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2004 Barone Ricasoli Casalferro

2009/09/20

Barone Ricasoli is a large producer based in Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany that releases approximately 2,000,000 bottles a year across their various labels. Some wine drinkers and collectors shirk wines from large producers, instead preferring labels from cult and/or small producers. This is unfortunate as large production and quality are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Ricasoli makes two important wines, the quality of which are almost always quite high. The Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio is made from a selection of grapes from the top of the Brolio vineyard. The wine is made from mostly Sangiovese with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as allowed by the Chianti Classico DOCG, then aged for 18 months in French oak (two-thirds of which are new). Casalferro on the other hand is an IGT made from Sangiovese and Merlot (70/30, if I recall) and aged for 18 months also in French oak.

  • 2004 Barone Ricasoli Casalferro Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (9/19/2009)
    Dark ruby red colour. Initially a little muted on the nose, showing hints of herbs, crushed blackberries, black licorice, and black plums. Full-bodied, replays from the nose and a bit of vanilla on a slightly coarse palate. Moderate-long finish, ~35-40s with crushed dark fruit and a hint of peach.

    Revisiting the dregs of the bottle on the second day reveal a much more perfumed and brooding nose with fresh cut flowers, and a heady scent of black licorice, crushed blackberries, and a bit of alcohol. On the palate, the tannins have integrated a bit more, but should resolved nicely with a little more cellaring.

    Merlot provides ample fruit while the structure and acidity comes from the Sangiovese. I don’t think there’s a vintage of this wine that I haven’t enjoyed. Should be nice from 2011+ and drink well for some time after that. (91 pts.)

The wine worked nicely with a rack of grilled beef ribs prepared simply with salt and pepper. While I think the wine potentially worth it at $40, the current LCBO sale price of $34 is much more attractive.

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