Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2007

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The time I spent writing my Spotlight on Sangiovese a few months ago and tasting through a wide array of Tuscan wines cemented my appreciation for the grape as an absolute essential in the home cellar. So many foods go so well with Sangiovese that it is incumbent on any food lover to have a bottle at the ready.

Reinventing Tradition

Monsanto is a highly respected name in Chianti. Monsanto was founded in 1962 and has been consistent with experimenting with and applying new technologies in their wine making practices. This includes one of the first uses of stainless steel fermenters, one of the first wineries to remove white grapes from the Chianti blend, and, today, a general tendency towards french oak barriques rather than slavonian oak. However, the winery also focuses on hand picking, indigenous yeasts and long macerations, which make it an intriguing blend of traditional flavours and modern structure.

Monsanto is particularly famous for their Il Poggio Chianti, one of the most famous Chianti Classico Crus. The wines from this vineyard now sell for hundreds of dollars and are known to age for decades. However, their Chianti Classico Riserva is a good entry point into the estate’s style.

A Baby with Potential

This wine sees a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canailolo and Colorino. A 20 day maceration in stainless steel leads to 18 months in French oak barriques and 3 months of bottle aging.

This wine has a traditional feel to the fruit, even as the French oak tannin is apparent. Bitter Cherry and Cherry nut predominate along with tobacco and taught minerality. Structured but ripe tannins resolve with air. This wine is only at the very beginning of its development and I have no doubt that this wine’s reputation for ageability is entirely correct. Right now the oak tannins are still firm and a bit dominating (though alleviated with a decant), but I have no doubt they will soften and transform into fascinating aromatics. It will only open and become more fascinating with 5-10 years in the bottle. It is certainly a top notch Chianti Classico that will come into its own with time.

Very Good+
$47 at Kits Wine


  1. David J Cooper
    March 11, 2012

    Shocking price. A ver y good wine but the 06 was 18 bucks from K and L. Add acouple of dollars a bottle for shipping and handling and around 14 at the border. Hard to drink this everyday as it’s meant.

  2. Shea
    March 11, 2012

    I agree that the price is ridiculous in BC. Not sure if the agent could have negotiated a better ex cellar price, but they should have for this market.

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