Spotlight on Chianti Classico: Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2011

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photoOwner Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi is cousin to the famous Francesco Ricasoli at Castello di Brolio. He broke with his cousin due to differences in opinion about production style. Rocca di Montegrossi, located in Gaiole, is more traditional than the other Ricasoli estates, though large French oak is used.

Sangiovese’s Best Blending Partners

You may have noticed the proliferation of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon amongst the grapes blended with Sangiovese. Personally I find the addition of these international grapes takes away from the special quality of Sangiovese, even if the wines can still be enjoyable. However, this does not mean Sangiovese should not be blended.

Marco is passionate about the indigenous Canaiolo as Sangiovese’s ideal blending mate. The basic Chianti reviewed here includes up to 10% Canaiolo because of Marco’s belief in the grape. Rocca di Montegrossi is one of the few wineries that has performed extensive massal selection of Canaiolo in order to refine and perfect its harmony with the Sangiovese. Other grapes such as Colorino and Pugnitello also make it into this and other traditionalist blends, and I think these indigenous grapes allow Chianti to stay more authentically regional.

Real, Straightforward Chianti

The basic non-riserva Chianti Classico is an ideal, versatile dinner wine. It is not trying to be more than it is nor does it pump itself up to the point of alienating most sensible foods.

The wine is classically illuminated by bright cherry fruit and grounded with earthy savories. A straightforward, medium bodied wine not afraid of its acidity and tannin. Young and food driven.

Very Good
$38 at bcldb

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