Chianti Classicos To Try
Here are six excellent Chianti Classico producers .
Castellinuzza e PiucaExquisitely balanced, almost textbook.
FèlsinaDense, ripe and rich Chiantis.
FontodiStructured yet juicy wines.
Monte BernardiFresh, earthy, mineral wines.
Monteraponi Chiantis of purity and beauty.
Montevertine Classic, pure sangioveses, labeled simply Toscana Rosso.
Should Chianti Be Served Chilled
Chianti is best enjoyed slightly chilled. Many consumers find that putting a bottle of Chianti into the refrigerator for 20 minutes before opening it up makes the fruit seem more lively and the savory notes more energetic. But if it’s served too cold, then the tannins will overwhelm the rest of the wine, making it seem bitter. 20 minutes in the fridge is a good rule of thumb when it comes to Chianti.
Browse our full selection of Chianti online or check out our selection of highly-rated Chianti for a great new Chianti to try this week!
Which Grapes Are Allowed In Chianti Classico
The disciplinare requires Chianti Classico to be made from 80-100% Sangiovese, allowing winemakers to develop their own unique house style by blending with up to 20% of other permitted grapes. The list of 49 varietals includes Italian natives like Colorino and Malvasia Nera, as well as international grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Sangiovese grapes, Castellina in Chianti. Credit: author
Up until the 18th century, Chianti was produced mainly from Canaiolo. Baron Bettino Ricasoldi took responsibility for improving the blend. He believed that adding a white grape was essential to take the edge off the harsh tannins of Sangiovese and Canailo. In 1872 he wrote a letter summarising the best formula for Chianti: 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo Nero and 15% white Malvasia. This Ricasoldi formula became the basis for Chianti wine for over a century. As rules allowed for the addition of white grapes, this led to the over-production of wine with dilute flavours.
Since the 1990s, Chianti Classico growers made a radical shift towards high quality. In 1996, Chianti Classico was awarded the prestigious DOCG status based on much tighter regulations. Ultimately, in 2006, white grapes were forbidden in the blend. Todays high-quality Chianti Classico is made almost entirely from Sangiovese, possibly with a small addition of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
Recommended Reading: Low Calorie Sweet Wine
Giacomo Mori Palazzone Chianti Docg
A blend of Sangiovese at 85%, Canaiolo 10%, Colorino 5 %, Mammolo 1%. The wine is aged 18 months in oak barriques, 30% of which are new.
A deep cherry red color with brick-colored hues, its fragrances are intense and complex, recalling cherries preserved in alcohol, high-quality cocoa powder, and truffles. The palate is full-bodied with round tannins, giving exceptional wine richness.
Intense aromas of ripe red cherries are accompanied by exotic fruit notes reminiscent of plums and dried figs, vanilla from American oak barrels, and a subtle hint of licorice.
What Does Chianti Taste Like
To be labeled Chianti, the wine must be produced in the Chianti region and made from mostly Sangiovese grapes. In most instances, winemakers choose to use Sangiovese entirely, but in vintages where balance is needed, native grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino are included in the blend. Occasionally, international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah also feature.
Younger expressions of Chianti present red fruit flavors such as red currant, raspberry, or plum. Roasted or sun-dried tomato is another common tasting descriptor. With age, Chianti develops rustic, earthy notes such as dried flowers or clay pot. Chianti is medium-bodied and high in both tannins and acidity, making it ideal for food pairings.
Recommended Reading: Gelisi Antonio Moscato
Chianti The Classic Favorite Is Suddenly Exciting Again
Chianti may be the most famous wine region in all of Italy. It’s been the source of extraordinary red wine for generations, and the quality tends to be remarkably high across price points. Pricier bottles are often age-worthy and layered with the kind of complexity that only the best reds in the world achieve, but even more budget-friendly ones tend to be reliably tasty. Let’s explore this region and try to understand what makes Chianti so unique.
