2016 Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico

Among many faults, a tendency to wildly generalise is one to which we all must plead guilty on occasion. The effects of a warming planet on grape ripeness are undeniable. Over dinner I suggested the whole of Tuscany and Bordeaux were thus now making wines which have lost all drive, freshness and sheer digestive appeal. A good friend at the table nodded sagely and gently said there were other factors, for example the need to please wealthy American palates craving size and power. Hrumph, haven’t seen anything for some while resembling the fragrant, nutty and lithe Chianti I fell for last century, I muttered. This arrived via auction to prove me wrong in the most delicious way. From a aristocratic property in the south of the Chianti zone, this is Sangiovese in purezza as the locals say. An instantly recognisable fresh scent of cherries, walnut and sweet new leather of a place and it’s own great grape. Blisteringly energetic, translucent fruit of enormous quality, the very essence of Sangiovese, perfect summer preserved in a liquid. Being Sangiovese of course, it all ends with caressing but austere acidity and a wall of well tailored, sweet stone like tannin. How wrong can a rash generalisation be? Considering this Classico normale fetches $70 retail, to put it in one of the lightest weight bottles seen for a while is heartening, take note those with aspirations to greatness. So energetic and uplifting, it must be a health tonic.

13.5% alcohol. Cork. $46 at auction, who’s a lucky boy?

95 points.

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Everyday events struggle to share space with wine thoughts in an ever shrinking brain.

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