November 19, 2008

San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva 2004, Tuscany, Italy

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes

San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Reserva 2004

Its a struggle drinking Chianti without food; insufferable punishment on the taste buds in fact. That sharp, acidic, slightly earthy finish is how the wine is supposed to taste but it’s a struggle to consume more than a glass. Rasping if you are subjected to a poor quality bottle.
Add food and it’s like drinking a different wine.

But, I hear the masses yell, that is what Chianti is designed for – drinking with food. It is like a television without an aerial; you can use it but it just doesn’t work very well. You know you are missing out on the bigger picture.

Two bottles of this rather decent Chianti have been consumed over the last few days. A Sunday roast of beef and Yorkshires was fine. Further complexity was revealed in the flavour but there remained something lacking.

What the roast lacked was the sweet acidity of tomatoes to balance. Step forward a superbly thrown together lasagne. Combining mince beef, plenty of fresh parsley, a splash of red and a tin of chopped Italian tomatoes the wine shone like a beacon . The wines refreshing acidity makes it all the more drinkable. (I’m also thinking lamb would have been a better match, over beef, with the wines acidity cutting through the inherent fat beautifully).

Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva, 2004, Tuscany, Italy
Stockist: Everywine £257 for 12, Italian Wine Society £15.19 £182.28 for 12 [More on Adegga / Snooth]
A richness of dark cherry fruit leads into a twist of acidic bitterness on the finish. Smooth and robust with hints of leather and mixed herbs. but shines with food. Shown to both Slavonian and French oak barrels which adds complexity. 100% Sangiovese. Alcohol 13%.

Scribblings Rating – 90/100 [3.75 out of 5]

A homemade lasagne - superb with Chianti

  1. Jeanne November 19, 2008

    Mmm, stunning lasagna pic! Never been a huge fan of Chianti – maybe exactly because it is not a quaffing wine, and I grew up in a country full of wines that need nothing other than a corkscrew to enjoy them :)

  2. Denise November 19, 2008

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Now to just remind people that wine should be drunk WITH food as opposed to in a bar getting smashed!

  3. Nancy November 21, 2008

    Also smooth and delicious with good old spaghetti and meatballs. I am trying to find or make a picture to desribe chianti for chateaupetrogasm, but it’s hard to put together an image of raspberries, green olives, and horses in a way that does not look completely psychotic.

  4. Dylan November 22, 2008

    Great call on the acidity of the tomatoes to balance the wine. There’s nothing like striking that balance, if not in flavor, in texture. One of my absolute pleasures, which I had the other night, was some fried ice cream–the outside consisted of a warm, slightly crisped skin, which immediately turned into a chewy texture after the initial bite; this was then coupled with the cool, smooth sweetness of green tea ice cream flavor. Balance, nothing like it.


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