More new releases from Chianti Classico

This post has a good mix of Classico, Classico Riserva, some IGT, and more. I hope you find something interesting, and or new. If so, drop me a line. Thanks, Tim. italianwinereviews@gmail.com. Saluti.

2013 Fattoria Poggiopiano Rosso di Sera Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – I tend to shy away from new wood/barrique, generally speaking. But, as with this example, it’s a blend, and not just straight up barrique; here we find new, second, and third passage barrique, along with time in cement, and steel tank. Not to my palate/nose initially, this grew on me with each taste, and I eventually saw the soul/brilliance here. Yes, a touch of modernity, but expertly placed; a wine I doubt few will not enjoy. 90% Sangiovese, Colorino. Sadly, just 3k bottles produced. Drink 2019-2030. Buy it if you can find it. (90-92)
2016 Fattoria Poggiopiano Chianti Classico La Tradizione, Chianti Classico DOCG 9/20/2019 – Very good. The 100% Sangiovese sees a regime of 2nd, 3rd passage wood, time in steel tanks, and cement. Someone put some thought into this wine, and it shows/works. The nose, and color, are bright, energetic, and fresh. There are touches of light smoke/tar, dried herbs, and cherry juice that circle a base of minerals/soil. This is a wine with soul; better in 1-2 years, as it’s still coming together. Drink 2021-2034. (90-92), with upside noted.
2018 Fattoria Le Fonti Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – (Anteprima sample). I seldom taste wines from barrel/tank – they are living things, and in my experience, tend to change greatly during their first year or so. That said, this is undeniably exciting. As in really exciting. It’s as packed with freshness, and purity as one could possibly want. The nose/aromas are so vivid, intense, that I’m left slack-jawed. Incredible effort. Strong buy alert; drink 2021-2042. 100% Sangiovese; BIO-grown, all estate fruit. (93-96)
2016 Fattoria Le Fonti (Panzano) Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Excellent(+), and likely to improve from here. This struck me as a very complete, thoroughly stunning effort. The nose shows great typicity, with freshness that follows through to the medium/medium+ bodied palate. The finish is caressing, silken, and long. A brilliant wine, with a brilliant future. There’s something(s) for old/new palates alike to appreciate here. 100% Sangiovese, sadly just 1,3k bottles produced. For my palate, I’d open my first one in 3-5 years, as I know the reward will be great. Strong buy alert. Drink 2022-2039; all natural winegrowing here. (93-96)

** there is another (yay, it needs to be more confusing!) Le Fonti in the Classico zone, they are located in Panzano. This is not that wine. **
Red2016 Vegi Chianti Classico Francesco Chiostri DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – My first time with this producer, and it was a pleasure. A unique, though certainly classically-styled nose; very bright brick red. Good+ energy, freshness throughout. This is still sorting itself out, it seems, though in time I would guess that this will self-correct, and become more cohesive, more focused. An interesting blend (these days) of 90% Sangiovese, 4% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino, Ciliegiolo; ~ 25k bottles produced. If you happen to find it, buy with confidence, though be sure to give it plenty of air if drinking in the near term. Drink 2020-2033. (90-92)
2016 Valiano Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese Blend,9/20/2019 – Unsure of the soundness of the bottle, as I found little of interest on either the nose or palate – just comes across as wine (from anywhere). 95% Sangiovese, Merlot; ~ 120k bottles produced. (NR)
2016 Dievole Chianti Classico Riserva Novecento, DOCG,
 Sangiovese Blend
9/20/2019 – Well made/grown. It’s a rather interesting wine – with its citrus, stone, soil, and dust aromas. On the medium-bodied palate, there’s keen balance, freshness. A good>very good effort. 95% Sangiovese, 3% Canaiolo, Colorino;~ 30k bottles produced. Drink 2020-2032. (90-92)
2017 Dievole Chianti Classico DOCG,
Sangiovese Blend
9/20/2019 – 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, Colorino; ~ 200k bottes produced. The nose, and palate are driven by oak. I find it’s missing freshness, character. (NR)
2016 Colle Bereto Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Unsure if this was a one-off bottle, but the sample I had showed a nose driven by tomato leaf. The palate followed with something of an atypical, unbalanced, unsorted effort. I’m not finding too much harmony here. 97% Sangiovese, Colorino. (NR)