What Makes Chianti Wine So Special
Chianti is a broad term for any wine produced in Tuscanys central Chianti region:
Because this area is so large and diverse, a wide variety of wines of varying quality and value are made here. Most blends are made of 70- to 100-percent Sangiovese and up to ten percent Canaiolo. If there are other grape varieties present in the wine, it is typically Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Merlot or a combination of these . Chianti is so unique because every producer has a distinctive style and signature blend no two Chianti labels taste exactly alike.
Typically, lower-quality Chianti tastes rounder than high-quality bottles of Chianti Classico do.
Chianti has increased in quality in recent years. In the early 1970s, a winemaking boom in Tuscany led to an oversaturated market full of low-quality table wine. As a result, Chianti lost favor among serious collectors for a time. However, this changed in the late 1970s, when a group of dedicated Italian wine producers decided to form their own Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita . These producers introduced French grapes to the region for the first time and focused on making small batches of very high-quality wines with long aging potential. Today, there are a few different DOCGs in Chianti producing various styles of wine, some of which are extremely valuable and collectible. If you want to start a collection of your own, take a look at our guide to Chianti wine DOCGs below.
Also Check: Wine Out Of Shirt
What Does Chianti Wine Taste Like
There are many different expressions of Chianti, and each producer tends to have their unique spin on what they believe the best expression of their land might be. In general, Chianti boasts notes of cherries, dried herbs and spices , leather, tobacco, and occasional notes of flowers, violets often chief among them. In general, Chianti is a fairly savory wine, yet not typically overly heavy or dense on the palate, and with excellent mouthwatering acidity, too.
Chianti The 2022 Guide To The Best Chianti Wines
Let’s face it, Chianti can be confusing. With 8 different sub-zones, varying rules on production, a classification called Superiore that can be used in 7 of the 8 zones, and a number of wines that could be labeled either as Chianti or things like Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, it’s no wonder consumers are confused. I guess this is what happens where your wine region has been around since the early 1700s — 300 years later there are a lot of rules!
Many of the best Chianti wines come from the Chianti Classico subzone within the larger region. To carry this designation a wine must not only come from this sub-region, which is generally thought to produce better wines but also meet more stringent production standards such as the use of at least 80% Sangiovese versus at least 70% for the wider region and 12 months of aging before release. The famous black rooster on the neck of the bottle is an easy indication of a Chianti Classico wine.
Within all the subregions there is also a Riserva level. Within Chianti Classico there is an additional Gran Selezione level. Within all the subregions except Classico there is a Superiore designation that requires 9 months of aging before release .
Chianti Rufina, while the smallest subzone of the bigger region, is also generally regarded as the next best tier of quality. The Rufina area offers winemakers a slightly higher elevation and a bit cooler climate which helps influence the flavor of the grapes.
Also Check: Belle Meade Blackberry Wine
Chianti Vs Chianti Classico
When it comes to defining the area of production of the famous Chianti wine, things get a bit more complicated. When you buy Chianti wine you have to distinguish between Chianti and Chianti Classico, both DOCG.
Chianti DOCG refers to a larger area of production, more or less the whole geographical area of Chianti. It has less rigorous regulations when it comes to wine making: less ageing time , less alcohol and only 70% of the blend is required to be Sangiovese. Sangiovese is a noble great variety, the lifeblood of red wine production in central Italy.
Chianti Classico DOCG refers to wine produced exclusively around the heart of Chianti: Greve, Castellina, Gaiole and Radda in Chianti, as well as parts of Barberino Val d’Elsa, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi. The regulations are stricter, with a minimum ageing time of 12 months. The blend has to be at least 80% Sangiovese, the other 20% can be other red grape varieties such as Canaiolo. The alcoholic content is minimum 12%.
