Sample submitted for review. SRP of $20, available for as low as $14 and at Costco for $16.
From the bottle:
"Produced from grapes grown in the "Classico" zone of Chianti, between Siena and Florence, Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva has reached new heights as an aristocratic Tuscan wine. After a minimum of two years of aging, one of which is in Slavonian oak barrels, this well-balanced wine has flavors of cherry, vanilla, cocoa and spice. An elegant accompaniment to roasted meats, pastas and cheese.
We're just back from a long weekend exploring the wineries of Dry Creek Valley (more on that in the future) and after the amazing Zinfandel and Petite Sirah the variety we tasted the most was Sangiovese. And while the Sangiovese was excellent, California Sangiovese is not quite the same as its Italian counterpart -- not better or worse mind you, just different. This then made for an interesting contrast as we came home and tried today's wine from Tuscany.
The 2009 Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva begins with a fantastic aroma of sour cherry, violets, vanilla and dark chocolate. This is one of those wines with a bouquet so lovely and so strong that it pulls you in just walking past it. Tasting reveals a silky smooth, tart and delicious wine featuring tons of the classic Sangiovese sour cherry flavors that cry out for tomato based meat sauces. It ends dry with good length. A delicious version of the real thing from Tuscany.
And just to be clear, we love both both Italian and Californian Sangiovese! Here's one of our favorites of each:
- From California (Lodi): Macchia Amorous Sangiovese 2011 - Lovely!
- From Tuscany: Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2009 - Love At First Sniff.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.