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Origin: Era Valley, Chianti Superiore, Tuscany, Italy

Composition: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo

Appearance: deep black-cored violet

Nose: closed dried lavender and rich licorice

Palate: black cherry reduction sauce, delicate baking spice, back-palate acidity followed by a long sweet anisette/lavender finish

Mouthfeel: pretty full-bodied for a Chianti, sleek front-end with velvety tannins

Matteo Cantoni visited my old wine shop a few years ago and gifted me with this signed bottle. No sense in not giving it the treatment it deserves: sharing with my wife on a snowy day off at home over a dinner of mixed left-overs and scrounged possibilities (pumpkin soup, grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches, chili, and thick-cut potato “chips”–all homemade, of course).

This is just lovely. The dark richness is a testament to the Cantoni family’s commitment to the Canaiolo grape and attention to detail in the vineyard and winery. Showing about as spot-on as it could right now. The balance of rich, dark fruit, back-palate acidity and velvety tannins shows what an incredible value this was at about $17 upon its release. You could probably get away with a few more years of cellaring with this, but it is drinking so well now, why wait?

Day 2: flintiness comes on strong. Nice to see some of that rusticity show itself, but the fruit is still super-ripe and lush. Better day on two, I’d say.