Other wines tasted: 2004 Chianti Classico. (Winebow, Inc., Hohokus, NJ)
($33) Medium red-ruby. Black cherry, brown spices, dark chocolate and toasty oak on the nose. Similarly pleasant flavors, if a bit hollow in the mid-palate. A well-made wine that finishes a bit short and tart, and with a touch of dryness.
($55; a blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon) Medium saturated ruby. Pure, floral aromas of red cherry, raspberry and sweet oak, nicely lifted by orange zest and mineral notes; a bit muted owing to the heat of the year, but you'd be hard-pressed to guess this was an'03. Fat, layered and sweet on the palate, with ripe red cherry, pepper and spice notes; this is devoid of any cooked fruit flavors and shows a lightness of touch. The smooth, moderately long finish exhibits fine-grained tannins and a salty, savory quality.
($55; 100% merlot) Dark ruby. High-toned, almost stewed-fruit aromas of blackberry and spicy plum, complicated by dark chocolate. Quite supple yet dense, with almost cloying flavors of dark cherry jam, black fruits macerated in alcohol, and mocha; offers more up-front appeal than real complexity. Slightly warm in the mouth, with the not perfectly ripe tannins leaving the taster a bit tongue-tied. A glass of this would be more than enough for me and most of my friends. Try the '01 vintage to get a better idea of how good this wine can be.