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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Chianti Classico, A Wine Tourism Destination Par Excellence – Filippo Magnani

An indissoluble partnership between wine production and tourism.

Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts and a few other places stimulate a traveler’s thoughts and imagination as much as the Chianti Classico region.

This stunning wine region is a succession of gentle hills, dotted with vineyards rolling away into the horizon between Florence and Siena. An unspoiled landscape, where the presence of human activity plays an integral role in the extraordinary harmony of nature and skill. The fruits of this region have made it quite treasured along with the passion of great governors, noble administrators, artists, poets, men of science and agricultural talents. The history of these people can be read in the neat rows of vines and cypresses, the olive groves, the charming villages and in the stones of the castles, enabling us to remember and share the history and beauty of “Chianti Classico”. To really discover this place, you will need a guide – and the wine is undoubtedly an ideal and important witness to the fascinating history of the development of Chianti Classico.

Wine Escape – 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. The area’s history has always been inextricably linked to wine production. Nature and people have grown together in an indissoluble relationship of respect and reward, bringing the Chianti Classico territory to life. If you wish to be immersed in the aromas and flavours of great food and wine tradition you will find Chianti Classico an ideal destination: It is a leading national tourist and wine tourism destination, chosen by visitors from all over the world for the wide variety of experiences linked to fine food and wine, with wine taking the leading role. 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 an area 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” in order to better express its connection to the region. This is why it is important to analyze and understand the factors that make Chianti Classico a wine tourism destination.

Chianti Classico – a kaleidoscope of organized and structured wine tourism opportunities.

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 want to visit the famous winemaking names of Chianti and 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.

The reputation – wine tourists are extremely interested in visiting the locations of great and famous Chianti Classico wines.

The wine with the Black Rooster emblem is among the most widely marketed and recognized labels in the world. In over 130 countries, there is not a restaurant, wine shop or wine bar that does not offer the wines of this designation. Over the last 20 years, Chianti Classico has become one of the leading socio-economic systems in Tuscany, both in terms of the volume of wine produced, and its quality. Vintage, Riserva and Gran Selezione are the categories in a specific hierarchical scale, in terms of price and value. These wines express an indissoluble link between a par excellence product and the territory of origin. The designation is home to an incredible variety of unique microclimates that are particularly suitable for growing vines. In recent years the consortium and local producers have carried out important research aiming to outline the mosaic of Chianti Classico for consumers in the best possible way. The most recent addition are the UGAs (Additional Geographical Units). Eleven production areas that will be able to show the specific provenance of their wines on the label. It should be emphasized that the global success of wine and its positioning on the markets constantly influences the choice of many tourists traveling to discover the best-known wine-producing areas, who choose the Chianti Classico territory as their preferred destination.

A wine tourism region that goes beyond wine.

Anyone seeking to truly immerse themselves in wine tourism in the Chianti area can choose from a variety of accommodation options and, naturally, from a growing number of complementary tourist services well equipped and organized for such trips. Among various forms and categories, Chianti Classico is the preferred place to ‘sleep between the rows’, in fact, more and more wineries are deciding to open their estates, renovating existing buildings or constructing new ones, to become true wine resorts in various categories, providing every possible comfort and offering visitors an exclusive and unforgettable experience. The growing presence of this new concept of accommodation reflects the tendency of this wine-producing area to adapt in order to accommodate tourists who want to spend more time in the hills and vineyards. Wine resorts are top-quality locations: different types of structures, closely linked to the wineries, which interpret the most typical aspects of the winery in their own way. A place to lose yourself and relax with outdoor activities or in the spas and wellness centres. The roads branching out from the wineries can also be explored by bicycle, offering another opportunity to enter the magic of the vineyards, places to visit in every season, combining wellness and exploration of the area. And for those who love the outdoors, there are trekking routes of varying levels of difficulty. Lastly, all routes lead to the table, since food is the twin brother of wine. For the gourmand traveler, the timeless charm of Chianti Classico can be experienced through the area’s great culinary tradition, with a richly varied constellation of appetizing opportunities. From San Casciano to Greve, from Panzano to Castellina, from Radda and Gaiole to Castelnuovo Berardenga, a succession of family-run hostelries alternates with the great award-winning restaurants: a true food and wine territory, rich in opportunities to learn more about cuisine by participating in cooking courses organized in the area’s most exclusive and hidden locations. It should be stressed that the Chianti Classico wine tourism area is not limited to wine-related activities and the destination is enriched with many complementary experiences: visiting historic buildings and museums or devoting sunny days to excursions through nature and villages, to discover local craft products. In a context of increasing tourism development linked to an excellent territory, open to change, another important aspect is the added value of technology. A global and interconnected world opens up an incredible opportunity to intensify and spread word of the area’s appeal. Communication tools and channels are extremely important for the increasingly varied target visitors. Chianti Classico wineries have grasped the significance of this progress and invested in new ways of promoting and marketing the “wine tourism product”. So, alongside traditional methods, such as working with agencies and tour operators, real wine tourism marketplaces have been created among producers: online platforms that sell, describe, and create attractive winery experiences and wine trips for the consumer. Another good example of how the Consortium has opened-up to digital implementation is the Chianti Classico Card, intended as a user-friendly pass-partout to access hundreds of memorable activities.

