Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Five Italian Sangiovese

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Prestige Querceto Chianti Riserva (2005)
Comments: Rather vibrant and focused on the nose with fine sage and fennel herb notes framing the core of lightly jammy strawberry fruits, with nuanced almond and smoke top notes and a hint of violet. This is still youthful, tight and bright. The wine is rather compact in the mouth with lovely ripe tannins adding volume. Not terribly large scaled, this offers a lovely, rich core of burnished cherry and strawberry fruit cut with a fine mineral tone. With air, gentle sweet tobacco, apple stem and almond notes emerge on the mid-palate and reveal greater depth on the moderately long finish. This is very well done. Quintessential CCR. 92pts
Average price: $75.87 from 2 stores
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2 Lungarotti Supertuscan Blend Umbria IGT San Giorgio (2007)
Comments: Lovely aromatics of amarena cherry, dried citron peel, soil, faint green herbs, cigarette ash and chalky spice greet the nose here. This is broad in the mouth and rather rich, yet it has a very fine and apparent structure. The mid-palate shows off some black currant fruit along with a hint of truffle, some black cherry tones and a little orange oil. This comes off as somewhat supple but that’s due more to the harmony of fruit and structure, because this is ultimately quite firm. The finish here shows real length with fine mineral cut and lovely raspberry and amarena cherry flavors. This is a very complete package. Mineral finish shows excellent persistence. 91pts
Average price: $18.99 from 2 stores
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3 Chianti Rufina Riserva Montesodi Castello di Nippozano Frescobaldi Rot Premier 50 Rouge C& D Weinhandelsgesellschaft Mbh (2006)
Comments: This starts off with noticeable chocolate oak on the nose and then has lots of cherry cordial, wood spice and some rose petal. This is very smooth and soft in the mouth. There are very attractive flavors of dark fruit, mineral, leather and toasty spice all wrapped in a gentle wash of cocoa. This will have very broad appeal, it really delivers a fine rendition of Chianti, if rather rich and sleek. The fruit takes on a gritty aspect on the back end then yields to a lovely, austere finish, which sees a bit of wood tannin lingering on the finale. Not exactly my style but lovely. 91pts
Average price: $48.99 from 7 stores
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4 Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva Italy (2006)
Comments: This is wiry and lean on the nose. It smells like rocks smashing together over a basket of wild herbs, dandelion greens and wild arugula while chewing on a hand rolled cigarette and some strawberries. Believe it or not, that smells pretty good. On the palate there is marginally less excitement, with a rather tight if seamless and smooth entry that is followed by rich ripe fruit. There’s a touch of pruniness to the fruit here,and lots of dried berry tones. A fine mineral edge and some raspberry and spice notes pop on the rather effusive, fairly tannic finish. This really finishes strongly. Very impressive and most likely in need of a little time to show its best. 91pts
Average price: $39.99 from 1 store
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5 Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico (2007)
Comments: This offers up rather intense notes of wild cherry, iris, iron, mint, sweet bay leaf, tobacco and gum all over subtle savory wood tones. This shows a rather developed edge on entry with some nice leafy elements and a softness to the tannins. There are plenty of unresolved tannins here and nice spiky acids, making this tense and bright on a palate. Delivers fine strawberry, wild cherry, leather and soft dried herb flavors over a subtle layer of creamy wood. The finish is firmer and darker with ashy notes and a lovely edge of nuttiness. Good length and dark fruit mark the finish as does a tiny bit of heat. 90pts
Average price: $53.99 from 1 store
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