Super Tuscan Wine Review: Castello di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2007
Castello Di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2007
Castello di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2007
I found another decent purchase at my local wine shop in the East Village of Manhattan. This Castello di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2007 is on the verge of becoming a drinkable wine having been in small oak for it's first 7 months and in the bottle for almost 6 years. Next year would have been the best year to open this one, but for $10 I had nothing to lose.
This Chianti is actually considered a Super Tuscan wine even though the label states otherwise. The label reads that there is a mix of 85% Sangiovese, 8% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet is what puts this wine into the Super Tuscan category.
Years ago, winemakers in the Chianti area thought it would be a good idea to import Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from France, and put a portion of them into the Chianti thereby creating a wine outside of the Chianti Classico standard. Today, a Chianti Classico must have at least 80% Sangiovese grapes by law. This Castello di Monastero is 85% Sangiovese but it is a blend therefore making it a Chianti but not a Chianti Classico. This would probably explain the good price I paid for this wine.
The color is a dark ruby red with a touch of orange around the perimeter. Clearly, there are some positive signs that the wine is aging nicely but probably not having reached it's peak performance level.
The aroma smelled like soil. This is not a baby's wine and this is certainly not a wine for those who say they like dry but their palette goes towards sweeter reds. This is an old world Italian wine. Some argue that this is the way wine should be. It's an honest wine, with a bouquet that is virtually non existent. I did get a little heat from the alcohol in my nose but not overwhelming.
There is no sweetness in this wine. It's dry and it doesn't even pretend to be sweet. Like I said, nothing in the bouquet that would hint at some sign of sweet resemblances to come. And at no point during the drink does it show any sweetness. This is not a bad thing for me because I like my wines dry.
This is an acidic wine. Chiantis are typically known to be very acidic compared to other red wines. For me it wasn't over-the-top acidic but the acidity makes it's presence known. It was one of the more dominating elements to this drink.
This was lightly tannic which showed that this wine is getting very close to reaching the best time to drink it. I opened it a bit prematurely but I wasn't expecting this 10 dollar bottle of Chianti to become magnificent next year. I don't see any signs that this wine would ever become a top quality Chianti. So why wait? Drink!
This is a medium bodied wine. Some might argue that it's heavy but it just doesn't have enough Cab to get to that heavy level for my taste. The alcohol is 14% thereby implying a heavy body but not quite if you ask me. However, it is certainly heavy enough that I would highly recommend having food with it. I actually made a pork loin marinaded in a heavy garlic sauce and a side dish of risotto with asparagus. This Chianti sliced through my meal with ease and it worked well even with the risotto because I loaded it with Pecorino Romano cheese which is on the sharp side.
I feel like this wine was lacking in complexity. It's a simple wine with a narrow range of flavor. Balance is almost a non-issue because of this simplicity. The alcohol burned on the finish and could have been just a little less pronounced. The finish was a mixture of a very dark currant and some earth. It was a quick finish. But honestly, a boring wine overall.
Final Thoughts on Castello Di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2007
For $10, this Chianti did the job. It was not a disappointing wine but nothing so exciting that I can't wait to buy another bottle. In terms of pairing with my meal, it was acceptable. If you like old world Italian wine that is dry and bitter, and you're on a budget, pick this baby up. Ciao!
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What's your favorite Super Tuscan?
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