Hello and happy fall! I have been a bit M.I.A. on this blog for a couple of months as I acclimated to law school. In between reading, re-reading, outlining, making flashcards, and occasionally having a few sips of wine, I didn’t have any time to write about it. However, I finally set aside some time to catch up and hope to have a blog post every other week. Up first, my experience with Montefioralle Wine.
While I have tried many Italian wines in my time since I practically grew up in an Italian restaurant, I haven’t studied the wine with the vigor that this area demands. If you are like me, here are some things to know before diving it: Chianti and Chianti Classico are two distinct DOCGs with the Classico being a smaller sub-region, the area stretches between Siena and Firenze, and the black rooster has come to represent wines from this area. A wine associated with a cute critter without being a cute critter wine.
As far as the winery owners themselves, they were a joy to experience throughout this #WineStudio session. Our first interaction with them was on Facebook, and trust me, there’s nothing sweeter and more fun than seeing an Italian grandpa and his family lead a discussion about their passion for wine. They also discussed why it’s important to them to be family run, their sustainable measures, and what it means to be a small winery among a powerhouse like Chianti. Sure, we all drink wine because it tastes good and it makes us feel lighthearted, but the stories are what help you remember the bottles. I’ve had a number of fantastic wines off a restaurant menu, but I probably could only name one or two of them off the top of my head. However, the wines friends have brought to BYOs or ones that I’ve experienced after getting to know a winemaker are much more memorable. That’s part of what makes wine fun.
First up, the 2015 Montefioralle Chianti Classico DOCG with an SRP of $19. Made up of mostly Sangiovese, this was a fruit-forward ruby colored wine. Now, when I say fruit forward, I don’t necessarily mean overly fruity or light and fruit-forward like some Pinot Noir. It had a lot of mature fruit flavors, but they were layered. It had depth and body to it, yet was still incredibly smooth. If you’re new to Italian wine, this is the perfect one to buy if you’re settling in for some pasta and want something that will please many palates.
For those who might be craving a step up from that, we also tasted the 2014 Montefioralle Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG at $30. This one should be able to age for about 15 years, so save it for a special occasion and see just how far $30 can take you in the world of wine. Right now, the wine has a lot of complex fruit flavors, mostly ripe red berries and currant. Alongside the fruit notes ran a woodsy element. The mouthfeel had a bit more oomph to it than the first bottle with a textured aspect that made it pleasing to come back to. If you like some linger, this is the bottle for you.
For the finale, the dessert wine. I don’t usually open too many dessert wines, but during a girls night I opened the Vin Santo. With just a little bit of chill, this was an option with tons of caramel notes. Every sip reminded me of molasses, and in a small dessert wine glass, those few sips were all I needed to end the evening right. Yet even the great flavors weren’t enough; dessert wine is one I always need to enjoy alongside food. Normally, it’s with the cheese boards I put together because I find dessert wine with dessert to be a bit too much. With this one, I did both. Although wine and cheese almost never goes wrong, I was nervous to taste it alongside the Corn Cookie from Milk Bar. Since the cookie wasn’t overly sweet, it actually worked. The intensity of the wine and depth of it contrasted against the funky flavors of the soft and buttery cookie. Although I’ll probably always prefer a cheese board, this pairing opened up my eyes to other options. With an SRP of $35, I think this one could be too much for a first timer to dessert wines, but if you are a tried and true dessert wine lover (not just Harveys Bristol), I think this one is well worth the price tag.
Have you tried these wines? Do you love all things Italian wine? If you haven’t tried it, I think these are a great introduction to Italian wines and the winery itself is one that I encourage supporting. A good wine is good, but a good wine with a great team behind it is significantly better. Cheers!