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The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany

The-Chianti-Wine-Region-of-Tuscany

The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany – Nestled in the lush and green hills of Tuscany’s heartland, in between the cities of Siena and Florence, the Chianti wine region brings its long history to each glass of wine.

In general, Chianti is a fresh red wine blend that has been appreciated by great Italian artists and thinkers such as Michelangelo personally produced his own wine in the Chianti Hills, Machiavelli wrote his opus magnum “The Prince” while residing here, and Giuseppe Verdi loved to drink a glass of Chianti every now and then.

Chianti is the most commonly consumed wine in Italy, and interestingly, the most commonly consumed Italian wine in the world, Chianti is emblematic of what Italy means to the world of wine.

Fermented primarily from Sangiovese, fresh cherry, strawberries, and red plum pleasure the senses when enjoying this wine.

Winemakers have spent the last couple of decades trying to change the old image of Chianti: Wine bottles in wicker basket, interestingly also called fiascoes.

They’ve done so by by producing very nice wines through state of the art growing and fermentation techniques.

Chianti is a red wine that comes from Tuscany, but can contain small amounts of white grapes during blending. This is not the case with Chianti Classico, which must be solely made from red Sangiovese grapes.

The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany – Chinati is versatile and its high acidity allows it to be eaten with a wide range of foods.

Enjoy Chianti best with fast food, pizza, red pasta, and salami sandwiches.


The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany – Where is Chianti Wine Coming From?


Chianti is dry red wine which comes from the area of Tuscany between the cities of Pisa, Florence, and Siena. The Chianti area was originally delimited in 1716 by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and later extended to meet the growing demand.

The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany – Chianti vs. Chianti Classico
Chianti wines are made mostly from the Sangiovese grape. Canaiolo Nero, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other local grapes can be added to a Chianti blend, however, they cannot represent more than 20%.

When looking at a bottle of wine from Chianti you will see the following on the label:

Chianti DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). These wines come from producers of larger volumes that source their grapes from the greater region of Chianti.

Higher quality Chianti DOCG may be made from grapes of one of the seven particular sub-zone of Chianti. In that case the label will mention Rùfina, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Montalbano, or Chianti Superiore.

Chianti DOCG wines should be drunk when young – within 3 years from their production.

Chianti Classico DOCG is an area separate from Chianti. These wines come from vineyards at higher altitudes than those of Chianti DOCG. The cooler conditions slow the ripening of Sangiovese and give wines with greater acidity and herbal aromas.

The trademark always found on bottles of Chianti Classico is the black rooster, a historic symbol of the Chianti Military League.


The Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany – There are Three Levels of Quality Within the Chianti Classico


Chianti Classico Annata

These wines must be aged for 12 months before they are sold. Simple wines with high acidity, usually coming from younger vines in the vineyard,

Chianti Classico Riserva

Riserva wines are more complex and structured. Must be aged for at least 24 months including 3 months in a bottle.

Chianti Classico Riserva Grand Selezioni

Represents the best wine of Chianti. Grapes are sourced from a single estate or vineyard and must be aged for 6 months longer than Riserva.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Podere-Il-Palazzino-Chianti-Classico-GrossoSanese-2015

Podere Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Grosso Sanese 2015
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$55


The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Grosso Sanese is a powerful, brooding wine.

A rush of sweet red cherry and floral notes appears first as the Grosso Sanese shows off its personality.

The style is super-classic, with the intensity of the year peaking through just a touch of volatile acidity that is at the limit, but adds character here.

Blood orange, sage, mint and pomegranate appear later, adding to a real feeling of exoticism.

The 2015 is undeniably quirky, but also a wine that you want to taste over and over.


Antinori-Marchese-Chianti-Classico-Riserva-2017

Antinori Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva 2017
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$45


Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva is ruby red in color.

On the nose, intense notes of cherries and blackberries merge with aromas of tobacco, milk chocolate, aromatic herbs and dried flowers.

The palate of the red wine is sustained by freshness and velvety tannins.

Spicy notes on the nose reappear on the long finish.

This wine is made with fruit from the 130-hectare Tignanello estate and is Sangiovese with a smaller part Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori is a dark and sultry expression with a higher degree of evident richness and concentration in this vintage that produced smaller, more compact berries.

The tannins stand out tallest here, and there is some bitterness that is more in line with my expectations of the vintage.

In fact, among these new Marchesi Antinori releases from 2017, this wine most accurately reflects the hot vintage especially in terms of mouthfeel.

There is a pretty menthol note on the close.

Fermentation occurs in stainless steel, and the wine ages in French and Hungarian oak barrels for one year.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Castello-di-Monsanto-Chianti-Classico-Riserva-2017

Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2017
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$30


Ruby red tending towards garnet. Rich, intense and complex with notes of black cherry and spice.

Full bodied with rich red berry fruit flavors complimenting a backbone of tannin.

Open in advance and allowed to breathe.

Decanting is preferable. An exceptional compliment to red meats, roasts and game.

This is one of the icon wines of the greater Chianti Classico area.

The hot vintage Castello di Monsanto 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva shows width and depth with plenty of dark fruit, cherry, blackberry and plum.

The wine is steady and bright with polished tannins and a mid-weight approach that proves its overall versatility and adaptability.

It is ideal for a plate of ricotta-filled gnudi.


Tenuta-di-Capraia-Chianti-Classico-Riserva-2016

Tenuta di Capraia Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$30


Tenuta di Capraia Riserva is a deep ruby red wine.

