Castello di Monsanto, a Tuscan standard and our mainstay choice for classy, approachable Chianti, just scored a huge 94 point acclaim for their 2014 Chianti Classico Riserva. We’re not surprised. 2014 is a vastly underappreciated vintage in Italy and in the hands of Monsanto, one of Tuscany’s specialist for structure and finesse, brilliantly capitalized on the vintage’s strengths. Love Chianti? Don’t miss this instant classic.
2014 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Riserva is another stellar wine from Monsanto. Here the flavors are dark and deeply spiced, with plenty of black cherry, plum, leather, cinnamon and clove overtones. The 2014 Riserva boasts considerable depth while retaining the classic Monsanto midweight sense of structure. The 2014 finishes with a real sense of tannic clout. I would prefer to cellar it for at least a few years. Even at this early stage, the 2014 is a wine of real character and personality.” 94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
More about the Wine:
Located in the tiny village of Monsanto (“Holy mountain”) the estate made history in the early 1960’s when Fabrizio Bianchi produced the first single vineyard bottling (Il Poggio), a first for the Chianti Classico appellation.
In 1996, Fabrizio’s daughter Laura Bianchi was tapped to lead the estate at the age of 24. This wasn’t easy or routine. Many at the time did not accept or support a woman taking the reins of an estate, especially one as important and distinguished as Monsanto. Laura was known in the village as deeply intellectual (she was studying law at the time) and many believed she couldn’t get her hands dirty. Not only did Laura prove the skeptics wrong, but she has elevated the winery to new heights. “What I love from wine is balance, elegance and finesse,” explains Bianchi. You can see her philosophy with these wines. During her tenure, Monsanto has become increasingly more refined, sidestepping concentration and alcohol for grace and finesse. Her winemaker, Andrea Giovannini, has continued to stick to hallowed tradition, abstaining from chemicals or additives, harvesting everything by hand, fermenting in large neutral wood with some light bottle age. The result? One of Chianti’s most consistent wines.