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November 01, 2004

99 Casale dello Sparviero, Chianti Classico

Initially tight and racy, with a funky, enticing Kriek nose of earth and wild cherries, almost barrelled; my closest frames of reference are New Belgium La Folie and Cantillon Kriek -- both beers. The acidic palate is full of more red cherries and a clean, liquid juiciness. After an hour in the open bottle, the 99 Sparviero deepens dramatically. The earth -- actual soil -- broadens on the nose with darker plummy fruit on the nose and palate. Sudden black pepper. Bordeaux cassis. Chewy tannins push through past the fruit. This grows into a wine plush with terroir, virtually signing its name on the tongue. At 5 years, the sangiovese exposes both its youth and its age, stable enough for at least a couple more years, but perhaps trailing off. This is a chianti of nearly unmatched fortitude, depth, and character, though tannins do eventually come to dominate the finish and the fruit doesn't seem capable of any true resurgence; still, it lingers.


Blogger Nilay Gandhi said...

Too big for standard tomato fare (unless you catch it in its first two minutes after corking), this is a wine for heartier pasta sauces or roasted meat. To be treated as a young brunello.

6:59 PM  

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