2012 Castello Di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
This is a bottle Costco carries regularly and one that we’ve recommended for some time. I went 92-93 points even on the ’10 vintage finding it to be “perfect in so many ways.” The 2013 vintage, which I’m on the look out for, was named to Wine Spectator’s list of the top 100 wines of 2016. Hopefully, we see that one hit Costco stores soon.
I enjoyed the 2012 vintage quite a bit too and it is a great buy if you can still find it in stores near you. Expressive nose that is floral, earthy and spicy. This wine is medium to full bodied in the mouth, with tannins that are softening quite nicely now creating a soft, elegant mouthfeel; spicy black cherry and strawberry flavors followed by some notes of leather and tobacco with a semi-dry finish.
I had a ’10 vintage in the cellar that I had been holding on to since my last review so had the opportunity to try them side by side to see how they compared, and also to see how the extra two years of age would affect the wine. I decanted both for about an hour, sneaking in a few sips here and there. The ’10 was very much closed for the hour with little in the way of aroma and scant on the flavor.
I almost started to feel like it might have plateaued but after 1.5-2 hours it changed, and changed significantly, opening up, the flavors more vibrant, and it outshined the liveliness of the younger ’12 vintage pretty fast. It was a fun experiment, and if you have the chance to lay these down for a couple of years, they can get quite interesting. So I put another ’12 bottle in the cellar, and perhaps we can do this again in a few years.
Overall, I’m still a fan of the ’10 vintage of this one, and for ’10 vintage wines across most of Tuscany. The ’12 is a very nice wine, don’t get me wrong, but compared to the aged ’10, I know which one I would pick. I’m still giving the ’12 90 points. It’s a solid buy for a Chianti Classico, but not quite where I felt the ’10 was when I gave it 92-93 and it’s only gotten better since then.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points
Costco item number: 34484
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA