The Benedetto Chianti DOCG 2015 is an ALDI $4.99 import exclusive. Benedetto translates to “blessed” in Italian and this Chianti is Sangiovese with maybe a little Canaiolo blended in from grapes grown in the Chianti region of Tuscany in Italy. If you are not familiar with Italian wine a DOC is approximately the same as an AVA from California (such as Sonoma, Paso Robles, Napa etc..), except were in California the regions are just geographical boundaries, the Italian DOC’s also have rules and regulations concerning the growing of the grapes and the production of the wine. The top Italian classification is DOCG (the added G stands for guaranteed), these grapes come from the most ideal growing areas of the DOC and have even more stringent standards and regulations. Chianti is a large grape growing region with several sub-regions and each subdivision has its own DOCG area. The Benedetto is a DOCG wine, but a young Chianti, it was available to be released the March 1 after harvest, so this Chianti had only about 3 months of aging. What this means is that the Benedetto is made from the highest quality rated grapes of the Chianti region, it was bottled and shipped to the docks in the US and then trucked to your location and shipped to a local store, all for $4.99.
The color is a dark plum red, barely see-thru. The nose is tart cherry, sweet strawberry and a hint of oak spice. This is a smooth Chianti, with nice rounded fruit flavors and a good slap of tannins on the mid-palate. It tastes of ripe, but balanced plums and cherries, slightly creamy upfront and tart on the finish. The acidity is well balanced by the body of the wine and the finish is fairly long.
While I was sampling the Benedetto Chianti DOCG 2015, the first thought in my head was that this Sangiovese would really go well with a cold turkey sandwich on the day after Thanksgiving. But on further thought, why not pair this wine with the Thanksgiving meal? So what if it only costs $4.99, it has complimentary flavors and enough structure to do justice to Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. It may not have the depth or the layers of flavor of the best Chianti, but what it does have is very good and I won’t hold the low price tag against this wine.