2017 Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Guado Alto  DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – Good. Really pretty red and blue floral qualities, along with soil, and red berry fruits. The palate is classically styled, the finish is marked by some unresolved wood at the moment. Everything’s here, but it’s missing some freshness that would take this to the next level. That said, it’s a quality purchase; drink 2020-2030. 100% Sangiovese, just 7k bottles. (87-89)
2016 Castello di Monterinaldi Chianti Classico Riserva  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – A classic, and highly enjoyable offering. Traditional color, if a bit bright (to its credit), with a nose that opens with a basket of fresh cherry, a touch of fig paste, herbs, and soil. The palate is more for traditionalists – clean, fine lines, good+ finish, etc. I’m impressed; 95% Sangiovese, with canaiolo. This has the goods to improve with time; drink 2021-2032+. (90-92)
2016 Castello di Monterinaldi Chianti Classico 
DOCG Sangiovese Blend
9/20/2019 – A lovely effort, easy BUY recommendation. The nose opens with plenty of bright citrus, earth and stone notes, and the classically-built palate is fresh, energetic, and, of course, young. Which is to say this has the room, and potential to improve. This is a complete wine – one which has all the components, and only needs more time. That said, I believe it can go the distance, so drink from 2022-2042. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo; ~ 50k bottles produced. A lovely Classico. (90-92)
2015 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Puro Casanova  DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – Outstanding effort. Opens with a beautiful nose rich with tobacco, soil, forest, and lovely, fresh red fruits. The beauty continues on the medium/medium+ palate, with long, graceful lines, and layers of pure red fruits. 100% Sangiovese (the Classico sees 10% Merlot); just 1600 bottles produced. This is already enjoyable, but shows promise to improve, as well. Drink 2020-2034.(93-96)
2017 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico 
DOCG Sangiovese
9/20/2019 – May improve a little with time; in this moment, there’s little I find attractive. An easy, approachable entry/attack, with decent length. The iron, dust, and soil notes hold my attention, but they’re fleeting. It’s OK, which is to say it’s not something I can recommend in this vintage. Their 2015 Gran Selezione, however, is a truly beautiful wine that fills the mind, and soul. Drink 2020 thru 2029. (87-89)
2017 Castello di Querceto / Querceto Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – Very new world, with its candied red fruits, glossy oak, and muddled layers of fruit. I kept looking for something appealing (to me), and I was left empty handed. Not something I would buy, or drink. That said, it’s ready to drink 2019-2024. (NR)
2014 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Poggio DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – Excellent, and a very strong buy recommendation, if you’re lucky enough to find it. While the mainstream wine press seems caught up in the latest, and greatest (e.g. 2016, 2018), I urge you to consider that some winegrowers really produced very good to excellent wines, as they often do, in this challenging vintage. My note is consistent with my earlier experience (Feb. 2019), this is transportive, like a fine piece of art in a museum, it brings you in, and keeps you there. The finish is dreamy, even at this early moment, which is to say it’s only getting better with time. Very impressive, drink 2020-2040+. (93-96)
2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico DOCG ,
Sangiovese
9/20/2019 – Not a classic version in this vintage, as I find the structure, and palate to be more in tune with the (warmer) vintage than the ‘house style’, per se, but it’s still in my wheelhouse as it’s stocked with plenty of soil, sous bois, and forest accents that hold my attention. The finish is long, and juicy, yielding a wine that’s both easy to drink, and also worth one’s time and money; this will last into the mid-term, and likely improve as it does. ~ 200,000 bottles produced, and, given the high quality, that’s to be commended. Drink now thru 2032. (90-92)
2017 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico  DOCG,
Sangiovese
9/20/2019 – Very good. Monsanto continues the tradition, even in this challenging vintage, with their 2017 Classico, a fresh, and as always, balanced wine. Here we find a bit of a darker color, lots of juicy red fruits, a semi-rich mid-palate, and a long, cleansing finish. As expected, an excellent partner to food, and one with some staying power, as well. Drink now thru 2031. Easily in the upper end of my score range (90-92).
