Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Bossi 2007

Spending a weekend in Brescia at the European Wine Bloggers Conference, seemed a pretty good way to try to fill in some of the blind spots in my wine knowledge, namely, pretty much all Italian wine.

But due to “real” work commitments I was unable to attend any of the post conference trips, the most appealing of which was Chianti.

I can stare longingly at a wine map, kindly donated by Steve De Long. I can laugh wryly at the treatment afforded to Jim Budd (a man so straight-talking his words are delivered on EU approved cucumbers) in his communications with a renowned Chianti producer. But right now, the closest I can get to saying I was there is by drinking a bottle that I procured from Sunday Times Wine Club (Laithwaites), en primeur, for about £16.

Like many indicters, I might allege that Italian red wine is all too often over-tannic for my tastes and this one plays up to my prejudices. However, on the plus side, there are punnets of blackcurrants, baskets of cherries and bright acidity that lasts in the mouth like a 24h menthol mouthwash (in a good way!).

This wine is young, of course. But I think relations between Baron Ricasoli and J.Budd Esq. will have thawed long before this wine’s tannins are soft enough for me to really enjoy it.

If you are into this type of wine, surely it would be magnificent with a hunk of rare red meat and a big bowl of salty French fries.

6 Responses to “Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Bossi 2007”

  1. Robert McIntosh (@thirstforwine) Says:

    Interesting. I’d contend (in the sense of adding to the debate rather than pronouncing a really informed verdict) that IN GENERAL Italian wines aren’t majorly tannic, but there is something different and drying about the interaction of what tannins there are PLUS the high acidity that marks them out. The key really, as you say , is that more than many other places, wines made in Italy really are made for food. however, this sounds like a good excuse to do more research

  2. Lizzy Says:

    Thank you for your report and your impression, Alistair. However, I agree with Robert: the Italian red wines are made for food. Often they are very, very tannic and with high acidity. If you drink them too young, they are totally unbalanced and inelegant.
    You must wait them. There are some grapes which NEED more time, years let me say. Sangiovese is one of them, nebbiolo is another.
    “Markets want the wines NOW!” wine producers say. Thus, they sell their wines too early and some wine lovers like you can remain dissatisfied…

  3. andrew Says:

    I was going to say much the she thing as rob, while I don’t find them all overly tannic (thinking barbera d asti for example) their structure for me demands food a majority of the time.

  4. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Thanks guys. I’m far from dissastified with Italian wines in general. I tasted some fab (and unexpected) wines in Brescia including rosés from Lake Garda and sparklers from Franciacorta.
    I got a mixed case of Chiantis from 2007. I guess the lesson is to keep them a few more years before dipping my toe in again.

  5. Robbin Says:

    Never ever, ever drink an Italian wine without food.

  6. Ben Hodgkinson (@CptCheerful) Says:

    From the limited number I’ve tried, I tend to prefer stuff from the Montepulciano region over and above Chianti. Better yet, ditch the Sangiovese altogether and get in to some Negroamaro from the south. 😉

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