David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a go-to bottle of Chianti
Rocca Delle Macìe 2008 Chianti Riserva
$15.95 | Tuscany, Italy | 89 points
Tuscany is the focus of a current Vintages release, with a high-flying assortment of classic Brunellos and cabernet/merlot–influenced “super Tuscans.” But this somewhat more low-flying $16 Chianti is the best buy of the bunch, and it has been delivering its charm and richness in every vintage I can remember in recent years.
The taste: It doesn’t have a classically firm structure and runs just a touch sweet, but it has counter-balancing acidity, tension and juiciness, with fine tannin. Ripe currant fruit, spice, herbs and leather flavours have very good to excellent presence and length, amid lightly chocolaty oak. There is a certain sensuality that is very appealing, if hard to explain.
How to drink it: It has great drinkability now, so enjoy it any time over the next three to four years. Serve it just below room temperature in a large-bowled glass that will show off its aromas. It’s a Chianti you can sip on its own or enjoy with well-seasoned poultry, pork or beef—but this is not a tangy Italian pasta or pizza wine.