2020 Chianti Classico, Banfi – a delicious wine / a hilarious press release!

I am sent press upwards of ten wine press releases every day. I rarely read them. For some reason, though, I read this one after tasting this wine!  I only read it because I loved the flavour of this newly released Chianti.  Ocado is listed as a stockist at £18.50  and Bon Coeur also stocks this wine at £19.40 if you buy it by the case of six bottles.  

I have not reproduced the press release below because I do not want you to waste your time reading about Grand Duke Cosimo III in 1716 or that the DOCG has regulated Chianti Classico production since 1996.  This dreary stuff has nothing to do with the flavour of this wine.  

However, this part caught my eye, ‘The 2020 vintage were favoured due to the mild winter and spring months and regular rainfall during June that helped boost vine growth and fruit development. Banfi Chianti Classico 2020 has aromas of plum jam, blackberry, vanilla, liquorice, and leather and the perfect balance and smoothness on the palate with a long finish. This wine pairs nicely with stews, roasts, game meats, tomato dishes, pizzas, and aged cheeses or regional dishes such as tortelli with wild boar ragout or pici pasta with Aglione sauce.’

I cannot disagree more with the flavours listed here.  This is a stock Chianti tasting note with a list of local cuisine that, in truth, is woefully generic and entirely predictable.

Instead, here is my version.  This is precisely what this wine tastes of and also what it would work well with.

It smells like decent Chianti – little to no oak influence, no liquorice, vanilla or leather.  But it smells ripe and welcoming – safe, if you will.  It is lighter, brighter and more open than any 2020 I have tasted.  It is certainly not ‘Tuscan heritage in every glass‘, because it is unlike legions of Tuscan reds with their sinew, acidity and grip.  This is a modern, light, all-purpose red that would work with every ‘red wine’ dish on the planet, and it would run a mile from a wild boar ragout, and if your Pici all’aglione involved the traditional amount of garlic, it would wave a white flag, too.  This is the least classic Classico I have tasted in ages, but it is a stunningly delicious all-rounder.  Light, airy, fruit-driven and all too easy to glug,  it is precisely what you desire on a weekday evening – a classy wine with little kick or tannin.  It is a red wine you can dive into with no damage or regret.  A lovely discovery that every single person will enjoy – its flavour is so ‘down the middle’, I feel the winemaker should have a medal, not for capturing the essence of the wild Tuscan countryside and millennia of history, but for making a thrillingly commercial and seamless red wine.

So, tap in an order with Ocado or drop Bon Coeur a line and grab a six-pack of this utterly delicious, ”straight down the middle’ red wine – I guarantee you and your pals will adore it.