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The 2009 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva has garnered tremendous press, scoring 93 points from the world’s toughest critics and earning a place on Wine Spectator’s list of Top 100 Wines of the Year, so what more can we say? Plenty. Monsanto’s incredible 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva reminds us once again of the beautiful Tuscan landscape: elegant, fecund, positively captivating, timeless, and always in good taste. Moreover, this iconic estate has not only captured Tuscany’s alluring countryside in their picture perfect 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva, they have made a dense, rich authoritative Riserva that offers succulent scents and savory flavors reminiscent of ripe cherries, violets, tobacco, and spice. Plenty of up front fruit softens the wine’s ripe tannins, lending balance and a round generous mouth feel to this Riserva. Most of all, layers of flavor and great warmth translate into tremendous palate appeal. They also lend credence to the critics' claims that Castello di Monsanto sits at the pinnacle of quality in Chianti Classico. For optimal enjoyment we strongly suggest opening this Tuscan treasure at least an hour ahead and serving it at cool room temperature. It can also be laid down to mature for an additional five years or more. Saluté!
The exuberant, superbly crafted 2009 Monsanto Chianti Classico is one of the easiest Tuscan reds to bring to table. It pairs extremely well with Tuscany’s country cooking as well as many classic specialties from around the world. Although it is a sophisticated wine that deserves to hold court with the best one has to offer, it also has a way of making ordinary country foods seem like haute cuisine. Who can pass on a mid week treat? Consequently, Ribollita, a traditional Tuscan soup based upon beans, bread, olive oil and herbs has always been a personal favorite. Thick lentil soup with ham and plenty of root vegetables works its own magic, too. However, as appealing as these marriages may be, Monsanto’s 2009 Riserva will absolutely shine in the company of sophisticated fare. Beef tenderloin, grilled to perfection with a brush of olive oil, garlic, mint, and rosemary; pheasant, stuffed with braised vegetables, porcini mushrooms and a hint of truffle; and Lamb Osso Bucco offer even grander accompaniments to match Castello di Monsanto’s elegance and panache. Roasted herb encrusted lamb chops provide a simpler but equally satisfying treat with the critically acclaimed 2009 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva. Buon Appetito!
Since 1961 when he purchased Castello di Monsanto, Fabrizio Bianchi has been one of Chianti Classico’s greatest innovators and artists. A successful textile manufacturer from Milan, Bianchi has brought a pioneering spirit to Chianti that has never wavered nor has his estate failed to produce anything but superlative wine. Fabrizio acquired Monsanto with “a consciousness that he was walking on a treasure, not of gold, but mere land.” What he has done with that special bit of Tuscany is turn it into liquid gold in the form of the finest Chianti Classico, while simultaneously transforming one of the oldest and most respected wine regions on earth through a series of innovations.
Monsanto is a large estate by Tuscan standards (206 hectares or a little more than 453 acres), but only a fraction of the total (72 hectares) is actually under vine. Fabrizio and his family have opted to preserve the natural forests of oak, myrtle, and wild berries that surround the estate, thereby protecting the natural pollinators and indigenous yeasts that abound at Monsanto. And from the very beginning, Fabrizio set out upon refurbishing the estate’s vineyards and protecting the special terroir that exists at Monsanto. Consequently, all of Monsanto’s grapes are hand harvested and only the property’s natural yeast is employed in fermentation.
In addition to revitalizing Chianti Classico, Monsanto has been at the vanguard of Tuscany’s renewed interest in traditional French varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which the Bianchis also fashion into award winning wines. Furthermore, Monsanto produces a small quantity of a single cru 100% Sangiovese that is labeled Sangioveto Grosso from their renowned Scanni vineyard, and a bit of Vin Santo from Malvasia and Trebbiano.
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