95 Points, Sub $30 Chianti Classico

It's been a huge year for Chianti Classico. Benchmark vintages and eye-popping ratings from every critic have put the best Chiantis where they belong: among the best of Italy's red wines.

Two prime examples--two exceptional values--take the stage today. The first, Il Molino di Grace Riserva 2016, is a brand new arrival with the kind of 95 point/sub-$30 rating/price combo we fully predict will land it high up in Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2020. The second, Castellare di Castellina 2017, is no stranger, having landed at #17 on Spectator's Top 100 of 2019 (which we predicted). We thought it was long gone but, surprise, another last handful of cases arrived this week. They'll be gone in a flash!

The future Top 100...we're willing to bet

$29.65 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($32.95 regular)

95 points Wine Spectator, Highly Recommended: "A sheen of vanilla and toasty oak complements the lush, ripe black cherry and plum fruit in this suave Chianti Classico. Focused and well-structured, showing fine balance and a long finish that brings tobacco and orange peel hints into play. Best from 2022 through 2040. 4,500 cases made, 350 cases imported."

Us: Expressive right out of the gate, showing the delicious cherry and plum flavors noted above. Definitely decant if drinking in the shorter term; an outstanding value for an age-worthy Riserva.
The past Top 100... the last 3 cases!

$22.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($24.95 regular)

#17 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2019, 94 points Wine Spectator, Highly Recommended: "A beam of pure cherry and blackberry fruit defines this intense, racy red, which is firm and tensile, with fine balance and a lingering aftertaste of vibrant fruit, graphite and tobacco flavors. Sangioveto and Canaiolo. Drink now through 2033."

Us: A beautiful wine with far more class than the price would indicate. It was fantastic right when opened and even better after a few hours and the next day. Pure cherry goodness, my mouth is watering thinking about that last sip.
Fellow friends in Italian wine,
In addition to the superb Chiantis above, we received a tiny second stash of 2018 Dolcetto, Palaverga, and Sauvignon Blanc from Burlotto. A case each of the reds, two cases of white to go around, too little to list in our normal way. Suffice it say, when a producer of 100-point Barolo makes other wonderful wines from the Langhe region for under $30 bucks, you just grab what you can. I can tell you I did! I highly recommend you email or call to add a few to your stash. I promise you will thank me. - Marcus