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banfi chiantiThis is not your standard bottom shelf Chianti. It’s a riper, darker-fruited Chianti, with some raisin notes and a layer of milk chocolate–but also plenty of prominent earth notes and tobacco to redeem it. With aeration the more typical sour cherry flavor becomes more apparent.

In the mouth, the introduction is bold with an impression of sweetness but the midpalate turns angular and hard with a very dry, course finish featuring tart sour cherry and spice. This is an interesting evolution from plump to austere leaving an overall impression of rusticity. Tannins are sandy and acidity ample enough to give the wine life, albeit a life that ends in tragedy.

Superiore on the label in Chianti simply means the grapes come from one of the non-Classico sub-regions of Chianti and the wine must be aged nine months, of which 3 months must be in bottle. This version from Banfi was aged 4-5 months in French barrique and includes 10% Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a bit of Canaiolo with the Sangiovese.

A unique expression, riper with more oak treatment and sort of brash especially as it finishes, it’s not classic but stays close enough to the real thing to give satisfaction at its price.

Score: 88

Price: $11

Alc.: 12.5%

Corey Harris’s Santoro has the right mix of earth and blues to resonate with the spirit of this wine.

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