Tonight, a wine that I can’t believe was still in my cellar! The 1999 Chianti Classico Riserva from Villa Antinori. If you can believe it, I bought this for under $15 over 8 years ago. And it is still in impeccable shape.
Classic (no pun intended) Chianti Classico Riserva…dried cherries, tart acidity, herbs and smooth as silk…wow!
For most people, the word “Chianti” brings to mind those local Italian restaurants with checkered tableclothes and those funny looking wine bottles in wicker baskets.
And for wine dweebs, Chianti has become overpriced (and over-hyped) wines with increasing amounts of international grapes (like Cabernet and Syrah), wines that taste nothing like traditional Chianti’s based mostly on Sangiovese.
Tonight’s wine is an example of the fact that Chianti can taste the way it is supposed to taste, without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Sure, my $15 eight years ago is over $20 now. But for that money, you can get — in a good vintage — the kind of wine I had tonight. It will last for 5 – 8 years, and give tremendously complex pleasure when you drink it. Not jammy, not excessively fruity, but still beautiful wine.
So try some Chianti riservas…I think you will be surprised how different they are from what you have imagined!