Barone Ricasole, Castello di Brolio, Gran Selezione, DOCG Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, 2010
On Chianti Classico DOCG
The Chianti Classico DOCG area is a smallish region, geographically within, but separate from, the vast Chianti DOCG area. Up to 20% indigenous eg canaiolo and coloroni, and international varieties, are permitted in a blend with a minimum 80% sangiovese (as with Chianti DOCG). Gran selezione is the top-level Chianti Classico, with minima of 13% abv and 30 months unspecified vessel ageing, but including 3 in bottle. Produced from single vineyards or a property’s best grapes, and subject to a panel tasting.
This wine: lot No. L-BDB18 (on the capsule), a sangiovese dominated blend with 3% cabernet sauvignon and 2% merlot, oak aged, coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Waitrose Cellar, £40 (11/14)
Last tasted 07/11/15
Consumer tasting note: strong developed aromas of red and black cherry, both jam and stewed, a spicy, savoury and earthy dimension, and black liquorice with a delicate lift of dried rose bud; medium bodied with bright acidity and firm tannins, and rich flavours of ripe red and black cherry, complemented by lighter black berry, then into savoury, earthy and black liquorice again. Finishes long. Decant for 30-45 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas of stewed red cherry edged with low-key VA, a little savoury and earthy, a spicy edge with a touch of cumin, spicy red cherry jam, warm beeswax, a hint of toast, old polished wood, stewed red plum, black liquorice edged with hints of ripe black cherry, dried rose bud.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a sense of sweet ripeness in mid-palate, with flavours of ripe black cherry edged with lighter black berry, ripe red cherry, savoury, beeswax, dried rose bud, hints of red cherry jam, black liquorice, a little earthy. A long length with a clean black cherry/berry savoury edged finish, with beeswax on the end of a significant grip.
Quality: very good, with well-balanced fresh acidity and ripe yet firm tannins, with alcohol, altogether suiting the moderate-strong flavour intensity and slightly lesser concentration. Heading for fully developed, with moderate-high complexity, of a strong tertiary nature, with notes of savoury, earthy, old polished wood, dried rose bud and beeswax, whilst retaining an element of toastiness and spice from well-integrated exposure to wood, and residual ripe black fruit. Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 1-2 years – a sound structure and balance, at its peak now, with a nice balance of tertiary development, well-integrated oak, and a little residual primary fruit. It will not improve further.