2009 Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva

Year: 2009
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Advocate: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$14.95
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"The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Nozzole is a big, dark wine bursting with dark cherries, licorice, tobacco, smoke and dried flowers. This hearty, full-bodied Riserva is long on personality and sheer character. There isn’t a ton of subtlety, but readers looking for a hearty, robust Chianti will find much to like. As good as this is today, the wine could use another few years to shed some of its baby fat. This is a terrific showing from Nozzole. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. " (WA)

Winery Notes:
The Chianti zone covers eight separate appellations which form three roughly concentric sub-zones. The Chianti appellation, without further designation, lies in the zone's outermost fringe. Within it are a band of six appellations, wines from which carry the geographic designations of Montalbano, Rufina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini and Colline Pisane. These surround the eighth appellation, the central and most prestigious Chianti Classico zone. The Nozzole estate is situated in the very heart of the Classico zone, halfway between Florence and Siena, just to the north of the village of Greve in Chianti. Of its 1,000 acres, approximately one third are planted in vines; these share the estate with olive groves and an extensive game preserve. The estate lies in a ruggedly beautiful valley throughout which are numerous hillside microclimates supporting vineyards planted to the classic red Tuscan vines.

The predominant variety and the foundation of Chianti is the Sangiovese, and these plantings are complemented by the Canaiolo and Colorino varieties as well as small plots of traditional white Malvasia del Chianti and Trebbiano Toscano vines. Sangiovese lends the wine structure, body, complexity and a distinctive varietal fragrance; Canaiolo and Colorino contribute color and suppleness; Malvasia and Trebbiano highlight nuance and freshness. Beginning in the early 1980s, D.O.C. legislation was gradually modified to reduce the percentage of white varieties required in the blend of Chianti, until in 1995 the requirement was eliminated. Nozzole maintains a relatively traditional policy, with a very slight percentage of white wine in its blend.

Grapes from the best vineyard plots of the estate are hand harvested, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation is initiated on the skins by natural yeasts and takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks over a period of seven days at 21 to 27 C (70 to 80 F); a further maceration period of eight days follows before pressing. The wine then is racked into clean stainless steel and brought to 22 C (72 F) to naturally induce a full malolactic fermentation. It is once again racked into large Slavonian oak vats of 4,000 to 7,000 litres' capacity for two years, with one racking in April following the harvest. A light egg-white fining precedes bottling, with release one year thereafter.

Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva shows the distinctive Sangiovese fragrance of dark berries offset by pronounced woodsy notes of leather and earth. These are confirmed on the palate in a full, mellow texture and firm structure underscored by a clean acidic balance. The ripe fruit flavors carry into the aftertaste, with elegant nuances of smoke and mushrooms, ending in a long, full finish promising excellent longevity.