Ruffino chianti superiore review: Isn’t it ironic

16 03 2011

Today we review a 2008 chianti superiore from Italy (of course) that costs around $11 or $12, but is just $9 at Costco.

You would think that Ruffino‘s chianti “superiore” would be, ahem, superior to other chiantis, such as chianti classico, or classico reserva.

But this one isn’t superior to much of anything.  It’s on the light side and it’s dry, not juicy.  Kind of bitter.  Not warm, not complex, not delicious.  Maybe it would be great with food?  Sorry, I just didn’t care for this, despite its promising name.  I can’t suggest that you spend even the $9 that it requires at Costco.  This one is:

Not recommended.





Da Vinci chianti review – WHAT IS THIS!?

12 11 2010

Da Vinci chianti reviewToday we review a 2008 chianti from Italy (of course), which costs $10 at my local wine store.  However, I’ve seen it for as high as $14.

Holy cow, is this the perfect value-oriented wine?

It may not be terribly cool to love Da Vinci chianti, but I love it.  But only on day 2, after leaving the bottle corked overnight.  To be honest, when first opened, it struck me as generic, slightly too sweet, and lacking any kind of personality.

On day 2 my views changed, so I suggest letting it breathe — even better, pour it into a decanter.  Da Vinci has noticeable, mouth-drying tannins, but less than many other chiantis. It’s juicy, and very friendly for a chianti.  It’s medium-bodied, verging on full-bodied.  Wine geek words like “mouthfilling” come to mind.  It smells like a sweet Marks-A-Lot magic marker.  And it tastes like oak and vanilla, mixed with strawberry, cranberry, blackberry, and a little smoke.  Perfect?  No.  It doesn’t have the sensual complexity or fresh, organic explosion of colors that you get with a truly great wine.   But at this price, it’s damn near perfection.

WOW.  At $10, absolutely unstoppable.  This crowd pleaser is easily a “Best Value” winner.  Recommended!





Marchese Antinori chianti classico riserva 2004 review

28 09 2010

Today we review a 2004 chianti that costs $30 a bottle. 

QUESTION!   What to buy if you’re making a romantic Italian dinner for a seriously hot date?  Answer – something Italian!  Although many U.S. reds will pair wonderfully with your meal, nothing gets the romance going like an Italian.  

There are many kinds of Italian wines, but if you’re starting out, a chianti is a safe bet — they hardly ever taste bad, they are affordable, and most people have a good association with the name.   But what IS chianti?  It’s not a grape.  It’s a blend of three or four grapes, but always most prominently sangiovese.  It’s made in the Chianti area of Italy, in Tuscany.  There are several “grades” of chianti, and it usually goes like this:

          Good:  chianti

          Better: chianti classico

          Best: chianti classico riserva

Then there’s “chianti superiore”, which is supposed to be even better, but is rare.  My local Total Wine has only one. 

So today we have a $30 chianti classico riserva which is very warm, extremely dark red, almost black, tastes very full and extracted, and is VERY very sumptuous in the mouth, with perfect texture.  But there’s a problem: too much oak.  Drinking it is like sucking on a 2×4.  It’s hard to taste the grapes, much less describe them for you.  Although it is very romantic, has great texture and has a sexy, upperclass label, this Italian is unfortunately:

Not recommended.   

Next!

P.S.  Hey WINEGUIDER!!  What about my dang date?!?!   Well, for a moderately pricey chianti that will taste good and show that you really cared about the meal, I suggest you buy the little brother to the above wine, another Antinori offering called Peppoli chianti classico, which costs $24.   I will do a full review soon.