Colli Piacentini + The Golden Shades of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Filippo Magnani

A day before the opening of the Val Tidone wine Festival (September 10th, 2022) a group of wine journalists and trade attended a press event “Emilia in villa”, which was presented by Emilia Wine Experience (the organization which regroups different wine and food consortiums and wine routes associations).

The press joined the tasting and explored the different styles of Malvasia and Gutturnio in the secular park of Villa Braghieri, in Castel San Giovanni, in the province of Piacenza. It was a pleasant dinner that “blended” gastronomic masterpieces with a focus on the productions of Malvasia, age-worthy white wines with powerful aromas and body.

The vineyards in Emilia are extensively cultivated with both red and white grapes. The homeland of Malvasia is Colli Piacentini DOC, where you can see the gentle hills around Piacenza, where vineyards are mainly under this appellation.  It is a very interesting place for wine production, because of the steep slopes of the hills, the different composition of soils such as red clay and limestone and a particularly suitable climate for the vines, with long and warm summers and very cold and cloudy winters. The Colli Piacentini DOC covers 3,600 hectares of hills in the western-most part of Emilia-Romagna and runs from the Appennine, on the border with Lombardy, through the main five valleys: Val Tidone, Val Luretta, Val Trebbia, Val Nure, and Val d’Arda.

The production covers a wide range of wine styles and grape varieties. Among the many native grapes cultivated there is no doubt that Malvasia Aromatica is the “golden shade” of these wines. As the name suggests, it is very aromatic, but the producers of the area (over 80) have been keen to develop different styles of Malvasia, from dry to sweet, to bubbly and e skin-fermented.

The DOC Colli Piacentini appellation has been protected by the local consortium since 1986, and each year celebrates the “Val Tidone Wine Festival” in the towns of the DOC area. The event joins art, culture and local food, with wine and hospitality, to create and promote the connection between the excellences of the territory. Tidone Valley is a land of scenic and breathtaking views over the vineyards. The smooth hills of the valley lead to Ziano Piacentino, the largest vine-covered area in Italy; and a historical town rich with castles under the same name. Because of the strategic geographic position, midway between North and Central Italy, the adjacent towns are also embellished with beautiful buildings and fortresses, some of them have ruins from Roman times. The entire area is blessed with green forests and pristine nature, around the river Trebbia, which contributes to the moisture of the area even during drought periods.

Emilia Wine Experience

The Emilia Wine Experience arises from the need of the representatives of the territory to emerge, or rather, to promote and communicate, in a more effective way, the potential of the fascinating Emilia. The project creates and promotes the territorial brand “Emilia” and has managed to involve 20 municipalities, gathered around the three main Provinces along the fascinating 5 roads of wine and flavours of Emilia: Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia, two Consortiums of Protection, and a local association; all united to enhance the strong link between territory, wine, and tourism. The Emilia Wine Experience is a model of local development that brings together all the many experiences, events and quality initiatives of the territory, it collects them in the same portal, and gives them easy access.

“Emilia is a land of food and wine masterpieces”.

Here is the website for further details:

www.emiliawineexperience.it

Wine Estates and Tasting Notes

COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “SORRISO DI CIELO” 2020 – LA TOSA

This winery dates back to the nineties, being one of the first to focus on a still and dry Malvasia, that will age over time. No doubt, this is a winning project of La Tosa, as their Malvasia is one of the few that can be aged for decades and at the same time still keeping its body and aromas. This wine brings memories of Sicily, as the aromatic bouquet recalls Sicilian Muscat. The colour is deep golden, and on the nose, orange blossoms and dried apricot. On the mouth it is medium bodied, easy drinking with a green finish.

COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “BACIAMANO” 2020 – MOSSI 1558

One of the most historical wineries of the area, immersed into the vineyards. Their Malvasia is unique, as it is aged in porcelain stoneware, where it is fermented and aged for 6 months. The colour tends to be more golden, but with deep notes of citrus, exotic fruits and dried herbs, like hay. On the mouth, its alcohol is well balanced by the lashing citrusy acidity and long dry back taste.

COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “BOCCADIROSA” 2020 – LURETTA

An enchanting place for winemaking: a castle on the hills of Piacenza, a timeless place that was kept untouched through the years, since 1,000. The same walls of the Middle Ages actually host the winemaking area and aging cellar. Since 1988 the vineyards have grown organic for a wide production of wine. This Malvasia shows brilliant amber colour, with nice notes of cedar wood, beeswax, and candied orange zest; full-bodied, with an immediate cleanness, it tastes almost tannic and salty on the back taste.

COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “TASTO DI SETA” 2019 – CASTELLO DI LUZZANO

A family-run winery made of passion and bonds with Northern Italy, that has concentrated its efforts and resources on dry Malvasia, in order to produce one of the most elegant examples of this wine.

The straw yellow colour is enchanting, but the nose is even more, with intriguing notes of cantaloupe, orange blossoms and chalk. On the mouth its silky taste (as its name evokes, silk is seta in Italian) is well balanced with the mouth-watering taste and long finish.

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Discovering the Wine Secrets of Southeastern Sicily – Filippo Magnani

There are two things you can be sure of when taking a food and wine itinerary in Sicily: you will always learn something new, and you will always leave a piece of your heart there when you leave. From the 13th to the 15th of July a well-organized press tour by Assovini Sicilia, led a handful of international journalists in three intense days to discover the Southeastern part of Sicily.  First in the area around the village of Noto from the Baroque splendors, to the promised land of Nero d’Avola; and then in the territory of Vittoria, the area of the now unique Sicilian DOCG, with the homonymous Cerasuolo name. Many estates were visited, dozens of wines were tasted together with producers, and a combination of cuisine specialties of the island were interpreted by local cooks or starred chefs. A continuous temptation, and indeed, an inexhaustible discovery.

Sicily’s Southeast, the heart of the island in the center of the Mediterranean Sea
Sicily is in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea and the largest under vine area of Italy. An area that counts a multitude of appellations that are slowly becoming more and more famous thanks to the success of productions able to clearly express the combination of Sicilian microclimates. From the vineyards on the island of Pantelleria to the extreme fields on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily is an island of unparalleled beauty and diversity. Southeast Sicily certainly embodies the essence of Sicily and embraces some of the most important wine areas among the dense web of appellations of the island. Noto DOC was created in 1978 to protect the local historical passito of Moscato. Recently the regulation has been expanded to include red wines based on Nero d’Avola, which today covers up to 84% of the vineyards. The area has been under vines for thousands of years. It is a sun-kissed, warm territory but it benefits from the mitigating effect of the coastal proximity. From these hills the view of the island is open, the sea breeze envelops the atmosphere, and the lively green of the vineyards is matched with the dark soil. Surrounded by beautifully restored ocher-colored farms. The neat geometry of the vine rows is organized by dry stone walls, sometimes alternated with monumental plants of prickly pears, and finally some small, sparse patches of trees that almost seem to wonder what they are doing there…

The scenario around the wine district of Vittoria is different. The territories of production include the municipalities of Ragusa, Vittoria, Comiso, Acate, Chiaramonte Gulfi, Santa Croce Camerina, Niscemi, Gela, Caltagirone, Licodia Eubea, Riesi, Butera, Mazzarino and Mazzarrone (five in the Ragusa province, two in the Caltanissetta province and two in the Catania province). The area is delimited to the north by the Erei mountains and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. The inland is occupied by the majestic Iblei mountains from which many waterways descend. The streams have dug through the land and shaped valleys on which the vineyards climb, and through the thermal breezes coming from the coast, which can deeply affect the climate, creating abnormal temperature excursions close to twenty degrees. On Vittoria’s hills, the soils are differentiated by Millennial stormwater runoff, producers are able to use this to produce red wines characterized by structure and sapidity versus tremendously drinkable wines of immediacy of fruit. To visit the vineyard estates, it is necessary to go down into these valleys completely submerged by cultivations.

The possibilities are endless. The variability of climatic conditions with the multiplicity and succession of the soil (clay, sandy-loamy, limestone soils) allow producers to interpret their personal and intimate Sicily in their bottles of wines. The finesse of the Cerasuolo by Vittoria Docg is expressed in blends composed of the only two native vines allowed by the disciplinary: Nero d’Avola and Frappato, in 50 to 70% and 30 to 50% respectively. The two contrasting varieties prove to be extremely complementary. The fragrance of Frappato goes perfectly with the more meditative aspect of Nero d’Avola, creating unique wines. These styles of wines are neither light nor heavy, they go beyond any concept of the seasonality of wines. The depth and structure of Nero d’Avola are lightened and harmonized by the fresher aromas and elegance of the fantastic Frappato. Wine must speak for the territory as much as it can give a little hint of the soul of its inhabitants. Vittoria’s wines are bright and exuberant, just like the people there.

