|~ Winemaker Michele Braganti ~
(image courtesy of Joanie Karapetian)
“Classico cannot be classic anymore if you blend it with international grapes!”
The Monopole of Monteraponi sits amid the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany in Radda and the quote above epitomizes Braganti’s vision for what his wine should be in a nutshell. We’ve reported on Monteraponi many times here, and with good reason. Consistently they have been wonderful soulful wines. Such is the case with their most recent release.
The 2011 Monteraponi Chianti Classico is a medium ruby in the glass with pretty violet reflections as the light prisms through the bowl. It seems to reflect, like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I didn’t decant the wine, but allowed it to remain open for 30 minutes before dinner. Aromas of flowers, cherries and fresh leather filled the glass. They are easily coaxed. What might come across as slightly lean without food is quickly rectified when enjoyed in the proper context. This is absolutely delicious Chianti. Fresh and vibrant on the palate with wild cherry flavors that are savory and just slightly tart – mouth wateringly so. There’s a dusty mineral streak on the finish that is accented with earthen notes and moderate tannins that are well balanced.
Vinified in cement vats and large oak barrels, with no added yeasts and organic vineyard methods, this is exactly what a pure, stripped down Chianti should be. 89 points, about $17.
|~ 2011 Chianti Classico ~|
The wine was paired with simple, Tuscan fare. Sauteed Broccoli Rabe and white beans with lots of garlic and very simple grilled chicken thighs that had been marinated in olive oil, rosemary, garlic and lemon juice. A rustic, earthy pairing for the wine that simply shined.
A word on 2011…. This seems to be a vintage that has gotten somewhat overlooked in the wake of 2009 and 2010 and I’m starting to think that will be a mistake. The few 2011 Chianti Classico I’ve had thus far have been very good and later this year, I’m planning a more extensive report on these wines. They are going to be attractively priced and very food friendly. The major estates will make lovely wine and it’s something that lovers of Tuscan Sangiovese will want to keep in mind.
May 7, 2014