Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico Riserva (2006)
I often think of oak abuse as a New World wine problem. California Chardonnay, of course, is the most common example, but even with reds, it tends to be something that happens quite a bit in Cali, and Australia. Italians are supposed to be immune to this problem, instead bringing out Old World savory flavors like leather, mushroom and herbs. This, of course, is a gross generalization. There are oak monsters everywhere, although probably still more prevalent in the New World.
The Poggio Bonelli ’06 Riserva wasn’t the worst oak offender I’ve tasted, but the vanilla spice notes certainly were very aggressive, creating an imbalance in with both this wine’s aroma and flavor, and obscuring what would otherwise be a very nice wine. Full bodied, bold, and smooth, this could have been good, were it not for all that oak.
Aroma screams oak. Hard to get much else. Even on the palate, the vanilla spice obscures the fruit. There’s a bit of cherry, maybe some other darkish fruit, but I can’t get past the oak. After being open for close to two hours (decanted), the spice started to mellow, but the finish also started to become too acidic. This is a big pass at $26.