Wine: Castello di Gabbiano Chianti DOCG
Grapes: Sangiovese (90 percent), colorino (5 percent), canaiolo (5 percent)
Region: Tuscany, Northern Italy
Availability: All wine retailers, chain stores
In the glass: Gabbiano Chianti is a firm ruby-red color with a semi-opaque crimson core, going out into a bright red to pink rim definition and medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: There is immediate classic red and black fruit with crushed red cherries, red currant trifle and cranberry crush, then some interesting star anise, dry flint and mineral undertones with a touch of herbs.
On the palate: The wine is medium-bodied, which is perfect for the hot summer months, but shows character on the palate with fresh-tasting red berry fruit, predominantly strawberry and red cherry, then wet stone and slight hints of acidity and wood in the background. The wine is easy on the midpalate and goes through to a nicely balanced finish that seems rather uncomplicated by most Chianti standards. It is not a complex wine, but it is excellent for drinking right away and with food.
Odds and ends: Like most great Tuscan wine estates, Castello di Gabbiano was built in the early 12th century and has been producing wine for almost that long. While not able to claim a great uninterrupted lineage in winemaking like the Antinori or the Frescobaldi families, Castello di Gabbiano is producing delicious and drinkable Chianti and classico riserva wines from the best lands in this prestigious winegrowing region. This Chianti is a modern version, much less rustic and way easier to drink. This is a great value if you’re looking for something easygoing in the Italian section of your grocery store. It always delivers a great drinking experience. Try it as they would in Tuscany with some pasta Alfredo and drink it now through 2016.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.