Its complex and sophisticated aroma reminds of fruits on a first step, gradually opening up and displaying spices and liquorice.

On the palate it is fleshy, harmonious and full-bodied, with a long persistence.

An excellent pairing with roast meat, game and aged cheeses.

The Tenuta di Capraia 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Capraia is tightly packed with cherry fruit, raspberry and cassis.

The wine’s primary aromas are lifted and bright, and the wine moves over the palate efficiently with fresh, mid-weight appeal.

It serves to refresh and revive your palate during a course of Sardinian capra al profumo di alloro, or roasted goat with laurel essence.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Bindi-Sergardi-Calidonia-Chianti-Classico-Riserva-2015

Bindi Sergardi Calidonia Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$45


Intense ruby red color with fruity and floral aromas along with spices and incense. Soft, elegant and well structured.

Freshness, complexity, graceful and silky tannins are the result of a careful selection of Sangiovese grapes.

This wine is vibrant and has a long and persistent aftertaste.

An opulent red, showing strawberries, plums and white stones on the nose.

Medium to full body, dusty tannins and a pure, clean finish.


Castello-di-Volpaia-Chianti-Classico-Riserva-2018

Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2018
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$40


The Chianti Classico Riserva has a ruby-red hue with a trace of garnet.

The nose is elegant, displaying hints of spice and fruit.

This a well-structured wine with smooth tannins and a long finish.

Produced since 1967, Volpaia’s Riserva is a selection of bunches from throughout the estate’s 43 hectares in the township of Radda.

Due to the slow start in 2018, harvest began a few days later than average, taking place during the first two weeks of October.

With purity and precision, strawberry, tobacco, vanilla and forest earth emerge from the glass.

This is well-proportioned and balanced in ripeness with a core of concentrated red cherry.

Fresh acidity props it up and smooth, rounded tannins frame the whole.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Fontodi-Chianti-Classico-Gran-Selezione-Vigna-del-Sorbo-2016

Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo 2016
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$95


The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo (100% Sangiovese) is a wine that inspires a deep, deep breath into your glass.

The wine shows a beautiful appearance that is thick and dark but allows for just enough ambient light to make it shine with ruby rays from deep inside.

Then you have the bouquet that presents a solid wall of interwoven and ultimately beautifully balanced aromas.

There is dark fruit, tobacco, leather, spice and polished river stone.

Lastly, the mouthfeel reveals a similar level of extreme flavor equilibrium with very fine but still very young tannins.

That mid-weight structure, matched to the wine’s natural acidity, is a major guarantee of longevity.


San-Felice-Il-Grigio-Chianti-Classico-Gran-Selezione-2015

San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$50


Grigio Gran Selezione comes only from the winery’s most naturally blessed plots.

It is made of 80% Sangiovese blended with ancient indigenous varieties such as Abrusco, Pugnitello, Malvasia Nera, Ciliegiolo and Mazzese; these varieties contribute to the complexity of the wine, while retaining the full elegance and expression of San Felice’s terroir.

Here is a beautifully polished and elegant wine from the team at San Felice in Castelnuovo Berardegna.

The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio is a supple and silky expression that delivers ripe fruit tones that are framed by mineral tones with mild spice and fragrant red rose.

The wine is structured and firm with delicately drying tannins on the close.

Drink this accessible Gran Selezione within the next 10 years.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Castello-di-Bossi-Chianti-Classico Gran-Selezione-2016

Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$40


Bright ruby red color, definitely dense.

Broad, fruity bouquet with distinct notes of cherry and prune accompanied by sweet notes of red fruits, such as currants.

Hints of nutmeg and cloves in the finish.

Smooth on the palate thanks to soft, well-distributed tannins.

Good balance between alcohol and acidity with a long, enjoyable and appetizing finish.

Castello di Bossi (Renieri) is one of the headline estates from the Castelnuovo Berardenga commune of Chianti Classico.

The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a terrific wine that unfolds to reveal pretty fruit intensity, deep layers of cherry and blackberry and a soft texture.

The wine is elegant and fresh with steady fruit weight that drives the quality and length of the finish.

A well-marbled steak will do nicely here.


Il-Molino-di-Grace-Chianti-Classico-Gran-Selezione-Il-Margone-2015

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Margone 2015
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$50


A powerful and very rich Gran Selezione with dense and rich fruit and polished, linear tannins.

Shows impressive depth.

Full-bodied, soft and chewy.

A core of sweet, ripe fruit grabs your attention, featuring cherry, plum, leather, earth and spice notes.

Powerful, with burly tannins.

The long aftertaste echoes the fruit, earth and spice elements.


the-chianti-wine-region-of-tuscany-Antinori-Badia-a-Passignano-Chianti-Classico-Gran-Selezione-2017

Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017
Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

$55


Badia a Passignano is ruby red in color.

On the nose it expresses aromas of red fruit, cherries and morello cherries combined with intense yet delicate floral notes and white chocolate.

The palate is rich, lively and balanced with supple, velvety tannins that give the wine elegance, great character and excellent persistence of flavors.

The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Badia a Passignano reveals the soft and generous side of this vintage with ripe aromas of blackberry, plum, spice, sweet tobacco and campfire ash.

The wine is giving and rich to all the senses and it ends with softly integrated tannins and a fleshy, fruit-forward style.

Serve it with a platter of real Tuscan rosemary schiacciata with slices of culatello.


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