Where Is Da Vinci Chianti Made
The birthplace of Da Vinci Chianti is Vinci, a territory on the western side of the Chianti region. The Chianti was originally considered a table wine stored in a flask-shaped bottle with a straw basket supporting the lower half. Between the late 1300s and early 1400s, the Chianti transitioned from a white to red wine. It rose to fame all the way till the 19th century where a turn of political events, epidemics, and widespread poverty almost ended cultivation.
Respite came in the form of opening of the world wine market and subsequently, led to over-cropping. The Chianti fell from fame around that time. From being one of Leonardos favorites to being featured in animated movies like the Lady and the Tramp and the Silence of the Lambs, Chiantis history is full of ups and downs. Did you know that it was the Official wine for the Road World Championship and that the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was celebrated with a glass of Chianti?
Read Also: Best Stella Rosa Wines
Italian Wine Lovers Seem To Be Stuck On The Bs: Barolo Barberesco Bolgheri Brunello Di Montalcino Barbera Dasti And Barbera Dalba Before They Get To The Cs: Chianti And Chianti Classico Or Is That Just An Illusion
Who actually drinks Chianti Classico these days? I wondered as we passed the gleaming new Antinori winery in the north-west of this famous DOCG region.
It might appear an odd question, given that this is a wine even most non-wine drinkers have heard of.
It famously hails from the beautiful hilly region between Florence and Siena dubbed Chianti-shire because of its magnet-like appeal to middle class Brits and is instantly recognisable because of the distinctive black cockerel that adorns every bottle.
And who doesnt like their Italian meal washed down with a fine Chianti? Even if that meal doesnt contain fava beans and liver and your name isnt Hannibal Lecter?
But theres the rub. Lecter was keen on a fine Chianti, but not necessarily a Chianti Classico. And over the past ten years lovers of fine Italian wine seem also to have bypassed it, apparently for anything beginning with B: Barolo, Barberesco, Bolgheri and Brunello di Montalcino are all now far more fashionable. Indeed, I would guess that even Barbera dAlba or dAsti usually the second cheapest wine on the list at your local Italian restaurant could give Chianti Classico a run for its money.
God, I havent drunk Chianti Classico for years, an Italian wine-loving friend of mine told me even though Italian wines are the only wines he drinks.
So what is the difference between Chianti and and Chianti Classico?
Confused? Well, so was I.
Preferred Wine Glass For Chianti
Undersized, Average Base, Short Bowl, Narrow Rim
Chianti is best served in a smaller, tapered glass with an average-sized base, short bowl and narrow rim. A tapered glass highlights both the wines fruity flavors and earthy notes, making for a very pleasant and even experience. This kind of glass complements wines that feature a mix of bold flavors, strong tannins and higher acidity.
Also Check: How Many Ounces In 750ml Wine Bottle
Ricasoli Del Castello Di Brolio Gaiole In Chianti
Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Colledilà 2016
Located on top of an isolated hill a few kilometers from Gaiole in Chianti, the Brolio castle has been the property of the Ricasoli family since 1141.
Colledila is 100% Sangiovese. This vintage stands out for its complex structure and great, modern elegance. The grapes are handpicked and only perfect berries become Colledila. The 2016 vintage was very highly ranked by many wine critics.
Da Vinci Chianti Food Pairing
Da Vinci Chianti pairs very well with almost all starters, making it a great wine to have during a conversation. It also goes very well with pasta and meat, especially if the dish is bland. A Chianti will go exceptionally well with beef meatballs or spaghetti Bolognese. Duck and other similar tasting poultry pair with medium-bodied red wines such as the Da Vinci Chianti as well.
Read Also: Palo 61 Wine Where To Buy
Felsina Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva Docg 2016
The blend consists of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Canaiolo Nero. The grapes are harvested at 400 metres above sea level, on soils rich in marl and limestone.
This wine is referred to as Rancia and pays homage to the family name Rancia. The grapes are harvested at high altitudes between 900 and 1,100 metres above sea level yielding a small quantity of only 40 hl/ha. The wine is aged for 15 months in oak barrels, 30% new.
