Chianti Classico is one of my favorite Italian wines.  There are a lot of good choices at a price of around HK$200.  Both 2007 Mazzei Ser Lapo Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG and Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2007 are very good Chianti offering value for money.  What I tried this time, however, is a higher grade Chianti Classico - Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio.

Castello di Brolio was re-owned by Ricasoli family again since 1993.  Ricasoli is the oldest Italian wine producer and is one of the most influential producer in the region of Tuscany.  How influential is the Ricasoli family?  When Chianti DOC was established in 1967, the formula of producing Chianti is based on the formula recommended by Baron Bettino Ricasoli in 1872.  Although it was widely acknowledged that the formula is not a good one and especially made Chianti unable for long ageing, it does allow us to understand how influential the Ricasoli family is.

Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio is the flagship product of Ricasoli.  This vintage 2001 is produced by using 85% of Sangiovese and 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  The wine has very obvious oak barrel aromas together with blueberry, redberry, rose, earth, dried herbs, tobacco, chocolate and vanilla.  The aroma is certainly intense and complex suggesting this is a wine with very good quality.  However, I found the oak barrel related aromas is a bit too strong.  There is a trend in recent for Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio to have less oak dominated influence but I haven’t tried any recent vintage to verify.  In the palate, the wine has similar great concentration and has a very silky texture and firm structure.  Very elegant and balanced.  Although this is certainly a good wine, I’m not thrilled by it.  BTW, decanting for an hour improve the wine quite a bit.

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One Response to “A Very Good If Not Exceptional Chianti – 2001 Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio”

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