Wine Review: 2007 Il Piaggione Chianti Classico Riserva
I am ashamed to say that when I first started getting into wines, I looked down on Chianti. Like Merlot, Sangiovese was a grape that I didn't think was worth my time if I wanted to be a "serious" wine drinker.
While Merlot still hasn't quite caught on with me (with the possible exception of right bank Bordeaux) I can only claim ignorance and exposure to my original snobbery against Chianti. To be sure, there are a plethora of bad Chianti's and Sangiovese-based wines out in the world (I haven't tasted Sangiovese out of California that is to my liking, although the grape has its devotees across the state), but when you are looking for a reasonably priced, tasty bottle of wine, that can stand on its own or be paired with food, a nice Chianti Classico can really do the trick.
I primarily think of Chianti in terms of food, but tonight's wine was one that I actually preferred on its own rather than in conjunction with food. As a DOCG Chianti Classico Riserva, it is a lovely medium bodied red, just beginning to age, with soft tannin and an old world earthiness that may not be for the big fruit loving crowd. There was fruit, dark black cherry and dried berry on the nose and in the taste, but not lots of it, instead I tasted an almost savory quality, with solid acidity that I come to think of in Italian wines. Herbal notes were present too, and while this is not a great or complex wine, it was well made, balanced, and had enough going on to keep you interested. At $15, I will happily purchase again, maybe to serve along a cheesy or mushroomy pasta dish, which I imagine to be a much better pairing than the cheeseburger and tater tots I ate tonight.
Labels: Chianti, Italy, Sangiovese, Wine, Wine Review