What We Say 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Selezionata DOCG
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Mission Codename: Virtual Reality Tasting
Operative: Fine Tune our TOP SECRET Virtual reality Tasting Machine with another exceptional selection from Fattoria Nittardi.
Objective: Agent White & Agent Baco Noir
Mission Status: Ongoing…
Current Winery: Fattoria Nittardi
Wine Subject: 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
Winemaker: Carlo Ferrini
Chianti Classico DOCG is produced in one of the eight sub-regions in the Chianti region. This one hales from the Castellina in Chianti commune, in the Chianti hills about 8 miles northwest of Siena. The DOCG requires that these wines range from 75-100% Sangiovese grapes and often is blended with Caniolo Nero, Trebbiano, Malvasia or Cabernet Sauvignon (regular Chianti is limited to no more than 90% Sangiovese).
This Chianti Classico DOCG is 100% Sangiovese and like the Casanuovo di Nattardi has exceptional cellar potential. The finest Chianti Classico, such as this one, can age gracefully for up to 20 years and are also among the funnest food wines from Italy.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet and purple with a clear dark core and ruby red edges. When swirled long thin legs streak down the edge of the glass.
Smell – Bold aromas of black-fruit are balanced over old-world earthiness, toasted oak and an herbaceous component reminiscent of ripe tomato vine and a hint of pungent spices.
Feel – Smooth, dry and warm in its attack, this full-bodied wine has fine but firm tannins, good acid and a tight minerality to add to its complexity.
Taste – Great balance between its black (blackberries) and red fruits (red cherries) with hints of toasted cedar spice, tar and a tiny touch of pencil shavings and a fine minerality that emerges stretches from the feel to the taste.
Finish – Long smooth and clean with tightly woven tannins and exceptional balance.
Conclusion – This old-world classic is everything you’d expect from a top-notch Chianti Classico and makes us wonder why we even bother with the lesser quality Chianti that dominates this category. If you love Chianti, this wine is for you. If you are looking for a Chianti to change your perspective on this wine, this excellent example will definitely convert you to a fan.
Just a few weeks ago, The Wine Spies had begun testing our Virtaul Reality Tasting machine. This device as unbelievable as it sounds, was yielding surprising results. One the last test I was hastily removed from the system as I was tasting a magnificent selection from Fattoria Nittardi.
I was anxious to get back on and complete the experience. Agent Baco Noir strapped me in an connected the various leads and cables. The test subject wine was the 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG and that was placed into the wine-dock where a slow drip was supplied to complete the olfactory and gustatory stimulation. In addition to having wine data inputs winery and technical data were loaded into the computer to provide neural stimulation that would simulate tasting the wine in its real environment.
The last test of the simulator provided dramatic results and if the system if proven could change the way we taste wine forever.
I was strapped in, the room when dark, and Baco turned on the machine. I immediately went into a state of suspended animation. Images of hill top villages, smells of olive orchards wafted through my head, but things were still a bit fuzzy. As the wine experience began, things became a bit more interesting.
I was back in Castellina in Chianti. Sitting with me was Agent Blush. Stefania Canali opened the bottle and I was immediately hit with the bouquet of bramble fruit perfectly balanced over classic old-world aromas. Pouring a glass, giving it a brisk swirl and raising it to my lips, I just paused for a moment and took it all it. Then came the sip… Mmmm. There is something about classic Italian wine, with classic Italian food that just is simply transformational. We sat and enjoyed the late afternoon sun fade into dusk.
Snap… Crackle… Pop…
A slight electricaly shock passed through my body. Something must had gone wrong, as I awoke win a cold sweat and somewhat dizzy.
“Take the leads off” I yelled.
And once disconnected, I grabbed the bottle, a couple of glasses and immediately went online to book a couple tickets to Italy. Nothing beats the real thing, but at least having the wine will make the time between now and my next trip to Italy more bearable.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Castellina in Chianti commune can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – Wine Spectator – “Very rich aromas of crushed blackberry and cherry follow through to a full-bodied palate, with vanilla and fruit flavors and a long finish. Solid. Needs some bottle age. There’s nearly always an outstanding riserva from this producer. Best after 2008. 500 cases made. –JS”
3 Stars – Decanter – “Earth, pencil, cedar, complete and fine. Modern style but fine and long. Excellent balance and oak. Warm, red berry flavours. Drink 2010-15.”
