2006. Italy. $6.99 for 750 ml.
Like many wines from Europe (and unlike wines from U.S.A. or Australia for example that are identified by the type of grape, as in Cabernet Sauvignon), “Chianti” is not a type of grape.
Rather, it is a region in Tuscany, Italy which boasts the prominent status of producing Italy’s most popular wine.
The main grape in Chianti is actually Sangiovese and, depending on the category of Chianti, can be mixed with other grapes such as Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and two “Tuscan grapes”: Canaiolo and Colorino. Mostly though, a Chianti is made up of Sangiovese.
So enough of that. What does Chianti taste like? Well, it depends on the Chianti, but I gave Bolla Chianti a little taste test to get things started. At first, the smell reminded me of dried cherries, and I was pleased to read that this is one of the characteristics common to Chianti! Bravo to me. Next, I thought the taste was what I would call drier and more acidic. Especially next to having tasted the Mattie’s Perch Cabernet-Shiraz before this. The differences were stark.
I have to say that, while I liked the acidity and I did like the dried cherry-ish flavor, I didn’t care for it as much as other reds such as most Cabernets or Shiraz’. It is good, and I liked the fresh zingy-ness to it. But I did miss the deep, round flavors that I like so much in a Cab, Shiraz, Merlot or Zinfandel.
My husband, on the other hand, really liked it and said it tasted a bit peppery to him as well. All in all, I would say it was good, but not one of my favorites. In retrospect, I probably should have had this wine with some food like pizza or a pasta with lots of parmesan cheese as that tangy acidity that I thought was a bit much would probably be balanced out perfectly with the food flavors. Um, duh, right? What a concept: a red wine from Tuscany to be drank with food? Hmm.
wine’s website: www.bolla.com