Land of tales with a wide array of beautiful wine estates to visit
South-East Sicily is one of the most coveted wine destinations for wine lovers and wine connoisseurs. Wine tourism has become a key factor for territorial promotion. There is an increasing number of tourists who visit these lands just to discover the wine traditions. While visitors discover the mosaic of small and large wineries hidden in every corner of those lands, the protagonists of the Sicilian wine scene have understood the infinite potential of their land and they are moving towards the future, offering more impeccable travel proposals, starting from unique experiences in the cellar, through food delicatesse, to beautiful retreats. The “blend” of ancient traditions and modern cultivation practices with market strategies and investments for hospitality and tourism has made Sicily one of the most interesting wine destinations in Italy. The pulsating center of the area is Syracuse. The City of Syracuse combines works of the Greco-Roman era, spectacular squares, artisan boutiques, and of course the breathtaking shores and a crystal-clear sea. To the Southwest lies Val di Noto. The rolling hills or the valley frame a few beautiful late-baroque towns such as Noto, Ragusa, Modica and Scicli. Perfect places to enjoy gastronomic delights in small Osterie, Taverns, or Michelin-starred restaurants, surrounded by works of art and monuments that exude the history of man. The rest of the land is wild with luscious green vineyards, rocky ravines and prehistoric tombs, a thread woven between nature and man that run from the hills to an uncontaminated rugged coastline. A wide array of properties with great wine production and hospitality proposals for wine enthusiasts and wine professionals. Here are the wineries we visited during the magnificent tour.

Assovini
Assovini was founded in 1998 and it is the organization that most supported and carried out the territorial development project in the last 25 years for wine production and wine tourism. Today, along with 90 producers and nearly 900 labels produced, they are aiming to bring the fantastic value of Sicilian wines worldwide. In this direction Assovini in 2004 created the event Sicilia en premieur: A yearly itinerant event where the producers and the members of Assovini, lead a selected international press through tastings, tours, masterclasses, and conventions.

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AMARONE OPERA PRIMA – A Special Event to Discover the Territory and Wines of Valpolicella – Filippo Magnani

The body and intensity of Amarone is traditionally associated with winter months – wonderfully enjoyed in front of a warm, cozy fire.

In fact, the anteprime, dedicated to Amarone della Valpolicella, is always held in the early, frigid months of the year.

The 2022 Edition was unique in every aspect. It was held, for the first time, in the summer from 17th to 20th June. The objective of the Consortium of Valpolicella was to demonstrate and enhance the versatility of the wines of this area, aiming to reimagine Amarone from a ‘challenging’ wine that is mostly paired with game dishes to a more contemporary-styled-wine, balanced with less concentration and more fitness. On this concept, the first exclusive masterclass “Amarone 4wd, off the beaten track” was held June 18th at Palazzo Verità Poeta, which also opened the program for Amarone Opera Prima. The masterclass shed a spotlight on pairings with cuisines from four corners of the earth, accompanied by 4 different expressions of the territory of Valpolicella. The challenge was assisted by Nicola Portinari, a two Michelin-starred chef at La Peca in Lonigo.

In this extraordinary event of the previews of the 2017 vintage of Amarone, the Consortium of Valpolicella wanted to mix the masterful wine production from this area with the other flagships and absolute attractions of the Italian territory: history, art, culture, and music. On the night of the 18th, the 100 wine writers from 20 different countries, were invited to attend the Aida Opera by Verdi in the beautiful frame of the Roman Arena di Verona.  An amazing moment that everybody enjoyed, before the grand tasting of Anteprima Amarone the following day in the Palazzo della Grand Guardia (in the heart of Verona).

