Saturday, August 22, 2009

Montegrossi Chianti Classico, 2004

This Montegrossi Chianti Classico was served at the Tasters' Guild dinner to accompany the fantastic main course of grilled swordfish, summer vegetable ratatouille and pesto pasta. From the heart of the oldest and finest part of the Chianti Classico appellation, the grapes (90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo) are hand harvested from 60-year-old vines on steep slopes.

It's a deep cherry color. Smells include just a hint of sulfur dioxide that blows away in a few minutes. I also smell oranges and tart cherries with their skins--very Sangiovese with a racy acidity. The tannins are much firmer than those of the Traverso Sottocastello (below), and the aromas and flavors unfold and become more complex as the wine airs. Even so, I'm not so sure that this wine will age as well as the Sottocastello. There is something a bit disjointed--maybe just an awkward stage. I had this wine at a previous Tasters' Guild and it left a similar impression. For $30 (the price of this Chianti Classico), I could buy two or three bottles of a lesser Sangiovese such as Querceto, La Rocca, Monte Antico or Gabbiano...and be quite happy.

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