Rich. Grape varietals often get their names from a visible aspect of their fruit. The name Sauvignon blanc comes from sauvage (“wild”) because its leaves resemble those of wild grape vines. Pinot Gris refers to the blue-gray (gris) color of its grapes. But our favorite varietal etymologically speaking has to be Sangiovese — a wine so inky and black that it is named for the “blood of Jove.”
Sangiovese is a great wine for fall — dark and rich and smooth, but not heavy or mouthfilling. We import from only a single Italian source, but it has long been a favorite among our readers. Piero Lanza is a gifted winemaker, crafting perfectly ripe Chianti from 100% old-vine sangiovese. His large oak barrels impart barely any oak flavor, letting the fruit and beautiful earthiness shine through.
Roses and Smoke. Poggerino’s 2013 Chianti Classico is excellent, and an astounding bargain at $22. Jancis Robinson called it “one of the highlights of the vintage,” citing “juicy, elegant fruit…finely sculpted tannins,” and a “vibrant finish.” We found Poggerino’s signature roasted cherries and smoke in the nose, with rose petals and rich raspberry jam in the mouth. The mouthfeel is sturdy and dense, with young but juicy tannins and lots of energy.
This wine’s exceptional balance makes it an easy food pairing — a rich tomato sauce on pasta is an excellent match. (This pasta with prosciutto and whole garlic recipe is a great recent find.) It should age nicely for another few years, but is already a delight, particularly with a meal. It’s certainly among the best sub-$25 bottles in our cellar.
Poggerino Chianti Classico 2013
Ansonia Retail: $26
6+ bottle price : $22/bot
FREE EAST COAST SHIPPING ON ANY 12 BOTTLES