An Overview of an Iconic Wine Territory 

In the center of Northern Italy, located in an extraordinary and unique microclimate is the wine district of Valpolicella. Home of masterpieces including Amarone, Recioto, Ripasso, Valpolicella and Valpolicella Superiore. This wine region is a jewel of the Italian wine tradition. The area is characterized by a moderate continental climate. Many factors maintain this extraordinary pedoclimatic balance. The Northern border is occupied by the Monti Lessini plateau, probably the most important area from which the most valuable grapes of the DOC are harvested and shielded against cold currents from the Alps. Going South, the land assumes flatter features, a luminous valley that reaches the banks of the River Adige. To the West, the borders of the DOC touch the famous “neighboring” wine district of Bardolino, on the shores of the fascinating Lake Garda that has major influences on the entire climate of the area. It maintains mild winters and ensures excellent ventilation. To the East, the city of Verona raises the cultural and historical center of this bright area. The Valpolicella Classica, it is located in the northern area of the wine district and includes the towns of Marano, Fumane, Sant’Ambrogio, Negrar and San Pietro in Cariano.

On the beautiful rolling hills, we can find soils with poorer characteristics, with a major presence of limestone, clay and volcanic soils. These are the more preferred areas for the production of wines – they have great balance and complexity, there is also a longer growing season and the wines are more concentrated and have high acidity. To the East of the classic area the DOC enclave the territories of Valpantena, and Valpolicella DOC.

Valpolicella, the Eldorado of Wine Travelling

With its 240 km2 the Valpolicella has an ancient heritage, the name itself may refer to “the valley of the many wineries”. Viticulture and winemaking have been rooted here for centuries. A charming valley with stretches of vineyards framed by traditional marogne (dry stone walls). Historic territory, precious, where the interweaving of autochthonous varieties give life to incredible high-end wine production, the result of traditional techniques settled over time.  Wines are linked to a territory that every year attracts wine lovers, professionals, and collectors eager to know and deepen themselves into the different interpretations of Valpolicella, in particular its Amarone. The rolling hills are decorated by orchards and olive groves, small family-run wineries and famous wineries in the elegant Venetian Villas, now converted to wine resorts for an immersive experience. This place is a precious piece of Italian history.

Heading South-East, Verona rises the heart of the wine area. The hometown of Vinitaly, the yearly wine fair at the beginning of April where more than 4,000 producers gather from every region of Italy, trying to impress wine lovers from all over the world with tastings, seminars and talks. The “City of Love” and the scenario of the intense passion between Romeo and Juliet. The City of the Arena and its Opera, home of the famous Piazza delle Erbe, and undisputed flagship of Italian lives. To the East you can choose the enchanting Verona; the West side opens up to Lake Garda. A lake destination that can be chosen by those who want to visit the charming hamlets and small villages on the shores, alternating days of tastings with boat rides, long walks of different intensities, water sports and sensational fish meals. In order to help the guests in this extraordinary territory, a mobile app has been developed that has the task of directing the eno-curious towards the experience that is adduced more, being able to choose from a wide range of options.

Tastings Amarone della Valpolicella Docg 2017  

2017 showed lovely ripe fruit and good aromatic intensity. In general, I tasted great wines rich in structure, with persistent fruit, well-balanced with firm tannins. A sufficient level of acidity guarantees freshness to almost all wines. This shows the hard work of the producers during an uneasy season.

BERTANI – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG VALPANTENA 2017

Colour ranging from ruby core to light garnet rim. Intense flavour  of ripe plum with balsamic notes of mint. A hint of vanilla. Rich in structure, with persistent ripe fruit, well balanced with soft tannins. Fresh long finish. A great wine.

CA’ LA BIONDA – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG CLASSICO 2017 “RAVAZZOL”

Deep ruby colour. Rich bouquet of black cherry with hints of violet. Round, full body and warm. Good structure with quite delicate tannins and long length. Lovely wine.

CA’ RUGATE – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG 2017 “PUNTA 470”

Ruby core with narrow light rim. Great nose with ripe plum, spicy notes of licorice and rhubarb. Slight notes of leather. A full-body wine with good freshness. Present delicate tannins and quite a long aftertaste.  I like it.

GERARDO CESARI – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG CLASSICO 2017

The colour is medium ruby with a compact rim. Pronounced intensity of ripe red fruit mixed with notes of chocolate and tobacco. Medium body with ripe red fruit and freshness. Moderate coarse tannins. Quite a long finish.  I really appreciated it.

