For the modest sum of $15, it’s going to be difficult to find a good example of Chianti Classico, the most celebrated appellation in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Fortunately, there are other lesser-known Chiantis that can be very good and affordable at the same time. One of them is Chianti Colli Fiorentini, which refers to a Chianti sub-zone in the hills around Florence. I’ve tasted two of them recently, both priced at $15, and one of them clearly stood out (and it was not the one represented by a very well known promoter of Italian wines).
Petreto’s 2006 Chianti Colli Fiorentini is a fresh and fruity wine dominated by delicious black cherry and blueberry notes, subtle spice and the kind of crisp acidity that makes good Chianti and the sangiovese grape so irresistible. Moderately tannic and easy to drink, the bottle was a crowd pleaser and went quickly at a dinner with friends the other night. While some of its subtlety may have been lost on spaghetti and meatballs, it would do wonders with stews and roasts, hearty vegetable soups and sautéed broccoli rabe and sausage tossed with pasta. Alcohol is 13.5 percent. Imported by Farello Wines, New York.