2016 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Quite good, but needs time. From a bottle that had been open half a day: clean, classic aromas and flavors, with plenty of dust, soil, and mineral notes, though the flavors clearly aren’t fully developed as yet. There’s good(+) raw material/structure/balance here, so give this a few years in the cellar and it will easily meet/exceed your expectations. HOLD. Drink 2022-2035. (90-92)
Red2017 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Fonterutoli  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – A good, but ultimately undistinguished effort in the vintage. There are several offering here I’m keen on – some nice citrus aromas, a dusty, stone-and-soil combo I find attractive, but the palate comes up a little short just now (i.e. a bit tart, lean). Give this a couple of years, and I think it will over-deliver its modest price. Drink 2021-2030. (87-89)
2016 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Vigneto Bellavista  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Fantastic wine; a bit open knit (my palate tends to prefer this less and less), which for most/many, is a huge plus. The nose is charming, it’s gorgeous, and it’s really quite hard to pull away from; bravo! This is packed with really good raw material, shows the structure to improve, yet offers a juicy invitation in case you’re curious to open one now. I recommend to HOLD, if you can, as this is clearly going to improve from here. Drink 2022-2039+. (93-96)
2016 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Fairly classic build, with some nice soil driven notes, topped up with interesting notes of tomato leaf, basil, Tuscan dust, and dark cherry. A good effort, but I can think of many GS that I like for less money. That said, most/many will be very happy with what’s in the bottle. I would be happy to drink it, but I’m not a buyer. Drink 2020-2031. (90-92)
2017 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Ama  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – A bit of a wild ride, with the aromas (at first) kind of all over the place – a touch of brett, and some soil, then bright, dusty red fruits. Ultimately, this wine was able to nicely, and completely turn the corner: it’s a really nice wine, with good energy, freshness, and balance. Moreover, I see this as a solid choice for the table, not something I can say about this wine in each vintage. 96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot; ~ 85k bottles produced. It’ll need some time yet to reach its peak; drink 2021-2031+. (90-92)
2015 Castello d’Albola Il Solatio Toscana IGT Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – Dark in color, with a modern, forward, yet empty, nose, and a completely uninteresting palate to round it out. Without soul; little to no finish. 100% Sangiovese. I think I’d rather drink water. (NR)
2015 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Riserva  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Begins with some reduced notes, moves to a good mixture of various sous bois aromas, and then recovers pretty well on the medium-bodied palate. Classic build, with more simply-styled aromas and flavors. If it were served on an airline, with a meal, I’d drink it; for sale in a store or restaurant, no way. ~ 75k bottles produced. On its best day, (87-89); this bottle, anyway. Drink now thru 2025.
2016 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico DOCG,
Sangiovese Blend
9/20/2019 – A simple wine, at an affordable price. Mass-produced (750,000 bottles), and pretty much delivers on the $13 retail price, but no more. Perfectly acceptable as a cooking wine, or casual dinner wine. Not something I would buy, but if faced with grim alternatives, would happily enjoy with a meal. Drink now thru 2024. (NR)
2018 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese 9/20/2019 – (Antemprima sample, quick note) Excellent. Packed with freshness, and brimming with energy, this is one for the cellar, though it also shows the build for some early enjoyment, too. The question running through my head as I taste the wine is “one case, or two? or three?” An exciting effort, and sure to be one of the best value offers in the market this time next year. Strong buy alert! Drink 2022-2039+. (90-92), with solid potential to improve.
2015 Castellare di Castellina I Sodi di S. Niccolò Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – The complete package, with something for everyone, I think. My (scribble) notes say JS/RP nose — BUT, with structure, balance, good detail, and an incredibly long, and satisfying finish. I buy each vintage, this will be no exception. I think Alessandro’s inclusion of 15% Malvasia Nera is just brilliant, helping to clearly, and completely distinguish the wine, and the land. Immensely pleasurable; drink 2020 (with lots of air) thru 2034. (93-96)
2016 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG,
Sangiovese Blend
9/20/2019 – As I prepare to enter my note, I’m also querying my local to source a case – this is outstanding, showing the typicity, structure, balance and freshness that gives this wine great character, and soul. That said, it’ll require patience (3-6 years) before it’s entered its preferred plateau. This is the same blend as the Classico: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo. One of the greatest QPR wines in the marketplace right now – more if you’ve the patience that’s required; drink now, and you’ll be missing most of this treasure’s secrets. HOLD; drink 2022-2039. (90-92), with great upside potential.
2017 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Terrific effort. Nice bright color to this 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo wine, with a matching energy to the fresh, and interesting aromas, and flavors, too. On the nose, it’s pretty much a home run, which is to say it’s offering everything I look for in quality wine from this region. Really juicy, fun, with lovely structure (defies the challenging vintage), with length that will require some more years before it’s all there; obvious room for improvement here. 13,5% abv., drink 2020-2030+. Strong buy alert! (90-92)
2016 Casaloste Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/20/2019 – Typical color, aromas and flavors for this uninspired effort. Offers a few, rare moments of redemption with a quick flash of soil here and there, but ultimately, this shows mild brett, and avg(-) finish, rendering this in the meh camp. I offer this criticism so that someone might be inspired to do better, not to offend. Drink now. (NR)

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