FALEZZE DI LUCA ANSELMI – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG 2017 “FALEZZE”

Bright with intense core and paler rim. The wine displays ripe red fruit and floral notes of violet with hearty overtones. Exuberant and full body in the palate, elegant fruit and velvety tannins. Long, fresh finish. A very good wine.

LA COLLINA DEI CILIEGI – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG 2017 “CILIEGIO”

Brillant with a deep ruby core. Pronounced bouquet of blackcherry, dried prune and fig. Overtones of coconut and the scent of tobacco. Good structure with firm, velvety tannins and long length. A wine with a personality.

MONTE ZOVO FAMIGLIA COTTINI – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG 2017 “MONTE ZOVO”

Brilliant, deep garnet colour with compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and raisin. Full body with discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Long finish. A delicious wine.

SALVATERRA – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG CLASSICO 2017

Medium garnet core, paler on the rim. The nose shows the beautiful flavour of blueberries. Spicy with a hint of anise. The palate is elegant with overtones of black cherry and fig. Dry, medium plus body, silky tannins and a long finish. A great wine.

AZ AGRICOLA VIGNA ‘800 – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG CLASSICO RISERVA 2017 “VIRGO MORON”

Garnet red with a paler tinge. It displays an intense flavour of dark cherry and raspberry with light earthy overtones. Juicy and vibrant with a medium-bodied palate, firm tannins with a light smoky hint at the end. I have really appreciated this wine.

VIGNETI DI ETTORE – AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG CLASSICO 2017

Deep ruby red with paler reflections. Pronounced intensity of ripe red fruit mixed with notes of chocolate and tobacco. Smooth and delicious palate with delicate tannins and quite a long aftertaste present.  A great wine.

#winelover #Italy #amarone #amaroneoperaprima #Valpolicella #Valpolicellawines #winetasting #amaronelovers #italianwine #italianwinelovers #winetrade #winetourism #winereviews

 

Garda Wine Stories: Exploring the Territory and Wines of Lake Garda – Filippo Magnani

From the 8th to 11th of June, the Garda DOC Consortium organized ‘Garda Wine Stories’, an event dedicated to the extraordinary peculiarities of the wine territory of Lake Garda. It was a full-scheduled press tour which included: seminars, masterclasses, in-depth analysis, guided cellar tours, and a stunning sailboat ride with tasting, aboard a cutter (equipped with the ancient trapezoidal sails). It was not only an opportunity for the Italian and international press to discuss in-depth the complex and vast territory, but also for wine lovers. On Friday, June 10th we attended a tasting with 20 producers, representing the best winemaking areas. The impeccable event was organized by the Consortium.

Discovering Garda DOC
The denomination Garda DOC was founded in 1996. It represents a large geographical area that groups in the same macro area other important Italian DOCs for a total of around 31,100 hectares under vine, of which 27,889 hectares are in the province of Verona, the outlying hectares are spread between the towns of Mantua and Brescia. Today, it has around 4,000 associated producers and a production of 21 million bottles, with a good prospect of further growth. The objective of the Consortium is to enhance the value of the varietal wines produced in these historical appellations and to give further opportunities of identification for those who grow in the outlying zones. The Consortium is playing an important role in pursuing a circular strategy that conveys all the resources that Lake Garda has, and the dialogue between the wine system, wine tourism and hospitality, sport activities, and gastronomy.

Garda – A Wine Territory around the Lake
Lake Garda is the largest body of water in Italy, extending for about 370 km2, it is encompassed by 3 Italian regions: Lombardy, Veneto, and Trentino Alto Adige. Its banks extend for 50 km from north to south and for about 17 km from east to west. In the imaginary triangle composed of the provinces of Trento (north), Brescia (south-west) and Verona (south-east), an extraordinary natural and cultural heritage is preserved. The landscape, from any point you look, is a jubilation of biodiversity, corners of extraordinary scenic beauty. Mountains, hills, and beaches are covered by the typical Mediterranean vegetation with olive trees, caper bushes, lemon and citron trees, agave plants and vines; all framed by historical and cultural sites, castles, harbours, charming villages, traces of human activities that have always influenced the appearance of Lake Garda shores.

