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.