Galadino Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009 is quite a mouthful to say in one breath. Let’s take the words one at a time to discover their meaning, if any. Galadino comes up in a web search as a trademark of the Intercontinental Packaging Company in Minnesota. It’s an interesting Italian sounding name, but a quick read of the back label indicates these are just the importers into the US. If we read the fine fine print on the back of the bottle, this is bottled in Ora, Italy (population 1,400 families) for Casa Vinicola. Casa Vinicola appears to be a rather large Italian wine company.
Chianti is a type of wine produced in a defined region of Italy. Classico further refines the location where the wine is produced to a much smaller sub-region within the Italian Chianti region. Chianti Classico is further classified and regulated by the type and proportion of the grapes from which it is made. DOCG is the Italian regulatory designation meaning the wine has met the requirements to be labeled as it is. There are several levels of Italian wine classifications. DOCG is about as high as it goes. The “G” in DOCG means, in Italian, Garantita (it’s on the back of the bottle), or guaranteed in English. To add this letter to the classification means not only that the wine originated from the specified region and was made from the specified grapes in the specified manner, but that the wine has been further tested, usually by taste, to make sure it’s actually good – so “guaranteed good”. That tasting, of course, is not by the individual bottle – which is why, most of the time, you won’t need to first look for lip marks on the bottle you purchase. And then, Riserva, which simply means “held back”. So the wine is reserved or aged a minimum number of years before it’s put on the shelf for sale. You guessed it, Riserva is also a word and designation regulated by the Italian wine laws. In this case (the number of years varies by the type of wine), Riserva means aged a minimum of 38 months (3+ years). See Wikipedia for more information about Chianti Classico. For homework, find out why there’s a black rooster on the neck label.
All this means nothing of course if the wine isn’t good. This wine is good, very good. As noted in other posts, the Italians seem to take their wine classifications seriously. I have never been disappointed selecting a bottle with the DOCG seal on it. This wine is no exception. Compared with wines which are just designated Chianti (not Classico), this wine is more “robust”. It’s a little more in your face, in your mouth. That’s most likely due to a higher acidity level which is typical of Chianti Classico wines. This is not to be taken as a negative. In fact it is a positive for a Chianti Classico. It’s just a matter of personal preference whether you’ll like this over a more mundane Chianti. When consumed with a meal at the dinner table, this wine is better able to stand up to meat and heavier pasta sauces.
With a starting price for most Chianti Classico at around $15, this wine for $6.99 is very much a bargain. But it’s a bargain without a loss of quality.
Rated a tie for first on the Top 10 List.