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The Real Deal in Chianti

by Anthony Lynch

2015 Chianti Classico

Castagnoli   Italy   |   Tuscany   |  Chianti Classico

$29.00

Uncorking a true Chianti is the easiest way to experience the amazing potential of Tuscan Sangiovese. By “true” Chianti, I am referring to wines hailing from the original, Chianti Classico zone, grown sustainably in poor soils on hillside sites, vinified by local artisans and raised in traditional large oak botti. This formula is responsible for wines that excel at table alongside Tuscan, or even generally Mediterranean-inspired, cuisine. It has created wines that seamlessly ally rusticity with nobility, offering a satisfyingly chewy bite when young and divine delicacy with bottle age. And best of all, these wines rarely cost more than thirty dollars per bottle.
     Castagnoli’s 2015 is one such Chianti: the vineyards sit at high altitude on unimaginably stony soils. Farming is biodynamic, and quite laborious—the steep slopes and intense sun demand strength and courage. And the cellar is no high-tech lab; the wines ferment spontaneously in open bins and sit patiently in old casks before being bottled with only as much sulfur as necessary.
     Castagnoli’s magnificent terroir is pristinely reflected in the glass. The 2015 vintage, which gave an abundant, healthy, well-ripened crop, maintains an excellent acidity that perks up each sip and leaves you salivating for your next bite. Thick and saucy, it echoes the flavors of herbs and stewed tomatoes with which you’d coat a serving of hot pappardelle. With balance, grip, and rustic, earthy nuances, this is the real deal, straight from the Tuscan countryside.


$29.00

More from this Producer or Region

About Tuscany

Perhaps no region is tied to Italy’s reputation as a producer of fine wine as much as Tuscany. Since Etruscan times, viticulture has played a prominent role in this idyllic land of rolling hills, and the Tuscan winemaking tradition remains as strong as ever today. With a favorable Mediterranean climate, an undulating topography offering countless altitudes and expositions, and a wealth of poor, well-draining soils, conditions are ideal for crafting high-quality wines. Add to that the rich gastronomical tradition—Tuscany is home to some of the country’s finest game, pastas, salumi, and cheeses—and you have the blueprint for a world-class wine region.

This is Sangiovese territory; in fact, it is arguably the only place in the world where Sangiovese reaches a truly regal expression. In spite of a rocky history with fluctuations in quality, traditionally produced Chianti has reclaimed its status as one of the country’s most reliable, food-friendly reds, while the rapid rise of Brunello di Montalcino shows the grape’s potential for grandiose, opulent reds allying power and finesse. Traditionally-minded growers have stuck to using only indigenous grape varieties and employing techniques like aging in massive wooden casks known as botti, creating wines of terroir that shine at the Tuscan table.

Tuscan wines have had a place in our portfolio since Kermit’s first visit in 1977. While the names of the estates have changed, the spirit of those first unfiltered Chiantis he imported live on through our current selections.

More from Tuscany or Italy

2016 Rosso di Montalcino

Sesti  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Rosso di Montalcino

$39.00

2011 Chianti Classico Riserva

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$41.00
$30.00
$48.00

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$45.00

2016 Bandinello Toscana

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Toscana IGT

$23.00

2013 Toscana Rosso “Salita”

Castagnoli  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  IGT Toscana

$60.00

2014 Orcia Rosso “Selvarella”

Podere Sante Marie  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Orcia

$35.00

2014 Chianti Classico Riserva “Terrazze”

Castagnoli  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$42.00

2015 Chianti Classico

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico

$30.00

2014 Chianti Classico Riserva

Podere Campriano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$42.00

2012 Alta Valle Della Greve “80”

Podere Campriano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  IGT Alta Valle della Greve

$57.00

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa