Home Varietals Chianti Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva – Very Nice!

Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva

It has been a few weeks since I’ve posted any updates here, but for good reason — I’ve been traveling to visit wine producers in France and Switzerland.  I’ll be writing up details on those producers in the coming weeks, but I wanted to get a quick new review up while I work on those longer pieces.

So today I have a review from one my favorite wine regions, Chianti Classico.  (For those who are keeping track, yes I do have a lot of “favorite” wine regions.  Is that a bad thing?)

I visited Chianti Classico a few years ago on a press trip and I still recall it as one of the most beautiful places on earth.  And the wines are one incarnation of that beauty.

I’ve written in the past about how confusing the Chianti designations can be, as there’s not just one.  You have Chianti, Chianti Superiore, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Classico, and Chianti Classico Riserva to just name a few.  These represent different regions & sub-regions and related production specifications, such as the types of grapes used and the ageing of the wines.  They are meant to reflect a level of quality too, although I wouldn’t say that all wines within any one of the classifications are equal.  That said there is some credence to the idea that wines with specific designations should be better than other designations.

As I said, it can all be confusing for the average consumer to keep track of it.  So if you want to simplify things, you can narrow the category.  Chianti Classico is one designation that was created in effort to maintain quality standards.  So if you buy only Chianti Classico, you’re assured certain standards were applied in the production which should lend to the quality of the wine.  And then you have Chianti Classico Riserva, which is a subset of Chianti Classico that requires minimum ageing of 24 months, including 3 months in bottle before selling.  This is a step above the standard Chianti Classico.  It’s typically a little more expensive, but you can sometimes find it offered for under $20 a bottle, such as with this Chianti Classico Riserva from Banfi.

Dusty blackberry, soy sauce, cherry and leather aromas give this wine an elegant, sophisticated, and somewhat exotic nose.  It’s balanced and complex, offering fruit, earth and spice characteristics.  The palate is lively, bringing tangy raspberry, cherry and spice flavors up front and then a burst of strawberry on the mid-palate.  It finishes with wild cherry, apple peel and black tea flavors.  Moderate tannins and vibrant acidity give the wine a satisfying mouthfeel.  The finish is plenty long too.

This is a very nice Chianti Classico Riserva at a great price.

Wine: Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva
Variety: Cabernet sauvignon, canaiolo nero, sangiovese
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 13.5%
Rating: 90
Price: $19.00
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.

Find Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva with Snooth

Review overview
Overall impressions
Tim is the founder and chief reviewer at Cheap Wine Ratings since 2007.

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