Review Of A Pricey Red Chianti Classico Italian Wine

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2004 12.8% alcohol about $21

I first tasted this wine with slow-cooked boneless beef ribs and potatoes accompanied by a spicy commercial Turkish salad. The wine was thick, loaded with plum and cherry flavors, and some tobacco. The tannins were moderate. Dessert was a cocoa cake whose label said strudel. The wine went well, its fruit really came out.

I next tasted the Chianti Classico with slow-cooked meat balls, cauliflower and chickpeas in a tomato sauce, and potato wedges. The wine was plumy and powerful, with very pleasant tannins, a little tobacco and a little earth. Just so you know, Iím not usually partial to tannins. The wine was so round that I enjoyed finishing the glass when the food was gone. No dessert this time.

I decided to follow the distributorís suggestion and grilled a veal chop with a mixture of spices (minced onion, cayenne, and a bit of curry powder), accompanied by grilled eggplant slices with the same spices, and a commercially prepared Turkish salad, based on red pepper and tomato. The wine bounced nicely off the delicious somewhat fat, somewhat rare meat. It didnít add flavors of its own, but accompanied the foodís flavors excellently. It was powerful, but not overpowering.

I remember when Chianti came in straw-covered bottles. In fact, I remember the bottles more than the wine itself. But times have changed. This Chianti Classico was excellent, quite deserving of its top-of-the-line DOCG classification and well worth the price.

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