Tasting Note                         

92+     1998 Barone Ricasoli Casalferro             3/4/06 ($35)

Color: Deep black garnet with a little onion skin and some clearing. Looks peak. (3.0) Bouquet: Musty sherry wood, chestnuts and sweet black licorice with maraschino cherry fruit. (3.5) Body: Solid middleweight with smooth tannins and excellent acidity propelling the fruit. Could be richer. (3.0) Flavor: Tart, yet sweet cherry with suave, cedary cigarbox. Interesting and tasty with nuances reminiscent of fine semi-dry Madeira or Sherry. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor. Could be bigger, but long and persistent. Not quite as interesting as the bouquet. (3.5)
Overall: This is really drinking beautifully. It’s just starting to peak and probably has 2-3 years of prime drinking left in it. The fruit got sweeter and sweeter with air and the bottom of the bottle deserved another point at least. This wine shows that fine Sangiovese from Chianti has less to do with size and more with sophistication. This is delicious and interesting in a classy package. I expect it to get even better with a little more time, but outstanding even now. (16.0)