The climate is mild in all its extension despite the northerly longitude. There are many factors that contribute to the incredible climatic conditions that make Lake Garda one of the most heterogeneous and interesting wine areas. The northern cone-shaped narrow area is surrounded by the Alps providing a shield from the cold currents from the North. The lake also plays an important mitigating action, lifting colder fogs in the mornings allowing the ventilation among the vines, and by absorbing heat and releasing it in relation to the external temperature. Winters are never harsh, and summers are hot. The daily temperature range is quite high due to the presence of a breeze blowing south in the morning and north in the afternoon, thermal excursion is an extremely important factor for the perfect ripening of the grapes.

From the gentle morainic hills of the southern basin to the extreme peaks of the Alps, the soil around Lake Garda is a puzzle of different compositions but perhaps the most distinctive and fascinating element has to do with the light. This place is glowing. The phenomenon of light refraction made possible by the size and depth of the lake is an element of great uniqueness in the territory. Here the vine finds a perfect place to grow, in a bright and lush nature, helped by the meticulous hands of brilliant winemakers. The wide area that covers Garda Doc includes countless grape varieties and many interpretations of them.

Each of the wine districts that stretch around Lake Garda bring traditions in production methods, history and, of course, the most representative vines from the different areas: Garganega, Trebbiano (Trebbiano di Soave and/or Trebbiano di Lugana), Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Corvina, Marzemino, and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Altogether, they constitute the backbone of Garda DOC wine production. Great importance is given to the sparkling wines using the varieties from the different wine areas: Garganega for white wines, Corvina for rosé, crémant method Chardonnay, but also Pinot Grigio, Reno, and Muller Thurgau.

The boundaries of DOC Garda embrace a wide area. Considering the extraordinary attitude of Italian wine territories to change connotations in a few meters, it’s hard to imagine how many environments coexist around the lake. The Consortium has been stimulating scientific research in order to improve the understanding of the pedoclimatic and oenological aspects of the Lake Garda territory, with the ultimate goal of proposing models with a sustainable footprint to enhance wine productions and to defend our extraordinary natural heritage.

Lake Garda: A Paradise for Wine Enthusiasts
Lake Garda is one of the most romantic locations and it represents the charm of the Dolce Vita Italiana. It is a real paradise for those who love wine, food, stunning natural scenery, sports, art and culture… in short, there is everything for everyone!  It is no coincidence, that the territory around the lake is one of the favorite destinations of lovers of our country (Italy). The road network and the water transport that connect the various areas of the lake allow wine enthusiasts and foodies to concentrate their exploration of the wines of the DOC Garda even on a short holiday.  A journey in a journey, a shining example of how wine tourism became the “art of hospitality”.  The Consorizio Garda DOC is proposed as a promoter of the territory of Lake Garda as a wine escape, collecting and communicating the infinite experiences that can be carried out and proposing them through multiple channels. Visit where official site www.gardadocvino.it  where you learn about amazing stays on these shores, in the section “experience”.

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CHIANTI CLASSICO COLLECTION, AN ASSESSMENT OF ONE OF THE OF MOST CHARMING WINE TERRITORIES IN ITALY  – FILIPPO MAGNANI

Chianti Classico is a land of such versatility and richness that could be confusing, that’s why the Consortium has an important role in spreading awareness and territorial promotion. The Chianti Classico Collection is the yearly flagship event of the “Anteprime Toscana”, long-awaited days dedicated to one of the most fascinating wine areas in the world.  Last March the Collection moved back to its original location, the beautiful Leopolda station in Florence. This was the 29th edition of the flagship Black Rooster celebration and it was a pleasure to see my international colleagues back in the beautiful scenario of Florence, to evaluate the wonderful works of the Chianti Classico DOCG producers after these hard and struggling years. On the stage, the 2020 Annata, 2019 Riserva, and 2018 Gran Selezione, all close to getting access to the world market, and of course many other tasting proposals.

At the 2022 Collection 180 wineries presented 650 wines of which 161 Chianti Classico Riserva, 125 Gran Selezione and also 39-barrel samples from the 2021 vintage.

Chianti Classico Moves Ahead

The Black rooster is an identifying symbol of one of the most interesting wine areas in Italy and it is a wine district that is always evolving. The main topic of the two days of the Collection was the subdivision of Chianti Classico into Geographical Units called with the acronyms UGA. The Additional Geographical Units marked a step towards a deeper knowledge and a greater appreciation of the peculiarities of Chianti Classico. In this way the Consortium has tried to emphasize the specific microclimatic characteristics even more of narrower areas, in order to underline the many differences existing within the areas. The 11 UGA (San Casciano, Greve, Montefioralle, Lamole, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli, Castellina, San Donato in Poggio) are today labelled singularly with the name of the specific village of origin. This was introduced last year and dedicated exclusively, for the moment, to the Gran Selezione category.

