Wines of the week: Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico, 2008; Yali National Reserva Cabernet Franc, 2009; Saint Mont, 2009
Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy
Sunday 20 February 2011
Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico, 2008
A benchmark "Classico" from an estate where monks first cultivated grapes in about 1000AD and which is now fully organic. Pressing all the right buttons expected of a fine Chianti – medium-bodied and elegant, with the juicy purity of the Sangiovese grapes restrained by careful wine-making and oak ageing, it delivers soft but complex flavours and a long finish. Best appreciated with arrosto misto. £15.30, bbr.com
Yali National Reserva Cabernet Franc, 2009
A very different type of landscape lies close to Chile's Vina Ventisquero winery, which sells this red to help promote and conserve the Yali wetlands. Made from a grape not often seen as a single varietal, although a component part of some distinguished French blends, this is a surprisingly complex, full-bodied, intense wine, with masses of red-fruit flavours and touches of chocolate and vanilla. Goes very well with duck. £8.19, morrisons.co.uk
Saint Mont, 2009
Talking of less celebrated grapes, this white from the thriving Plaimont co-operative in south-west France uses the relatively obscure (to me) Gros Manseng, Arrufiac and Petit Courbu vines to stunning effect. Not at all unlike a New Zealand Sauvignon and at a competitive price, it is a steely bright and crisply refreshing mouthful at first, which then bursts into flavours of pears and citrus. A great aperitif. £6.99 (or £4.99 until 27 February), marksandspencer.com
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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