Besides the rather chilly temperatures in the morning, how do I know fall is creeping in? Because we start going through our red wine bottles that accumulated over the summer: gifts, the random buy, you name it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my rieslings and summer whites, and I will miss them dearly, but there is something about reds, calming and soothing.
Cantine Melini is a big Italian wine producer. Their top notch wines have garnered attention by Italy’s leading wine guide, the Gambero Rosso (e.g. the 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva La Selvanella got the coveted 3 glass rating). The winery was established in 1705 and today covers over 550 hectares of land in chianti and chianti classico. The vineyards reportedly cover 136 hectares divided in 5 farms. According to Snooth, the wine was produced with Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes and was aged for 6 months in large oak barrels as well as stainless steel casks.
I have always had a weak spot for chianti, mainly because the wines are tend to be distinctly different from brunello and vino nobile (which I both love), in that it seems lighter. I am not very familiar with the Northern Italian reds, and because I pretty much spent all my childhood summers in central Italy, that region is just closer to me emotionally. So these are my lighter Italian go to reds.
There are tons of reviews out on this one, because it is also a steal: the wine retails from $5.50 in the United States. So go and compare with my notes, if you care. We received the bottle as a gift from friends. The alcohol content is a moderate 12.5% ABV.
The wine poured red as blood with a silky viscosity. On the nose I got mostly floral notes (I noticed lavender), it is quite perfumy. Then I noticed strawberry jam, slight oak notes and a hint of soap. On the palate the wine was medium bodied with sour cherry, raspberry. I still got lavender and slight oaky smoke. The wine was a tad too astringent for my taste, but it had a nice level of tannins with a short finish. The acidity made the wine seem a bit off balance. However, this was a solid chianti, I think, especially given the price tag. It paired nicely with my pizza.
[…] of you know that I have made Melini’s 2010 Chianti Borghi d’Elsa my go to, everyday Chianti. It is nicely affordable and delivers refreshing, light wines. When […]
[…] have written about the Melini chianti previously, you can check out the review here. All of what I said back then held true, and the nice acidity in the wine helped with the rich […]
[…] selling magnum bottles of the 2010 Melini Chianti Borghi d’Elsa, which I reviewed recently here, and thought it was a good value chianti. When I checked, the cheapest 750ml bottles for that wine […]
By astringent, do you mean sour-y? (I’m trying to nail down astringent as opposed to tannic or sour, because there’s something in some chianti’s that I just don’t like, and I’m wondering whether it’s astringent. There are chianti’s that I love with a lighter Italian meal–pizza or pasta).
Where did you spend summers? We went to Florence and Elba.
Thanks for asking this, Tracy. Turns out, when a second language speaker uses it, he or she should be aware of the different meanings. I just checked on that. I was talking about a slight acidity problem, not connected to bitterness or tannins. Sour was too big a word, so I used this one, which is probably not really correct.
We spent our summers at Lago di Bolsena, 70km north of Rome.
I hear people say astringent quite a bit — it might be correct to link it to acidity (acidity is a difficult concept, too). I think it’s my taste buds that don’t quite get it.
I usually drink beer with pizza. But when I do drink wine it’s usually chianti. Will keep an eye out for this. Where do u get it locally?
I grabbed another bottle this weekend at the liquor store on Packard and East Stadium (behind the Cariboo Coffee Store). It was $7.99.
Ok, thanks! That’s right by my house
And it’s 5 minutes from my place. We live in the same neighborhood.
$5.50? That is about what I got it for here in PA. It was labeled as a closeout, marked down from $8 to $4.99. The state run liquor stores is run by a bunch of schysters. Your review, however, is spot on. Nicely done!
Thanks!! I bought a bottle for $7.99 the other day, but the $5.50 was the lowest price on wine searcher.