cellar, yet nearly all of them are perfectly enjoyable upon release.  In my book, this is THE Italian wine, and it always will be.  The following list are my favorites tasted this year and you really can't go wrong with any of them.  Some are everyday value wines and others will find prestigious spots in your cellar.  There is something for everyone.

 

2. Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva (2009)

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Average price: $21.69 from 22 stores
The nose was classic Monsanto Chianti, showing ripe strawberry, with hints of plum, barnyard, animal musk and a whiff chalky mineral. On the palate, it was silky with great balanced acidity lending juicy tones as concentrated red fruits and dried spices seduced the senses. The finish showed hints of refined tannin with tart fruit lingering through the close. As usual, this wine performs much better after an hour or two in decanter, lending a much better showing than any note I've taken at formal tastings. (91 points)
 
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