Before I get into tonight’s wine, if you read my review of the 2007 Amavi Cellars Syrah from Friday, you’ll know that I was musing about why the 2005 Amavi Syrah tasted so different from the 2007 when so many of the variables going into it were the same, and I vowed to take to Twitter to get some answers right from the source. Lo and behold, the Information Age is a wonderful place to be, and the good people at Amavi have posted a tremendous and thorough response to my Syrah-related queries in the comments section of the review. So to recap, I had a bottle of wine in Calgary and then posted a blog article and a Twitter question, and then someone in Washington State who I’ve never met went and personally asked the head winemaker at Amavi Cellars what the difference was between his 2005 and 2007 Syrahs!! There is very little cooler than that. Thanks Amavi!
I wish I could say that tonight’s bottle has spawned Amavi levels of inquisitiveness and interest, but not quite. I’ll get to that in a moment. Chianti is a well-known wine region located in Tuscany, in west-central Italy, that has seen its share of ups and downs in recent decades. Once regarded as one of the cream of the crop of Italian vinicultural areas, it then became the victim of shoddy production and overplanting and lost its reputation for quality, which it is only now starting to regain. The problem with Chianti is that a lot of it is still pretty bland, although some of the higher-end renditions from the Chianti Classico region (the historic heartland of Chianti, which forms a smaller sub-zone within the larger area of Chianti) definitely can make you stop and take notice. The main thing you need to know about wines labelled as Chianti is that they will be predominantly made using the Sangiovese grape, a varietal that shows best in Tuscany and isn’t usually seen that much elsewhere (though it WAS in the 2009 Abbot’s Table from Washington State, if you’ll recall…I doubt you’ll recall). Read the rest of this entry »