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All wine, most of the time

MWG March 20th tasting (6/7): A couple of classic Chiantis

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Chianti Classico 2011, San Fabiano Calcinaia ($21.95, 10843327)
A blend of Sangiovese (85%), Colorino, Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera; the estate is reportedly converting to organic production. Controlled-temperature fermentation and maceration on the skins for ten to 15 days followed by gentle pressing. Matured in second- and third-fill casks for 12 to 18 months. The lots are vinified separately and blended just before bottling. 14.5% ABV.
Architypical Chianti nose: cherry, terracotta, cedar, leather. Medium-bodied, structured and long. The combination of restrained fruit, drying tannins, tart acidity and heady finish produces an austerity that the almost-integrated oak sweetens only a little and that fairly demands the wine be drunk with food. Excellent QPR. (Buy again? Yes.)

Chianti Classico 2011, Isole e Olena ($29.95, 00515296)
A blend of Sangiovese (80%), Canaiolo (15%) and Syrah (5%). Fermented on the skins in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for 15 days, with daily rack-and-returns and pump-overs. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into barrels (5% new) and 4,000-litre botti and matured for about one year. 14% ABV.
Brambly cherry, cedar, peppery spice, dried earth, faint tobacco leaf. The juicy fruit is grounded in dark minerals, pointed by acidity and structured by soft tannins that turn dustily astringent on the long, tart, fragrant finish. Balanced and classy if lush, weighty and warm for an Isole e Olena. (Buy again? Yes.)

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Written by carswell

April 20, 2014 at 11:37

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