~ The Castello di Monsanto cellars lie beneath the villa and hold a library full of older vintages ~

In 1960, Aldo Bianchi returned to Tuscany after spending time in the north of Italy after World War II. He immediately fell in love with the landscape of Castello di Monsanto but it was his son, Fabrizio, who admired the wines from the cellar. Within months of that truip, Aldo purchased the estate and moved the family back to Tuscany. In 1962, the initial vintage of Il Poggio was created marking the first time a Chianti Classico Riserva was bottled from a single vineyard. For Monsanto, Il Poggio was truly a mother vineyard; having had massal selections taken from her and used to start the estate’s other Sangiovese vineyards.

~ The grounds at Castello di Monsanto are impeccably maintained ~

Today, the estate is led by Fabrizio’s daughter Laura who overseas the farming of 72 hectares of vineyards, 56 of which are devoted Sangiovese.  Lying between 260 and 310 meters above sea level the soils are predominantly chalky marl, a sort of clay/limestone mixture which imparts a distinct minerality to the estate’s wines.  Mixed in are plantings of Canaiolo and Colorino which are used in the estate Riserva to complete the wine’s traditional blend.

The 2015 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva is the current release of the wine.  A blend of 85-90% Sangiovese, the balance of the wine is comprised of the aforementioned Colorino and Canaiolo.

Deep ruby in the glass with violet highlights, the 2015 display vivid aromas of fresh flowers, new leather and crushed cherry.  On the palate, the wine is decidedly more rustic in style with mulch and mushroom character joining the core of cherry flavors.  Trace, dusty minerality appears on the finish of the wine which is balanced and remains juicy.  Traditional style.  Very nice value in a great vintage.  90 points.  About $19-$23.  Find this wine.

~ A Riserva that leads more to the traditional and rustic side stylistically, but well made and fresh ~

Salute!

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