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Why do we love this case?

There comes a time in your wine journey where you’ve been to the big end of town and back, while light wines have their place too. But your go-to is medium-bodied reds that scream place, and oak is a background voice at most. Things like old vine grenache, curios from Mt Etna, or sangiovese. And if you want the most classic sangio, Chianti’s your go-to. These three are outstanding examples of the region in their own right, illustrating care in the vineyard and subregional style, as well as sensitive winemaking. Not to mention the fact that these wines are so enjoyable young but will happily play out a decade or two in the right cellar. It’s a win-win-win situation.   

Each winning pack includes TWO of each of the following star Chiantis:

Red
Sangiovese
Tuscany

Carobbio Chianti Classico DOCG 2015
Pepper
Plum
Spice
Medium-bodied
Chalky
Deep

Head Buyer John Clark loves this wine. Was heard saying: “The 2015 release is quite simply stunning! It’s going straight to my cellar.” And yes indeed, this wine is like pulling up to the club in a ruby red Lambo with full-bodied, handpicked sangiovese under the hood. Well, not really, but this wine is just as Italian and just as luxurious. 2015 was a stunner of a Chianti vintage, and Carobbio have made the most of it. The Carobbio team are all about care and precision, and this is a wine of extreme elegance and finesse. It’s opulent, spicy, with ripe black fruits and and bold but super soft tannins creating a smooth, balanced ride. Hop in.

Red
Sangiovese
Italy

Monte Bernardi Retromarcia Chianti Classico Italy Sangiovese 2016
Redcurrant
Savoury
Spice
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Filippo Bartolotta
17.5/20 Walter Speller for JancisRobinson.com

This wine has so much going for it, it’s hard to know where to start. Monty Waldin, the wandering guru of biodynamics, reckons winemaker Michael Schmelzer has ‘shaken up Chianti Classico’ with his futuristic spearheading of the slow movement in the region. Not to mention his painstakingly tended biodynamic vineyards in Panzano, a region called ‘one of the top terroirs of Italy’ by Decanter. Retromarcia is their very classic take on Chianti Classico, the name meaning a throwback to the past. It’s a sonorous but generous and juicy expression of the medium-bodied style - deep, brambly, earthy cherries and ironstone. Loads of berry and perfectly pungent, while maintaining a lovely lightness of touch and soft, juicy but still-drying tannins. And by all reports (a few of our in-house mofos have visited, on separate occasions), the people are just as beautiful. Wine Dealer, Grant, tells of how he went to visit in the thick of vintage, where a couple of the winemakers, Jaysie and Chiara, took time out to show him around despite the mayhem. He said they had a blast. I’m having a blast with this glass on my desk, so I can only imagine. The wine is transportative enough though, in its classic, distinctive nature, and I’m a happy mofo on a Friday arvo.

Red
Sangiovese
Tuscany

Riecine Chianti Classico 2016
Cherry
Earthy
Tobacco
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Platinum medal Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

I first heard of this maker when I was working at Ngeringa, a little biodynamic place in the Adelaide Hills. Both winemaker Erinn and then-viticulturist (now successful vigneron in his own right) Tom Shobbrook had both completed harvest at Riecine, and reports were good. Founded by a Brit in the early 70s who bought a hectare and a half from a monastery, and under new ownership since 2011, it sounded like a bit of a gathering place for people in wine who really care about the impact they have on the earth. Now eight organic vineyards at around 500m altitude, the wines have gained a reputation for their purity of fruit and inherent character. Fermentation happens in concrete vats, and ageing happens in vessels that are chosen for their ability for oxygen exchange rather than to impart flavour (concrete again, or older oak). Michaela Morris from Decanter reckons “the wine is ethereal and lacy, though not lacking structure or depth. Forest blossoms, fresh mulch and pomegranate ring out from this vibrant and succulent Chianti Classico.” This wine consistently has a lightness on its feet, whether it’s thanks to the care in the vineyard and resultant quality of fruit, or the lack of oak tannin, or the organics (cum biodynamic practice). No doubt, as always, it’s the care that follows through from grape to bottle.

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