Tre Bicchieri – Gambero Rosso
90 Points – Heights of Chianti Classico Masterclass 2008 – “Deep purple in colour with ruby edges this wine is aged in French barriques for 2 years. The nose is savoury, approachable and has nice cherry ripeness. The palate is rich, rounded and full. It has intensity of red fruit flavour and lots of oak. The dash of Merlot in the blend really brings some smoothness and structure. Great flavour at just 12.8%. Drinking well now, but will continue to improve for 5-10 years.”
About This Wine:
This Chianti Classico is made only in great years, with the best Sangiovese grapes from the Vigna Alta di Nittardi and a small part of Merlot. Vinified in a special way and aged for more than 26 months in French oak casks, it is a wine that transforms time into quality. It is left to mature in the bottle for 3-5 years to develop its full potential. The result is a wine of character, harmonious, balanced, full of depth and intensity, which has received numerous acknowledgements. In recent years, among several other awards, Nittardi Riserva has won the 3 Glasses Award from the Gambero Rosso, the 5 Stars of the Decanter Award and top acknowledgement from the Grand Jury Européen. Not to mention several prizes from I Vini d’Italia as the best Chianti Classico of its vintage, winning the 5 Bottle Title of Vino dell’Eccellenza. Nittardi Riserva is also bottled in 1.5 l magnums and 3 l double magnums, a further guarantee of its longevity.
About The Winery:
Situated in the heart of Tuscany – the Chianti Classico area between Florence and Siena – the Nittardi estate with its 12 hectares of vineyards, 4 of olive groves and 120 of protected woods can boast a centuries-old tradition. The nearest village, Castellina in Chianti, is 8 kilometres away. The Nittardi vineyards stand at an altitude of 450 metres on the south-facing slopes of this unspoilt countryside, well protected by abundant woods.
We are dedicated to tending our land with passion and great respect, investing knowledge, technique and skill in our vineyards for the production of typical wines of an authentic Tuscan character.
The Nittardi Estate, on the boundary between the provinces of Siena and Florence, was originally a defensive tower, known as early as the 12th century by the name of “Nectar Dei”. In the 16th century the vast property surrounded by oak woods amid the hills of San Donato, Castellina in Chianti and Panzano, belonged to Michelangelo who in 1549 wrote to his nephew Lionardo: “I’d prefer two casks of wine rather than eight shirts,” and on that occasion sent the Nittardi wine to Rome as a “genuine gift to the Pope “.
Over the centuries the property changed hands often until it was taken over in 1982 by Frankfurt publisher and art gallery owner Peter Femfert and his wife Stefania, a historian from Venice.
Stefania and Peter reconstructed Nittardi step by step. The vineyards were replanted and in 1992 the ancient vat-room was replaced by a modern cellar. A competent team of enthusiasts was set up, consisting of agronomist Giorgio Conte, consultant enologist Carlo Ferrini and Antonio Spurio who is in charge of the new Mongibello delle Mandorlaie estate in Maremma. In 1999, to meet the increased demand for Nittardi wines, a splendid 37 hectare estate was purchased not far from Scansano, with a view of Mount Argentario. Nittardi today includes 120 hectares of protected woodland, 12 hectares of Chianti Classico vineyards and 4 hectares of olive groves. Plus the new Maremma vineyard, Mongibello delle Mandorlaie, where 17 hectares have already been vinified to date. This is where our IGT wines come from which have already won several awards: Nectar Dei and Ad Astra.
Variety grapes: Sangiovese 95%, Merlot 5%
Temperature of fermentation: 28-30 C°
Time of fermentation: 15 Days
Tanks of primary fermentation: Stainless steel tanks (105 hl)
Aging: Aging for 2 years in french oak barrels (225 lt),
Average bottle fining: 3 months
Date of bottling: 05/2007
Alcohol level by distillation: 12.79%
Total dry extract: 31.91 g/l
Reducing sugars: 2.58 g/l
Total acidity: 30.33 g/l
Free SO2: 36 mg/l
Total SO2: 93 mg/l
Malic Acid: 0 g/l
Colour: Red-ruby, becoming garnet with aging
Aroma: Ripened fruit with hints of vanilla
Flavour: Round and smooth tannins with full and persistent finish
Vines per acre: 5500