The aesthetics of the landscape and layering of traditions – a cultural identity of Chianti Classico.

The appearance of Chianti Classico is the result of centuries of history. The beauty of the area’s vineyards and its considerable natural resources have been known since the dawn of time. This landscape has always coexisted with its people. A place loved by the Etruscans, then by the Romans, and a battlefield of bitter disputes in the Middle Ages, the territory preserves evidence of the passage of many cultures. The earliest documentation of the existence of a wine-producing district and territorial administration dates back to the 13th century with the “Lega del Chianti”, formalized between Radda, Gaiole and Castellina and branded with the famous Black Rooster which, after many glorious years, became the official symbol of Chianti Classico wine in 2005. The notion of the area’s inestimable value has been reinforced in recent years through the proposal of Chianti Classico as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the institutional activity of the Foundation for the Protection of the Territory of Chianti Classico Onlus, of which the Consortium is a founding member. At the same time, the same bodies, along with local administrations, have achieved another goal: the establishment of the “Distretto Rurale del Chianti”, aiming to preserve the cultural and aesthetic component of the landscape, to promote economic, social and tourist integration. These concepts acquired greater value with the onset of the pandemic. Undeniably, already fashionable themes such as environmental sustainability were foregrounded in discussions during the lockdown, so operators are paying close attention also in the sectors of wine production and wine tourism.

Symbols that represent the fine quality products of the area.

Between the Elsa and Pesa rivers, the Chianti Classico area is a destination with a very precise identity, essential but richly significant. It’s impossible to mention Chianti Classico without immediately encountering the famous Black Rooster, which symbolizes the spirit of the territory. Strong and elegant, lively, and proud, its crowing marks a new day. Once the symbol used by the “Antica Lega del Chianti” it was taken up in 1924 by the Consortium, because it clearly represents the very soul of this area: beauty and splendor combined with dedication to hard work. Alongside the Black Rooster are other identifying elements that appeal to the imagination of visitors: long roads flanked by rows of cypress trees, powerful-looking castles crowning hills strewn with vineyards, abbeys hidden among the olive groves and, finally, Medieval villages separated by the exquisite and gentle Chianti hills. The narrative of this land, a paradise of grapes and olive trees, is enriched by numerous citations in film, publishing, and painting. When desire and imagination are translated into a journey, visitors are catapulted into a riot of taste and beauty – the beauty found in the quality of excellent products and the charm of the landscape, thanks to the constant presence and influence of people in this area.

Traditions, locations, and events to promote wine tourism.
Wine tours in Chianti Classico are not limited to visits and tastings but consist of a fully rounded experience open to everyone. Every year, in autumn, the famous “Eroica” race takes place: a cycling competition with vintage bikes that brings professionals and enthusiasts together from all over the world. This is a unique opportunity for participants to get to know and admire the many locations along the route. The sport has authentic, popular roots which also echo the values of agriculture, such as the appeal of hard work and the great flavour of enterprise. The competition crosses a number of meeting points within the Chianti Classico territory. Vineyards and wine thus opening a window onto the local culture in general.

Other activities in Chianti Classico include art and music, learning about local traditions, environmental sustainability and above all food culture. There is a place that encompasses all of these – the “Casa del Chianti Classico” inside the convent of Santa Maria al Prato in Radda in Chianti. This true cultural and educational centre is another splendid example of promotion of the geographical area. The “house” offers visitors an informative and in-depth tour of wine and oil production in Chianti Classico, and much more. The space is used for training meetings and events. If booked in advance, it can also offer cooking classes with leading figures from the Tuscan culinary scene.

In the towns of the Black Rooster area, numerous local festivals take place throughout the year. One of these is Expo Chianti Classico, which has been uniting producers and wine lovers in Greve in Chianti since the 1970s: an unmissable opportunity to explore all aspects of wine and get up close and personal with the winegrowers and their wines.

This is also the case for the Chianti Classico Collection, the cornerstone of wine and oil promotion. The event takes place in Florence, usually in February, and is the flagship event of the area. The so-called Chianti Classico Previews organized by the Consortium give journalists, trade operators and even wine-lovers the opportunity to try the new vintages being launched on the market, directly from the hands of the producers.

