Our Score: 93
The oldest stone in the Castello di Verrazzano is from a watchtower of the 13th century, but the family of the famous sailor and explorer da Verrazzano, after whom the bridge connecting Manhattan with Staten Island is named, owns the castle since the 16th century. Their vineyards are in the municipality of Greve in Chianti, at roughly 1000 feet of altitude.
This Chianti Classico Riserva (aged in barrel one year more than the Classico) is very complex at the nose, with violets and cranberries, cassis and blackcurrants, vanilla, black pepper, bay leaves, iron and sage. At the palate it is smooth yet tannic, persistent, warm while keeping its freshness, as a typical Sangiovese. It’s ready to drink now with food, but time will only help to make the tannins more velvety.
Grapes: Sangiovese, Canaiolo
Pairing: Eat a warm dinner with this wine. It can be a beans or mushrooms, kale soup, or a roasted lamb or a stewed beef with caramelized onions.
Appellation: Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy
It is in the central part of the larger Chianti DOCG denomination. It is a relatively small area between Firenze and Siena, mainly around the villages of Gadda, Gaiole, Radda, and Castellina in Chianti. It is very similar to the area first recognized by Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1716, as the best area for producing Chianti.