The 2011 San Bachelli DOCG Chianti is an ALDI’s $4.99 import exclusive. Chianti is a wine produced from grapes grown in the Chianti zone of central Tuscany in Italy. The Chianti region has several sub regions, but the two main regions are Chianti Classico and the regular Chianti, Chianti Classico has a better reputation and more stringent set of rules and regulations to adhere to (you can tell a Chianti Classico by the black rooster on the label), the San Bachelli Chianti is from the regular region. DOCG Chianti must be produced to the strict DOCG standards and every vintage has to be tasted by DOCG representatives to insure the rules were followed, before they are allowed to sell their wines. Chianti must be at least 70% Sangiovese and Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be added to round out the blend. ALDI’s does not release any information on the San Bachelli, ALDI’s wines are not that well known on the US, their selection is too small, but in Europe they have an excellent reputation for selling quality, inexpensive wines. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is a crystal clear, see thru plum red. The nose is red berries, a little subdued Altoid’s spice, a touch of herbs and mushroom. This Chianti starts off with tart cherry, sweet raspberry, a little spice and plum. The mid palate adds a slightly dry sensation (don’t think this Chianti saw too much oak) and touch of blackberry. The tannins make their presence known, but are generally balanced and the acidity is pretty good for a $5 wine. The finish is soft, but it does last a while.
The San Bachelli DOCG Chianti is a very competent wine, it tastes like Chianti, has Chianti structure and would do very well on the weeknight dinner table. This is one of those wines that gives cheap, tuesday night wines a good name. If the San Bachelli sold for the twice the price, it would still be a bargain. It does not have the richness and depth of the best Chianti, but for $4.99 it does ok for itself. This not one of those, “This is great, I gotta buy a case of this stuff” wines, it really needs food to find its balance. But you will be wondering, “How do they grow the grapes, produce the wine, bottle it and ship it from Italy to the US of A for under 5 bucks?”