Locals – everyone who meets you before, during and after your trip to Chianti Classico.
In a memorable journey the people we meet play a fundamental role. People are the key element of a travel experience in wine tourism destinations such as Chianti Classico. The unfolding of an itinerary, a path towards a better awareness of the place being explored, inevitably passes through the eyes, words, and testimonies of those who welcome or simply spend time with the tourist. Tourists demand has become increasingly variable today. This means the proposals must also be increasingly varied in to order to satisfy the visitors’ every desire and expectation. A great natural and productive heritage is no longer enough: the territory must be described and above all experienced in a real and professional way. We must seek contact with the community, through visits to small towns (villages above all) and the chance to experience a direct, unmediated relationship with the inhabitants and their lifestyle. All those playing a part in the tourism and hospitality sector must, in a subjective and personal way, respect and assimilate the vision of a growing and developing a territory, united in its values and objectives, and pass it on to others. With fierce international competitors there is no longer any room for mediocrity and improvisation, and the same applies to the production and promotion of wine. From this perspective, it is essential to offer quality training and, above all, work as a “system” to be able to grow more organically (including at an international level) and adopt an all-around approach to defining and implementing rules for the entire sector. In this regard, the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium is working hard, playing a leading role in raising awareness of the great interest being shown in this area. The objective is to always provide excellent quality offers and focus on hospitality services that can communicate the experience of the Black Rooster area to visitors.

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CHIANTI CLASSICO, THE EVALUATION OF ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR WINE TERRITORIES IN ITALY – by Filippo Magnani

 

Chianti Classico Collection in 2021 becomes “Chianti Classico Connection”

The Black rooster is an identifying symbol of one of the most interesting wine areas in Italy.  It is a wine that is always evolving. 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 Collection is an annual event of the Anteprime Toscana, dedicated to one of the most fascinating wine areas in the world.

The “Collection”, this year, was entitled “CC” (Chianti Classico) “Connection”.  This global event is synchronized in 5 different countries, including multiple days at the end of May for Chicago, Florence, London and New York and the end of June was reserved for Munich, and Tokyo. In these six important cities, the Black Rooster presented a hybrid format combining an in-person tasting for the sector’s professionals and online interaction with the producers. The Consortium gathered a selected international audience from the wine sector, with the attendance being over 2,800 experts and members of the press, 400 wines being presented with10,000 bottles being tasted.

The 27th edition of the Collection was held In Florence, the 20th and 21st of May, in the beautiful Cloister of the Santa Maria Novella Museum, in the 14th-century Dominican convent attached to the Basilica, an iconic symbol of the Renaissance.

Chianti Classico Moving Forward

The Chianti Classico area is a unique “mosaic” of microclimates to discover. It is a wine district always in evolution. Two main measures approved recently: the Consortium formally introduced 11 subzones “Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive (UGA)”, allowing different villages to further express the versatility of the Chianti Classico area, and to label their production with the specific name of their land. The Members of the Council also embraced the introduction of new tight specifics on the Gran Selezione category, showing off the increasingly widespread tendency to enhance the full potential of Sangiovese.

Chianti Classico New Sites on Subzones

This new “micro-site identification” was attributed not only to geological and scientific studies, but also from the so-called human factor, in terms of local culture and traditions. The UGA applies only to the Gran Selezione wines which is t 6% of the production of the vintage but with the goal of broadening it to Riserva and Chianti Classico wines.

Gran Selezione Regulation Switches Toward Sangiovese

The other step was made on the specifications to further the restrictions for the blend of the Gran Selezione. The new approved proposal increases the proportion of the Sangiovese to a minimum of 90%, and eliminates the international grapes in any blend of the Gran Selezione. Finally, the remaining 10% is limited only to Chianti Classico native grapes: Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera., and others.

Chianti Classico the Ultimate Wine Destination

The Chianti Classico region has for centuries been one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts. It is a wine paradise held by 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 metres. 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.

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 – A Wine Lovers’ Paradise 

Chianti Classico gets its name from an area of Tuscany that is famous for its food, lush rolling hills and medieval towns.  A territory to discover through extraordinary wine estates, luxury retreats, beautiful landscapes, historical charming buildings, superb wine and exceptional restaurants. A wine-vocated area that, every year, attracts professionals and wine lovers from all over the world. To assist visitors through the exploration of an area fundamental for our region’s history and culture, the Consortium has now launched the Chianti Classico Card.

A passe-partout to open all the doors into the Gallo Nero world: over 200 unforgettable experiences are available through this card, from guided tastings in the wineries to picnics in the vineyards, visits to museums in the area, and discovering artistic and architectural treasures hidden among the vine rows of Chianti Classico. The Gallo Nero Card aims to guide tourists through an exploration of one of the fundamental elements of our region’s history and culture: Chianti Classico wine and all the gems of its production territory.

