Last week, I had some friends over for dinner and I poured two 1997 Chianti Classicos– Riecine Riserva and Castello di Ama La Casuccia. The wines were showing very well considering they were CC’s. Many reds from the region lack the concentration and structure for aging. But these two are usually exceptions.
The Riecine showed pretty berry and cherry aromas and flavors with a medium body and a silky long finish. It was perfect after decanting and lasted well for about an hour then faded. It’s ready for drinking. 92 points, non-blind. The single vineyard Ama CC was a little more reserved at first and then opened into a firm and silky wine with beautiful aromas and flavors of chocolate, berries and plums. It was very persistent on the palate. It drinks well but will improve with age. 94 points, non-blind.
Probably the most impressive thing was the original price of Riecine -- $40. I don’t think Riecine’s current riservas sell for much more. So you get a lot of wine for your money – especially in Sangiovese. Outstanding Burnellos, by comparison, sell for twice the price, or more.
The only problem is that not many Chianti Classico producers seem to be able to deliver the same quality these days. I think a lot of this is due to old vineyards, which are low density and produce diluted fruit and, therefore, weaker wines. The 2004 vintage for riserva and single vineyard Chianti Classicos should produce many outstanding wines, since it was an excellent growing season for Sangiovese, if vineyards kept crop levels down. But, alas, I have not been very impressed so far in my blind tastings in my office over the last past weeks. Wait and see.
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — June 6, 2007 3:36pm ET
Steven Balavender — Tampa, Fl — June 6, 2007 4:20pm ET
Filippo Recchi — Florence, Italy — June 6, 2007 4:44pm ET
Dale R Mcclaran — June 6, 2007 6:35pm ET
Scott Oneil — UT — June 6, 2007 9:09pm ET
Ronaldo Bartl — Brazil — June 7, 2007 10:11am ET
Geronimo Dotel — dominicanrepublic — June 7, 2007 11:57am ET
Michael Culley — June 8, 2007 10:45am ET
Julie Mushett — Miami, Fl — August 24, 2007 9:46am ET
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