The palate is warm with a full body and good acidity creating an excellent balance that lingers on the finish due to its pleasant spicy notes from extended contact with wood during ageing. With a dark red colour with intense aromas of ripe blackberry and cherry.
Safely Packing Your Bottles
1. Wrap in sealable plastic bags
2. Wrap in bubble wrap/clothing
3. Place in center of luggage to limit movement
How many of us wrestle with the pounds, trying to slim down our luggage so it respects the weight limits? When you consider that a 750ml bottle weighs in between 2.75 and 3.5 pounds, you can see how this can definitely get a bit heavy, real quick!
So, if you are bound and determined to get those bottles home for your personal collection or to disperse as gifts to some lucky friends and family, then you need to do the math then ask yourself: How much is the penalty for exceeding your weight limit for your airlines and is it worth it?
If you do opt for travelling with your wine in your suitcase, remember it MUST go in the belly of the plane. It WILL be confiscated if you try to put it in your hand luggage. And re-read the note above about how much you can put into your baggage.
Recommended Reading: Pair Wine With Lasagna
How Much Does Bolla Chianti Cost
The Bolla Chianti price represents fantastic value. At under $10 a bottle, it is difficult to find a better partner for a casual meal with family and friends. And the best news is that Bolla Chianti is also available in magnum bottles which makes it ideal for larger parties. The magnums are priced around the $12 mark and there are also the small 187ml mini bottles available in packs of four at under $3 per bottle.
Bolla Chianti Food Pairing
Bolla Chianti is made to enhance a wide variety of foods. When young, with its relatively high acid content it makes a wonderful match for tomato pasta or pizza. Also as a casual drinking wine, it would not be out of place on a table with French fries and hamburgers. The real quality of this wine is that, with time, it can invite a multitude of other dishes to the table such as roast lamb, venison, or even wild boar. You also may want to savor a dish of wild mushrooms with pasta and a glass of Bolla Chianti.
Don’t Miss: Total Wine Digital Gift Card
What Kind Of Wine Is Da Vinci Chianti
Da Vinci Chianti is a red wine from Tuscany, Italy. It is made from an elite Italian red grape variety, the Sangiovese. If youre unfamiliar with Sangiovese grapes, they are high on strawberry flavor with a hint of spice. When left to mature in oak barrels, wine made from Sangiovese grapes tends to taste like a blend of tart cherries and tea leaves, very earthy, oaky, and tarry. These terms may sound very unappealing if youre new to the wine world, but they point to positive wine traits in wine talk.
Da Vinci Chianti is neither bitter nor sweet, which only adds to its charm. It has a deep crimson color, and the finish is soft yet elegant. If youre not familiar with Chianti, it is a dry red Italian wine. The wine gets its name from a mountain range in central Italy, Tuscany. Chianti wine is any wine produced in the Chianti region of central Tuscany. Let us take a closer look at this wine.
Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci Da Vinci Chianti Review
- Winery Cantine Leonardo da Vinci
- Country/Region Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
- Taste Ripe Plum, Cherries, Red Fruit
- Alcohol Content 13%
- Sugar Dry
- Pairing Beef, Veal, Poultry
The Da Vinci Chianti is a luscious Sangiovese and Merlot blend with a long peppery finish that will undoubtedly leave you longing for more. Youll get lovely, refreshing high-toned cherries and fruit aromas as soon as you uncork the bottle. Its a Renaissance-age wine cultivation technique combined with modern pressing, processing, and bottling techniquesthe best of the old and new world all in one bottle.
If youve never been tempted by a Chianti before, wash away your hesitation with a chilled glass of the Da Vinci Chianti. In a nicely lit restaurant with good company and a cool glass of Da Vinci Chianti, you are bound to fall in love, and the world, as you know it, will change!
Don’t Miss: Aldi Blueberry Wine