A few Chianti’s on the deck Monsanto & Isole e Olena

27 Nov

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Chianti is made in a number of townships in Tuscany. In the old days wines were made from field blends, a mix of grapes of different local varieties, planted on the one plot. The dominant variety being Sangiovese with a splash Canaiolo, Colorino and others thrown into the mix.  In the last few decades French varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz have been introduced and incorporated into many Tuscan wines. The Cabernet Blends like Ornellaia from Antinori have received critical acclaim. A bottle of 1990 Ornellaia was wine of the night amongst some serious Barolos from the likes of Gaja, Aldo Conterno, Masseto & Mascarello.

I still have a soft spot for the Sangiovese focused wines. Over the last couple of years I’ve been so focused on drinking wines from Piedmont, Sicily and around Naples and beyond, that I’ve forgotten just how much fun Chianti can be.  Sangiovese typically has big bunches, with large berries and thin skins, that can result in wines of light colour. Don’t let that deceive you. They can have incredible intensity and are well worth getting your laughing gear around. Here’s a few I’ve tried recently that have been fun!

Castello Monsanto

A few rustic Chianti’s on the deck at Boccaccio Cellars today! The same, but, different to the Isole e Olena wines.

All three are blends of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo and Colorino.

2013 Chianti Classico – looking raw, needs time to settle. Some chewing texture demanding food. $35.

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva – a hard edge, structure supported by a splash in some new oak. Solid core of fruit and some funk. Again one to watch. $60.

2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneto “Il Poggio” –  a density not present in the others. Fruit depth handling the oak beautifully. Refined texture, plenty of yumminess! Can’t wait for the 2012 … Birth year wine for my first! $100.

Isole e Olena

Isole e Olena Chianti Tasted 2015 by Paul Kaan
2012 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico – 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Shiraz. Old school style, respecting the fruit. Savoury yumminess, layering up sour cherries with a refined texture & an edge of acid that would cut the fat of a Bisteccca Fiorentina perfectly. The best standard Isole e Olena I’ve tasted in ages. Threw a few of these bad boys in the cellar. $35. BEST VALUE OF THESE WINES!!

2010 Isole e Olena “Cepparello” 100% Sangiovese Brooding almost inky core of fruit holding its own in competition with an edge of new oak. Great to see it under Screwcap. Needs time. $99.

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