My tasting at  C.C.C 2021

Having spent only one day at Chianti Classico Collection, I have reviewed 162 wines, from Annata Chianti Classico 2019 and 2018, as well as Riserva and Gran Selezione 2018 categories. The Chianti Classico 2019 Annata showed beautiful lively-colored, ripe fruit with great aromatic intensity. An appropriate level of natural acidity guarantees good fragrance. The vast majority of wines I tasted were graceful with slightly lower alcohol content than average previous vintages. The Chianti Classico 2018 Annata, in general, turned out to be soft, fruity with good structure and balance. This is partly a reflection of the vintage which started cool and continued quite rainy through the summer, ending with nice weather during harvest. I found a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas in the Riserva and Gran Selezione 2018 categories.

On my radar : Chianti Classico Annata 2019 

Winery:  Istine
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg 2019  (100% Sangiovese – bio)
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 Ama – Ama
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg 2019  (96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot)
Brilliant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis with overtones of violet. Full-bodied with bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and soft tannins. Harmonious end. Great wine.

Winery: Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg 2019  (95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo – bio)
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 a long persistence. I like it very much.

Winery: Quercia al Poggio
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg 2019  (80% Sangiovese, 5% 10% Ciliegiolo, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Malvasia Nera – bio)
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.

On my radar : Chianti Classico Annata 2018 

Winery: Val delle Corti
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg 2018  (95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo)
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. Ac harming wine.

Winery: Cinciano
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg 2018  (100% Sangiovese)
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. A good wine.

Winery: Castello della Paneretta
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg 2018  (85% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Colorino)
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 liked it.

On my radar : Chianti Classico Riserva  2018 

Winery: Castello di Monsanto
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva 2018  (90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Colorino)
Medium ruby core, paler towards the edge. The wine displays an 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: Bibbiano
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva 2018  (100% Sangiovese- bio)
Bright, intense ruby with garnet hue. It displays an intense flavour of cherry and blueberry with light earthy overtones. Juicy and vibrant with a medium-bodied palate, soft tannins and toasty light notes at the end.  I really appreciated this wine.

Winery: Fèlsina
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Rancia 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:  Monteraponi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Il Campitello 2018 (90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino – bio)
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. A great, fine wine.

On my radar : Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2018 

Winery: Conti Capponi – Villa Calcinaia
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Gran Selezione Vigna Contessa Luisa 2018  (100% Sangiovese – bio).
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: Ricasoli – Castello di Brolio
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Gran Selezione 2018  (100% Sangiovese)
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. An elegant wine with long and pleasant aftertaste Charming, fine wine. This is an excellent wine

Winery: Fontodi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo 2018  (100% Sangiovese – bio)
Brilliant, deep garnet colour with a compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and chocolate. A 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.

Always a big ”Thank You” to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer !

Filippo Magnani

 

 

 

 

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New Chianti Classico subzones or ‘UGAs’ have been approved

Last week at the June 2021 assembly of Chianti Classico’s governing Consorzio, a “very large majority” of Consorzio members approved changes to the disciplinare that have the potential to put some separation between the Riserva and the Gran Selezione levels. Here are two key aspects to the proposal:

  • Focus on Sangiovese and native grape varieties

The current rules for all Chianti Classico wines require a minimum of 80% Sangiovese, but the new GS level will strengthen the connection with that variety (and push the wines a little closer to those of Brunello di Montalcino) by raising the requirement to 90%. Additionally, the remaining 0–10% of the wine will be restricted to native Italian grape varieties (e.g., Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, etc.). International varieties will not be permitted in Gran Selezione bottlings; and

  • Zonation

The Consorzio has come to an agreement on a first order of non-overlapping subzones that will allow producers to highlight and promote local variations within the 20-mile-long Chianti Classico denomination. These will be officially known as UGAs (unità geografiche aggiuntive, “additional geographical units”). It does not appear that there will be a requirement for a GS wine to be from a single UGA, but those that are will be able to carry the subzone name on the label.

Chianti Classico DOCG includes all or part of nine communes, and the new UGAs will follow commune boundaries to a large extent (see accompanying map). The communes of Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, and San Casciano will remain intact as subzones, while the three partial communes of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi, and Tavarnelle in Val di Pesa will be combined as the San Donato in Poggio UGA. The commune of Greve will become four UGAs: Greve, the highly regarded frazioni of Panzano and Lamole, and the lesser known frazione Montefioralle. Finally, the southern commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga will be broken into two UGAs: Castelnuovo Berardenga and Vagliagli (which is destined to be added to the list of most mispronounced wine locations).

Apparently, there is already talk about extending the use of these UGAs to the basic and Riserva levels as well as GS.

This proposal will have several hoops to jump through before it becomes official, then the wines will be required at least 2½ years of aging before release.