Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's in my Glass Wednesday! 2009 Chianti Classico by Casalino

Ahh... Chianti - Italy's claim-to-fame.  The one and only pasta-loving wine.  Chianti Classico, produced primarily by the Sangiovese grape, is a light- to medium-bodied red wine with bright red fruit character and a crisp acidity.  It's that acidity which goes so well with equally acidic tomato-based sauces: part of Italy's prime cuisine!

I should note that Chianti Classico is different than the ever-popular, made-to-compete-with-high-alcohol-California-wines Super Tuscans, which use Sangiovese as a base and then blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and/or Cabernet Franc.  Super Tuscans have much greater body, usually a higher alcohol, and a bigger incorporation of oak compared to the traditional Chianti. 

2009 Chianti Classico by Casalino

The D-2010 Scale 
2009 Chianti Classico by Casalino (Italy)
Appearance (10 points possible): Light red with slightly brown-tinted edges. Clear. - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Lots of red fruits with a complex hint of leather, earth, and a sensual smokiness. - 15 points
Taste (10 points possible):  Light-bodied red wine with crisp acidity.  Red fruits and leather on the palate.  Slightly astringent with a lingering smoky finishing. - 7 points
Balance (5 points possible): The acidity made this wine a bit thin, but it's traditionally made in this style.  I wish it was integrated together just a bit better.  I'm surprised the wine is at 13% alcohol because I didn't pick up on this too easily. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Lengthy and smoky with a hint of astringency and lingering acidity. - 5 points
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Heavy glass bottle with the DOCG seal indicating that it's a real Chianti.  - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible):  Nice large label, but I did over-look this originally because the label was a bit dull to me.  For some reason, I'm not overly big on Italian labels and understanding them, so I'm slightly biased against them.  Eventually I chose this label (over lots of others) because there was a note below it indicating it's quality and because it was a DOCG wine, as opposed to the other which was not. - 8 points
Other (5 points possible):  No big extras on this one. - 3 points
Total Points: 88 points
Overall Thought: This is a wine I'd probably buy again if I was in a bind for an inexpensive Chianti.  The quality is good enough that it was worth the $11 for me.  But I wasn't overly impressed with this wine when I had it.  That being said, this wasn't the only wine of the evening, so in my head, I'm comparing it to another wine that I was more attracted to.  Hahaha.  I guess no wine is created equal!  Regardless, it's definitely a good example of a Chianti Classico, and one that I think is worth trying.
Food Pairings:  This is your ultimate pizza and pasta wine.  Any time you have a red-based sauce, I'd grab a wine just like this!  I had it with baked zitti... yum!
Cost: I think you'll find this around $11.
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1... Definitely a good wine for under $20.
Where to buy:  I purchased this at Total Wine.  (Actually, I lie.  I picked it out, but my grandparents bought it.)  :)  Cheers!

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