Apologies for the long gap, my internet connection is limited to a green flashing box provided by Vodafone Italia who will cut my access if I dare to download anything longer than the mondo convenienza jingle. Internet access in Italy is still a long way behind the deals you get in the US and UK but, this is a wine website and not a forum for the flailing fortunes of Italian telecoms. So, FYI, did you know... I have moved to Venice, well, to Mestre, but Venice sounds better. In these past two weeks it's sure to say that the wine scene here is very different to that of Rome. Venice wine is an important deal and they're sticking fiercely with what they know, that being Amarone and Valpolicella. The whites up here are definitely on another strata, trading filthy Frascati for some beautiful Soave's and Pinot Grigios is one of the highlights of Venice Wine.
Venice Wine does run the gambit. The local supermarket stocks an abysmal selection of wines and I have walked up and down Corso del Popolo searching for an Enoteca but without luck. Underneath my apartment block is a wine bar, and it's terrible. The area certainly grows some fabulous wines, and in the very best restaurants you can find them but it seems the Venetians, for the most part, just won't let go of their Spritz. This can't be the whole story, there are some famous wine bars in Padova, so I'm going to ride the rails out of my Mestre Vino hell and hope the town is no more than an aberration in the Veneto, and then I'll move house!
However, I can recommend a fabulous little wine bar at Marco Polo airport giving a small but select group of great little reds and whites accompanied by some fine cheeses, just the ticket to kill some time. You will have no trouble spotting it, it's the only wine bar there.
So, it's been 6 weeks, and I have drunk some wine and in accordance with my contract, I have to tell you all about it now. So let's do that thing. I've been on a Chianti Classico bender for a while now and I think I found the best Chianti Classico ever made in the Castello di Ama 2004 effort, pricey, but nicey. 2004 was a great vintage and so all the wines are from that year.
Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Bellavista 2004 - BUY - €100
Ripe, fruity, berries and cherry explosion. This is a killer offering, dark ruby red in the glass, inviting with a nose you're not going to tire of. Fantastic development, a really interesting wine that gets top marks at all stages of the tasting. Structure and class running throughout and a thick chocolate topped cappuccino note in the midpalate, it's something of a desert treat as much as a wine. Long finish and as clean as a whistle. Sumptuous, possibly the best Chianti Classico around, 2004 fantastic vintage. Am I really going to give a Chianti Classico... 94 Points
Nozzole Chianti Classico La Forra Riserva 2004 - BUY - €10
Really full bodied and leathery wine, making its way from dark red to an inky purple in the glass, good rounded tannins and a clean finish make for a satisfying Chianti. Would have expected a little better but still, for the price, its a nice effort. Wasn't giving much up on the nose so leave it a couple more years, what I did get, after a sound swirling was a meaty, raspberry tone. 90 Points
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2004 - BUY - €12
Really dark in the glass, this Chianti was made to be drunk young quickly giving up beautiful cherry notes, the wine is mid bodied and opulent, no aggression here, finely weighted tannins, and a fruity mid finish. It's not half bad for the price and is a typical Fontodi Classico that got a leg up from a beaut of a vintage. 90 Points
Riecine Chianti Classico 2004 - PASS - €22
There will be people who love this. It's powerful, tight and robust, chewy tannins, full bodied, it's a really big big effort. In my opinion, it's overpowering and not particularly tasty or interesting on the nose. Could be it is a stonking wine that needs time. To drink now? Rather dull. 87 Points
Where can I buy this Wine? (The Castello di Ama)
Europeans - Enoteca San Domenico - €100
Americans - Cabrini Wines - $170
Brits - Wine Direct - £106
Question of the Day
What was the last bottle of wine you bought?