The other intervention on the chart of regulations for the DOCG was the 90% minimum percentage of Sangiovese in the blends for the Gran Selezione and the remaining 10% was left to other native varieties of the region such as Canaiolo, Colorino and Black Malvasia. Clear indicators of the path taken by the Gallo Nero producers towards an increasingly and more understandable regional identity. Showing the name of the municipal or village on the label will both spark and satisfy the curiosity of the increasingly high numbers of consumers who would like to improve their understanding of the relationship between the Black Rooster wines and their micro territory of production.

Chianti Classico Passport

Chianti Classico is offered in three different types that represent its qualitative pyramid: Chianti Classico ‘Annata’, Chianti Classico ‘Riserva‘ and Chianti Classico ‘Gran Selezione’.

Chianti Classico the Ultimate Wine Territory 

The Chianti Classico region has for centuries been one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts. A wine paradise held in the arms of its two historical capitals: Florence and Siena. This area is mainly covered with woodlands, principally oak, chestnut and pine as well as cypress, situated on a plateau at altitudes between 200 and 800 meters. The highest altitude for growing grapes for Chianti Classico wine is 700 metres a.s.l. The local climate is continental with significant day-night temperature variation, generally low winter temperatures – below 4-5°C – and hot, dry summers, often reaching temperatures of over 35°. Geologically the land is a shield of clayey schists (marl), with layers of scaly clay, alberese and fine limestone sandstone.

Wine Escape Chianti Classico 

Tuscany is the most popular destination for wine enthusiasts from all over the world, and few other places stimulate a traveler’s thoughts and imagination as much as the Chianti Classico. Along with the other leading wine production areas in Tuscany today, Chianti Classico is an extraordinary gateway to a deep and intimate knowledge of the roots of our culture and lifestyle. A destination that represents an ecosystem of services focused on wine, some tangible, and others less so, but all of them engaging. Today’s “wine tourists” decide to visit this wine territory not only for its great, historic wines, but also to make memories, experience the flavours of a local osteria, the aromas of the cellars and the smiles of grandmothers on their doorsteps. Journeys that are more immersive, making intimate and personal contact with traditions, culture, and people. In this respect, the concept of terroir expands to “winescape” to better express its connection to the region.  Along the beautiful, winding roads of Chianti Classico, the winery doors are always open for visits and tastings. This is an area with a high density of wineries, a true oenological paradise, full of castles, ancient abbeys, where fine wines are matured, world-famous wineries alongside small and no less prestigious family-run estates, traditional cellars, and architectural masterpieces. A setting in which hospitality and associated experiences take on various forms, with all kinds of proposals and wine tourism activities. The producers understand the importance of hospitality: it has great economic value in terms of diversifying income, as well as being an effective means of communicating values and enhancing distribution of their wines. From curious wine enthusiasts to collectors, guests always want to visit the famous winemaking names of Chianti or discover hidden gems of the highest quality. From groups belonging to private wine clubs and sommelier associations to restaurateurs, wine tourism in the Chianti Classico region embraces an increasingly varied public. It is therefore increasingly important for the wineries to work together with the tourism sector, creating targeted and authentic wine and food trips.

My Tasting at the C.C.C 2022

I have reviewed almost 220 wines, from Annata Chianti Classico 2020, well as Riserva 2019 and Gran Selezione 2018. The Chianti Classico 2020 Annata showed beautiful lively coloured, ripe fruit with great aromatic intensity. An appropriate level of natural acidity guarantees good fragrance. Most wines I tasted were graceful with slightly lower alcohol content than average previous vintages. The Chianti Classico 2019 Riserva, in general, turned out to be soft, fruity with good structure and balance. I found a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas in the Gran Selezione 2018.

On My Radar : Chianti Classico Docg Annata 2020

Winery: Montebernardi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Retromarcia 2020
Intense ruby red with paler reflections. Distinctly rose floral nose mixed with hints of cherry. Full-bodied with pleasant red notes developing on the palate. Medium tannic structure. Long and fresh aftertaste. Charming wine.

