Gonfalone Chianti DOCG – 2009 – Wine Review – ALDI


Like the sardines, I walked past this for months.  The difference?  This smells a whole lot better.

For whatever malfunction of the brain, I passed this one up for months.  Even though the red DOCG label was  curled around its neck, it never made it into the bring-your-own shopping bag in my hand.  The Decanter World Wine Awards seal was interesting.  But it was only a “Commendation”.  The rest of the label looked legit; Chianti, Italy, Firenze.  2009 didn’t make it a Riserva, but then the bottle didn’t claim so.

I suppose it was the thought that in the 5 feet of shelf space allocated to the limited ALDI wine selection, how could there be a good one?  After all a good wine takes at least 10 to 15 minutes to select after a thoughtful perusing of at least 3 rows  of bottles combined with knee bends so deep that after three of them, the bottom shelves are summarily dismissed as not being worthy of the effort.  That’s a handy self-deception which prevents the embarrassment of being helped up by the store clerk on the fourth try.

Finally one day the $5.99 bottle, after a couple of false starts, made its way into the green canvas-looking, but really just recycled old plastic bottles, bag clutched in the left hand.  The DOCG ribbon finally won me over.

With a nice loud pop of the cork – very impressive pop – the first glass was poured.  Not normally a person who lingers over the glass peering through the red hue and gently smelling the bouquet of floral and spice scents that have no reason to emanate from a grape, for some reason this wine held my nose.  That’s neither a pretty picture, nor an enhancement to breathing.  For the first time, the faint smell coming from the glass intrigued me.  The smell was similar to a distilled product, a slight alcohol smell.  The first taste had a similar surprising revelation.  The wine had a smidgen of cherry taste.  Combined, the smell and taste provided the option to describe the wine as either,  hints of brandied maraschino cherries  or weak old-fashioned cherry flavored cough syrup.

More seriously, aside from the strange first glass puzzle, the wine was still very good.  About 30 minutes after the first pour, the mystery smell and taste went away.  What remained was another smooth mellow Chianti from Tuscany. The bottle describes the wine as “full-bodied.”  I’d rate it more like 3/4-bodied, missing maybe the arm pits and similar appendages – if a pit can be an appendage.  It’s not overly dry.  There’s a lingering tingle around the inside of the mouth and back of the throat.  Like most Sangiovese wines, no excessive tannin problems.

It seems almost impossible to find a bad bottle of wine made from the Sangiovese grape.  Once again, the Italians must take their DOCG classification very seriously.  This is another very fine wine.  Just don’t tell anyone you bought it at ALDI.  If it makes you feel better, instead of that recycled plastic shopping bag, reuse a couple of your Trader Joe’s brown paper bags with the handles.  I do.

Rated a tie for first on the Top 10 List.

Price $5.99


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3 Responses to “Gonfalone Chianti DOCG – 2009 – Wine Review – ALDI”

  1. Angie Says:

    I love this wine but can no longer find it anywhere. Does anyone know of a distributor that will ship it?


  2. Diana Says:

    I also tried this wine, fell in love with the rich flavor, however, it was a gift from my sister and since then I have been trying to locate another bottle and unable to find it? any suggestions?


    • steveo Says:

      Try your local ALDI store. Do a google search on ALDI to find a store near you. A 2010 is available in my local ALDI. The 2009 seems to have gone away. Without having a 2009 to directly compare with, the 2010 seemed a little less impressive. However, it was still very good.


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