Chianti from the Early 1990s - September 19, 2012 - Host: Ron

Ron's speaking notes: Tonight's tasting we are Iooking for value and aging. Many Chianti wines from the 1970s were poor. The 1986 scandal - with wood alcohol (methanol) added to some wines to increase alcohol percentage - killed at least 2 people and blinded 20 or so more. This was the final straw causing the government to enforce quality regulation in wine. This reinforced a shift from quantity to quality; this tasting is an overview of the aftermath, with reduction in yields, more attention to detail. Ris = 2 yrs in cask, + 1 yr in bottle while std is 18 mos in bbl + 6 mos in bot; Chianti from the 70s could not take this age (20 yrs +/-).

Lugana San Benedetto 2005 (Zenato) - starter

$10-14, Veneto, area ripe w/ good whites; Zenato makes Amarone

Riserva Ducale d'Oro Chianti Classico 1990 (Ruffino)

gift of Ben Manisto to club, possible heat damage; I use d'Oro as a std to judge vintages; typ ratings 88-90; buff label is lighter but -40 cost - you decide; VG yr

Montetondo Chianti Classico 1990

Selected to demo choices of winemaker. Early picking => lower sugar (12 here) and higher acidity (good for aging & food). Only $13 + tax @ purch. Example of value, if you know pref style. Style chg w/ oak use. In Radda.

Casa Emma Chianti Classico Riserva 1994 (Fiorello Lepri & Co)

Typically early drinking style. Now approx $19-24,13 (very typ of Chianti); 200 cases Ris imported{WE88 '06), 5K cases of std Chianti made @ $13 vintage 03; 32 acres planted early 70sSangio, malvasia nera (5%), canaiolo (5%)

Querciabella Chianti Classico 1995 (Agricola Querciabella)

12,5%, Agricola Quer, Ruffoli di Greve; "bottled on the Quer estate"; curr RP90, $28; "mid weight"; expected life 10 yrs; posted tastings on the web in '05 & '09 were good

Poggio Rosso Chianti Classico Riserva 1997 (Agricola San Felice)

sangio + colorino; "Ris only in superior yrs";ratings of this vary WIDELY, typ 90 now @ $43; recom drink 9 yrs or before; Castelnuovo Berardenga 390 m elev; "Poggio Rosso" = source vyd, 13 hectares, fairly rocky, contiguous plots planted var 1971-80, some re-plant '03; also lower label "Ch CI San Felice"

Vigna delia Croce Chianti Classico Riserva 1990 (Terrabianca)

WS88, RP93; $28 now; 97 sangio ,3 cana; austere?

Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 1991

WS87, typ 90-92 & improving; Sangio Grosso; owned by Cinzano since 1973, stainless tanks, moderate vyd yield, curr rep "near term drinkling": the point is to compare color & taste w/ Chianti

Giorgio Primo Chianti Classico 1994 (Fattoria La Massa)

in Panzano, now typ $40-50, IGT Bordeaux blend; vyd > 1,000 ft, 111 acres incl 27 in vines. Acquired 1992 by Giampaolo Motta (Paasionate), re-Iaid out plantings 20XX vs soil, microclimate; since '07 leaning to Bordeaux grapes

Podere II Palazzino Chianti Classico 1993

"Palazzino is a farm in Monti owned by the Sdersi family since 70s; 20 km S of Siena, 20 ha (50 acres) ss" harvest now, organic, tourism farmhouse, 10K bot/yr. 30 new Fr oak now, Grosso Sanese is the cru; 100 sangio => IGT; Grosso San first made in '91 as experiment; 3 single vyd cru + 3 IGT + 3 colorino grape

Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 1993 (Felsina)

Castelnuovo Berardenga is a commune in the province of Siena, 50 km S of Florence; incl in Chianti e 1932; incl several sm villages; p.38 in 89.named for 1366 castle. Expect acidity, austerity. Family owned since 1966 but Giuseppe Mazzocolin left teaching to make the wine; fine results from 80s onward; 2 top crus: Rancia Ris & Fontalloro which is a few hundred yds outside DOCG limit (drinks like Chianti). Rancia is 100 sangio,1,300 ft elev (some resemblance to Brnlo). Where is Chianti going? Read passage in Vino, p.206

Palazzo delia Torre 2008 (Allegrini)

Veneto (Veronese IGT), known for "one of the most potent"; differs in mfg'g: majority of grapes vinified @ harvest while rest is sent to the drying room, slowly becoming raisined until pressed in Jan; This juice is blended wI the fresh wine of Sept to start secondary fermentation = extra complexity & concentration. Aged in oak bbl. Slight diff fr Allegrini. $17; Verona: Roman (opera) ruins, renowned market, Romeo & Julietbalcony; red Veneto defined by Valpolicella. See Vino Italiano p.58+

Amarone Classico 1999 (Allegrini)

Appossimento process used by Bolla in volume in 1950s. Standard procedure: harvest Oct, dry on mats until Jan, press, vinify; => incr sugar w/o decrease acidity. Styles vary wi grape mix, humidity, time length, type of bbl. For Ripasso make Valpolicella in fall (corvine + rondinella + ... ), pour over leftover skins & pulp fr Amarone, causes secondary fermentation. Amarone typ $50+; '07 @ $80

Moscato d' Asti 2009 (Lodali) - desert

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