I love the sangiovese-based wines of Tuscany. So why has it been 5 months since I last wrote one up? In part because I keep drinking my old faves - the Fonterutoli, Nipozzano, and Poggio Bronzone - but mostly because I forgot. In preparation for a dinner of wild boar steaks on the BBQ, I nearly went for the shiraz because of how well it pairs with game, but I read somewhere that a Chianti Riserva is also a perfect match. And it was.
The 1997 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva is a great example of nicely made Chianti with a few years of cellaring behind it. Despite approaching nearly 10 years of age, the colour was still a bright cherry red, with only a hint of brick red from bottle age. The nose burst forth with musky, leathery, oaky aromas, with additional scents of tea, cloves, black cherries and some subtle floral scents. After a one hour decant, this wine was very, very smooth - medium bodied with velvety tannins, nice acidity and ripe cherry fruit. Complex, interesting, and a beautiful pairing for wild boar off the grill (a first for me). A classically-styled Chianti, this wine is at its peak now. A tip of the hat to my friend Lloyd who insisted I buy this.
PS - for our second bottle, I opened up the 2003 Nipozzano - a great wine, as always.