If you Google what wine goes with Shepherds pie the answer is Chianti. Seeing as today is St. Patrick’s day, that is exactly what’s going down. This particular bottle is pale to medium ruby in the glass with watery legs denoting a lower alcohol wine at 12.5% ABV. The nose is classic Sangiovese. Cherry, red raspberry, violets, a hint of leather and red licorice. No sign of any oak at this point. The palate is dry with racy acidity and medium (+) tannins. The flavors are shrouded in the tannic grip but I get cherry, mushroom, raspberry, red licorice and a touch of the leather component. Dried herbs and a floral note kick in on the medium length finish- which is very astringent btw. I feel like I am stuffing pouches of black tea bags between my gums. It needs a good aerating or decanting to soften this wine up a touch, it will pair nicely with my ground lamb based dish, cutting the fat nicely. The intensity of this wine’s fruit is the only detractor, the balance is a little off for me. I like it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a little out of sorts. 89 points for this $15 effort makes it a 3 star wine to drink from 2024-2027. Salut….
I had to buy this funky bottle, it is gold. As in they sprayed the bottle, there is no looking through the glass. With a bit of age on it, there may be some hope of tertiary development in this Reserva. It’s pretty dark in the glass, a lovely shade of ruby. On the nose I get red cherry, cooked red cherry, earth, mushroom, pomegranate and oak. The palate is very delicious, smooth and not biting. I am really enjoying lush flavors of dark cherry, earth, game and cooked red cherry. The tannins are really well integrated and meet up on the back end with some vibrant acidity. The body is decent, heavier than I was expecting and certainly welcome, the mouthfeel is balanced and smooth. I am thoroughly enjoying this Sangiovese, and feeling that most people would not buy it due to the strange packaging- I’m off to get the remnants, it’s that yummy for the barebones price of $15. A veritable steal that gets 91 points and 5 stars. Drink till 2025 with pasta, duh! Salut….
Light purple, medium opacity. The nose is generous with pencil lead, blueberry and cherry, yet somewhat atypical. On the palate it is a little restrained but there are notes of sassafras, bing cherry, rhubarb. The mid palate gives me lots of juiciness, acidity and the beginnings of a tannic push. The cherry component really hits on the back end. 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 effort. I would sit on a few bottles to let the acidity reaper and the tannins to soften slightly. 2020- 2023 Salut….
It’s a pasta/Italian kinda night here at the chateau so I decided to open a Chianti Rufina to keep with the theme. In the glass, it shows off a reddish hue but not opaque. The nose is somewhat muted but gives off whiffs of plum, some oregano and a dried bark component. The initial taste is an acidic attack with some dark cherry, dried herbs and a touch of oak. The fruit is somewhat cloaked I’m afraid. The mid palate is mostly a tannic affair with some faint fruit notes from the initial attack. The finish is long, with some nice acidity balancing the tannins as well as a dose of Kirsch. I paid $18 for this 89 pointer and give it 3 stars, it’s kinda boring in my opinion- perhaps it’s in a dumb phase. Sangiovese is the main player here folks. Ps. I’m serving grilled Squid, Tortellini and some Zucchini pasta with pine nuts. Salut….
See-through purple. Nose of sweet strawberries and spring flowers, very intriguing. On the palate I get more strawberries and nutmeg. The wine is juicy but not biting with acidity. I am enjoying the mouthfeel, it is very subtle yet supple. The tannins are so carefully hidden that I barely perceive them. The mid palate exhibits some more spices and the core fruit. The finish is short in length but pleasant enough. This wine is a nice, easy to drink wine that has an interesting nose. I think it gets 89 points and can be found for $10. This is a good deal, 5 stars from me. Pasta, pizza or a rack of ribs come to mind. Salut….
With Pizza, one must serve Italian wines. I love Chianti, the Sangiovese grapes offer up a unique flavor profile that gives me strawberry, cherry and tar flavors. In this particular bottle, there was some muted flavors, and more heavily weighed on the tart cherry side. I think it is a little young as the tannins were very prominent. Nicely acidic but slightly out of balance for me, I think the wine is a little disjointed. Perhaps a few years of slumber and the fruit will emerge, the tannins will meld and the balance will come about. At $32, it is a pricey bottle to take a dive on. The pro’s gave it 91, I would go 89 and 3 stars. Salut….
Wow, a full power Chianti with years ahead of it. Purple in the glass, the nose offers dark brooding fruits and a hint of earth. On the palate, a very definitive tar component mixed with dark cherries and black berries. A very powerful tannic structure is making my mouth pucker and the acidity is great. This wine is 4 years young and will last another 10 at the minimum. Mainly Sangiovese, it weighs in at 13.5% alcohol, a decent number these days. It does not follow typical Chianti/Sangiovese profiles (which I love), instead there is a departure from the norm and you can tell this is a well crafted wine. 92 points I reckon, and a 4- perhaps 5 star rating for its $35 price point. I think this wine needs another 3 years in cellar, and should absolutely rock any pasta dish you could throw at it.
Served at a restaurant and I did not read the label or the wine list…. Not my favorite Chianti. Some elements of cherry and oak on the nose and palate, with vibrant acidity and tannins. Missing something though, and I can’t pick it out. There seems to be a slight imbalance, but this wine is still very serviceable. Served up with the biggest ever Veal chop, it was a great companion thanks to the acid. The usual Chianti flavors are somewhat muted though and the wine does not show off the Sangiovese that I have come to love. An 86 pointer that I cannot even rate with any stars due to the lack of pricing info. I would imagine it will drink for another 5 years and hopefully come out of its shell.
A Chianti Classico that I enjoyed a lot. Not expensive, with typical Sangiovese (90% of the blend) character- this is my kind of Italian wine. Sure, the Super Tuscans are challenging the traditional boys, but deep down, the Italians have something special with this grape. Remeber my thoughts on the Sapnish with their indigenous grape, same applies here. When you have something unique and good, go with it. I had to look up what the big boys said about this one, and agree completely. The average form the heavy hitters was 91, completely agree and add my 4.5 stars to it. (I drank this one mid-summer and can’t recollect my exact details)