Winery: Rocca di Montegrossi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Rocca di Montegrossi 2020
Medium ruby-red. Intense flavour of red plum and notes of violet. Medium acidity with discreet alcohol level. Fruity and spicy. Quite a long finish.  I like it.

Winery: Bibbiano
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Bibbiano 2020
Clean, ruby red with a paler tinge. Lovely aromas of strawberry and cherry with a touch of roses. Full body with round, sweet tannins. Fresh and harmonious finish. Very good wine.

Winery: Cigliano di Sopra
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Cigliano di Sopra 2020
Ruby core with light purple rim. The nose is fruity and dynamic with a hint of spiciness. Well-structured body with medium alcohol and soft tannins.  Dry and fresh, with quite long persistence. I like it very much.

Winery: Poggerino
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Poggerino 2020
Ruby colour with paler hue towards the edge. Intense bouquet of cherry with balsamic notes. Lovely entrance, round with ripe fruit, medium body. Firm, velvety tannins with a long finish. I love it.

Winery: Castello di Querceto
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Castello di Querceto 2020
Ruby core with light purple hue towards the edge. The nose is fruity and dynamic with a hint of pepper. The palate expresses ripe red cherry with a well-structured body, medium alcohol and soft tannin. A bit light at the end. Good wine.

Winery: Brancaia
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Brancaia 2020
Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis with overtones of violet. Full-bodied with quite bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and soft tannins. Harmonious end. Great wine.

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva  2019 

Winery: Castellare di Castellina
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Castellare 2019
Intense and brilliant garnet colour. Its bouquet is intense and ample with notes of blackcurrant and violet. The palate is rich and elegant. Full bodied with impressive freshness and velvety tannins. Long finish. Great wine.

Winery:  Le Miccine
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Le Miccine 2019
Ruby core with narrow rim. Lovely nose with red plum and notes of rhubarb and liquorice. Powerful structure with ripe red fruit, fresh with well integrated soft tannins. Long finish. Great wine.

Winery: Felsina
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Rancia 2019
Clear, deep red garnet colour. Intense flavour of cherry, blueberries and violet. Spicy with notes of liquorice and mint. The mouth is dense with medium soft tannins and toasty hints. Elegant wine with long and pleasant aftertaste Charming, fine wine. This is an excellent wine.

Winery:  Riecine
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Riecine 2019
Deep ruby core with compact rim. Intense flavour of cherry, blueberries and violet. Spicy with notes of liquorice and mint. Full bodied wine with rich dark cherry fruit well-balanced with soft tannins. Elegant and harmonious finish. Charming, fine wine.

Winery:  Castello di Ama
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Montebuoni 2019
Deep ruby colour, lighter on the edge. Pronounced bouquet of cherry with overtones of blackberry and chocolate. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit. Firm, velvety tannins with long length. I like it !

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2018 

Winery: Conti Capponi/Villa Calcinaia
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna La Fornace 2018
Medium ruby core, paler towards the edge. The wine displays intense flavour of wild berry with scents of new leather. Rich and powerful, good balance of body, fruit, acidity, and firm tannins. Lovely wine with great potential.

Winery: I Fabbri
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione I Fabbri 2018
Ruby colour turning slightly garnet on the rim. Beautiful aromas of ripe cherry and prune with balsamic overtones. Blackcherry in the palate with a light smoky scent. Medium body with round, fine tannins. Fresh delicious finish.

Winery: Ricasoli
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Brolio 2018
Bright, intense ruby with garnet hue. Itt displays intense flavour of cherry and blueberry with light earthy overtones. Juicy and vibrant with medium-bodied palate, soft tannins and toasty light notes at the end.  I have really appreciated this wine.

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2017

Winery:  Castello di Monsanto
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Il Poggio 2017
Deep garnet core with ruby tinge. Complex nose with flavour of black cherry and prune with a note of rhubarb. Fragrant, juicy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level and soft tannins well integrated with the fruit. Long finish. Great, fine wine.

Winery: Querciabella
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Gran Selezione Querciabella 2017
Brilliant, deep garnet colour with a compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and chocolate. Full bodied wine with rich dark cherry fruit well balanced with soft tannins. Elegant and harmonious finish. Outstanding wine, clear expression of pure Sangiovese with long life.

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