Wine Review: 2010 Monteraponi – Chianti Classico DOCG

What is Monteraponi? Is it a village? Is it an estate? Is it a wine? The answer to all three questions is yes.

Monteraponi is a small village in the heart of the Chianti Classico completely surrounded by forests forming its own ecosystem. It is built around three medieval square towers, which were built in the 10th century. In the 1970s, the Braganti family bought the entire village. Back then the village consisted only of old, abandoned houses. Thanks to the Bragantis the village was rebuilt and today Monteraponi produces some of Tuscany’s most traditional Chianti Classico and fine olive oil of the highest quality. The village is located on a small hill at an altitude of 470m and is about 200 hectares large. However, only on 10 hectares vines are grown. 1200 olive trees are also planted on the property.

chianti-classico-logoWhen it comes to wine, then there is no doubt that Monteraponi is taking a very traditional approach. All their Chianti Classico are produced with a large amount of Sangiovese (at least 90%) and small amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino. In an interview Michele Braganti, the winemaker and owner of Monteraponi, said that Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino are “the kings for the Chianti Classico blending”. This traditional Chianti-Classico blending was invented in 1872 by Baron Bettino Ricasoli. For over a century no other grape varieties were permitted in Chianti Classico but the Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico Gallo Nero changed the Chianti Classico DOCG regulations under pressure from large wineries that wanted to use international grapes (especially Merlot) in their blends. The Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico Gallo Nero is the association that represents the Chianti Classico producers and that makes the rules for the Chianti Classico appellation. 95% of all Chianti Classico wineries are represented by the Consorzio. The symbol of the Consorzio is a black rooster.

Michele Braganti decided that Monteraponi should stick to the traditional formula of Baron Ricasoli, which is why they don’t produce any Chianti with 100% Sangiovese nor any with international grapes. What else sets Monteraponi’s Chianti Classico apart from the large, mass-produced ones? First of all, the fermentation of their Chianti Classico takes places in large concrete (cement) vats. Moreover, Monteraponi still uses Slavonian oak to age its wines. Many wineries in the Chianti Classico, especially the large ones, stopped using Slavonian oak and completely switched to French oak. The winery adopted organic agriculture in order to protect the environment of the Monteraponi ecosystem. 

In 2003 the Braganti family began making wine. They produce one Chianti Classico, two Chianti Classico Riserva as well as one rosato, one red blend, one white wine, vin santo, grappa and olive oil. The village is part of the commune Radda in Chianti. Below is a picture showing the surrounding area. 

Radda in Chianti

Radda in Chianti by Nadia Fondelli. License: CC BY-NC 2.0

Tasting Notes

Fellow-blogger John Fodera, author of Tuscan Vines, wrote a few months ago about his experience with Monteraponi and made me curious about their wines. Recently I tasted the 2010 Monteraponi Chianti Classico DOCG. Produced with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cannaiolo. Fermentation took place in concrete vats. The wine aged 16 months in parts in Slavonian and French oak. Afterwards the wine aged a few more months in concrete vats. The vines used for this wine were 15 years old. Non-filtered wine.

2010 Monteraponi - Chianti Classico DOCGPrior to drinking the wine was decanted for roughly one hour.

In the glass, intense ruby red with violet hints. 14% was the label listed alcohol by volume. The wine is classified as Chianti Classico DOCG.

On the nose, intense aromas of red cherries, dried berries, tobacco and spices (black pepper).

In the mouth, dry, quite fresh with a light acidity. The wine was of medium body and had mellow, pleasing tannins. Notes of cocoa and wild berries. The alcohol was very well integrated even though it is quite high. Fantastic, never-ending finish.

3.5 / 5 stars      
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Parting Words

The “standard” Chianti Classico from Monteraponi is very impressive and I will for sure buy this wine again. According to Wine Searcher it is available overseas, too. So should you be interested in the wine then you might have a good chance in finding it. The wine retails for around 18€. I absolutely love the detailed label of the wine.

I am now looking forward to try the two Monteraponi Chianti Classico Riserva. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a wine store in Munich that has them in stock.

Have you tasted this wine before? Did you like it?

20 comments on “Wine Review: 2010 Monteraponi – Chianti Classico DOCG”

  1. Pingback: Wine Review: 2010 Monteraponi - Chianti Classic...

  2. winetalks winetalks Reply

    This village has such an interesting history. I didn’t even know about Monteraponi until I read your post on it. I really want to taste their wines now.

  3. Pingback: Wine Review: 2010 Monteraponi – Chianti Classico DOCG – Vino in Love | goodthingsfromitaly

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  5. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    The nose sounds very much to my liking! What I like about Chianti so much is that it smell like Tuscany. Drinking a glass of Chianti always reminds me of the Tuscan culture, the stunning scenery and the gentle people there.

  6. Marco van Puff Reply

    Monteraponi sounds like a pretty unique winery. Great and informative post, Julian. Haven’t heard of Monteraponi before but I’ll see if I can get my hands on one of their Chiantis.

  7. Bill Reply

    Love Chianti Classico! Looked this up at our government controlled liquor store but to no avail. Not carried. Will speak with an agency here. What a neat story of a village and a wine. Italian wine culture always seems to top them all for this kind of stuff. Thanks.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Bill,
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Sorry to hear that the government controlled liquor stores don’t carry the Monteraponi Chianti Classico. Jeff from The Drunken Cyclist blog wrote many times about the poor selection of government liquor stores in Pennsylvania. The poor selection seems to be a general problem of these type of stores. I hope you get an opportunity to try the Monteraponi wines.

  8. Luana Reply

    One of the rarest “true” and ….sincere review the blogosphere was offering my eyes as far! Cheers from Italy, Luana.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Luana,
      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!
      Going to Italy (Offida) at the end of March – already looking forward to it 🙂
      Cheers!

  9. Pingback: Monteraponi 2011, Chianti Riserva Il Campitello | A.I. Selections

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