Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 50th Anniversary, Castello di Monsanto
The 2013 vintage was named a Wine Spectator Top 100!
Fabrizio Bianchi purchased this ancient estate in 1962, so this 2012 is his 50th anniversary bottling of this always outstanding wine. His winery is state-of the-art and his vineyards are pristine. He was one of the first Chianti producers to eliminate white grapes from his blend. This 2012 is consistent with his impeccable style; 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo and 3% Colorino. Instead of large Slavonian casks the wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barriques. High praise all around including 93 points from James Suckling. Antonio Galloni also scored it 93 and said "Monsanto's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva 50 Vendemmie is one of the most pedigreed wines of the year. Deep and resonant in the glass, but not at all heavy, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match what I can only describe as a regal expression of Sangiovese. There is a level of purity and nuance to the 2012 that is hard to describe with words but that is very much front and center. Moreover, I can't think of too many wines from any region anywhere in the world that offer this level of quality for the money. Readers will not want to miss this stellar Riserva from Monsanto. Can the 2012 Il Poggio be better? We'll know in two years' time."
It has been years since I stopped buying chianti wine. In contrast to my developing taste, I found chianti too light, too timid. Perhaps all that California bold red had gotten to me. I purchased this as I tried to diversify my small collection of wines. To my surprise (and perhaps a maturing palette), I found such wonderful flavors here that I will purchase more. It had so much of what I desire in a red wine (I know that some wines are made to be lighter than others), flavors that continually surprise, discoveries as more wine is poured, and good company to intensify the sipping experience. I truly recommend this wonderful Monsanto Chianti Classico