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.
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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