2008 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy
90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino; 14% ABV
$23 for a 1.5L bottle (magnum) at the Berkeley, CA, store on 8 May

2008_Monsanto_ChiantiClassicoThe back label on this bottle recommends decanting it off any sediment, about an hour before serving.  I found I liked it best about two hours after I opened it, and it was pretty good, but I think it will get better with age.

At first, it was quite complex and tasty, but it was a bit light and the acid was rather piercing.  With air, it darkened and softened somewhat, showing flavors of dark cherry, plum, and hibiscus, with hints of roses, oranges, and licorice.  Even so, its acid made it better with food.  (I’d recommend roasted chicken or pork.)  With a lighter medium body, it’s refined, aromatic, and elegant rather than ripe and rich.  (In this way, it is similar to the Château de Roques, but I believe this Chianti is the more complex and substantial wine.)  I think this is pretty good for the price, especially for the 20% off sale price, and I will likely get another bottle or two to put in cool storage for several years.

I stored half the contents of this magnum in two 750ml bottles with stoppers and very little air, and I’ll update this post or comment on it when I open one of them.  The producer’s page on this wine is here.


7 thoughts on “2008 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva

  1. Seedboy

    Has anyone out there opened one of these recently? I’m considering serving it with grilled veal chops tonight.

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    I opened one of the stored half bottles a few days ago. It was much like the wine straight out of the magnum bottle, i.e., it had hardly changed at all. Following inthewinecountry’s suggestion, I left a little in the half bottle for a day with a cork in the top, to see how it would do. It was a little more accessible, but still not very yielding. I suspect it’s going to take many years for this to relax.

  3. bin5

    I just got an email with the 2009 version of this wine for $21.99, so you got a two for one deal. Plus magnums are always better.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I just noticed that Robert Parker’s vintage chart, so handily linked to in the right margin, gives the 2008 vintage in Chianti Classico a “90R,” where the R is for Ready to drink. I do like my wine a little more aged than some folks do, so maybe you shouldn’t let my preferences deter you from opening one soon. 🙂

    2. jason carey

      Italian wines from 1000 different grapes and from hundredes of micro climates.. no most Italian wines are for drinking within one year of release. Many are also light and are good with and without food. Yes Italians tend to eat with their wine.. but this generalization is specious. This particular wine is meant for a bit more bottle age and decantin but most are not/


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