Before I left for Rome in March, I went to a Chianti Classico Consortium walk around tasting. There were more than 60 producers presenting their wines. I attended a seminar entitled Chianti Classico UGA “No wine is an Island.” It featured 11 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wines representing the nine UGA villages (see link above). After this interesting and informative seminar I was able to taste some of the wines.
Chianti Classico Villa Rosa Gran Selezione 2016 Cecchi made from 100% Sangiovese. The vineyard is at 340 meters in Castellina in Chianti. The soil is calcareous clay characterized by heterogeneous profiles that combine “alberese” limestone with marl slate. There are 4,800 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. Traditional temperature controlled vinification on the skins and fermentation and maceration lasts for 22 days. The wine ages for 15 months in tonneaux and 3 months in concrete and then a minimum of one year in bottle before release. The wine has floral hints, a touch of spice, and a delicate note of red fruit. I have been enjoying the wines from Cecchi for many years.
Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 Villa Cerna Cecchi made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino. The vineyards are at 280 meters, the soil is alkaline with stones. There are 5,000 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. Traditional temperature fermentation on the skins. Fermentation and maceration lasts for 15 days. The wine ages for 14 months in barriques and barrels of medium capacity and spends a minimum of 9 months in barrel before release. It is produced only in the best vintages. The wine has floral aromas with hints of red cherry, forest berries and a note of toasted almond.
Chianti Classico Filetta di Lamole 2018 Fontodi made from 100% Sangiovese. The vineyard is at 620 meters and the soil is sandy. The wine has hints of cherry, plum, spice and a note of cranberries.
Alex Pagano – Enoclassica Selections
Chianti Classico Tagliafune Riserva Villa Montepaldi made from 80% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet, 5% Alicante and 5% Colorino. Harvest takes place from mid September to early October. Maturation takes place in wooden vats for at least 21 months. The wine has hints of dark berries, dried black cherries and a hint of spice. This renaissance property, once owned by Leonardo Medici, with its 300 hectares of vineyards and olive groves is also owned by the University of Florence and doubles as a field station for the Oenology department. It is run as a non-profit organization and therefore the wines are a good value. This was the first time I tasted this wine and I was very impressed with it.
Chianti Classico 2019 Castello La Leccia made from 100% Sangiovese. The vineyards are at 350 to 500 meters, soil is clay, silt sand, schistous clay and alberese. There are 4,500/ 5,200 vines per hectare and the vines are 9 to 15 years old. There is a south/southwest exposure and the training system is guyot. Harvest is manual in September/October and there is a selection in the vineyard. Destemmed grapes are gently crushed and transferred to steel thanks which are temperature controlled. There is a pre-fermentation cryomaceration for 24 hours followed by the alcoholic fermentation with short and frequent pumping over. Maceration lasts for 10 to 12 days. After racking, malolactic fermentation and maturation takes place in concrete tanks. The wine remains for 12 months in French and Austrian oak barrels of 2,000 to 2,500 liters. The wine has hints of red fruit, cherry, and violets.
Elena Ercole – Export Manager
Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. 2019 Castello Di Radda made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% other grapes. The vineyards are at 400 meters with a southeast and southwest exposure. The soil has a clay and limestone structure with a good presence of silica skeleton. Harvest is by hand and then sorted in the cellar. Fermentation is in stainless steel thermo-conditioned 50hl and 100hl vats, followed by maceration on the skins for two to three weeks. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in both stainless steel and wood. Part of the wine is aged in tonneaux and part in 20hl Slavonian oak barrels. The wine then remains in the bottle for at least 6 months before release. The wine has hints of violet, ripe plum, cherries and blackberries.
Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2018 made from 100% Sangiovese. The production area is Bibbiano and Castellina in Chianti from all the vineyards of the estate (25 hectares) from both the southwest and northeast slopes. The soil is calcareous-clay mixed with (limestone based) alberese rock. This wine represents the territorial characteristics of the estate since it is produced from Sangiovese grapes grown on both sides of the estate with the addition of a small amount of Colorino. Havesting of the Sangiovese began on September 20th and Colorino a few days later. The vinification takes place in cement vats and fermentation on the skins lasts for 18 days. There is a further stage of maturation while the wine is still in the cement vats, followed by a 3 months refining period in the bottle. This is a very well balanced wine with fruity hints of cherry and prune and a touch of violets.
Chianti Classico 2016 Grand Seclezione Volpaia Made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Mammal vines planted 1972-2004. Light soil consisting of sandstone except for the Castellino and Santa Maria vineyards, which have clay and Montanino which is sandstone and clay. Vineyards are on slopes 397 /570 meters and the exposure is southern. There are 2,564 to 5,683 wines/hectares and the training system is guyot. The wine is aged in barriques of French oak of first and second passage for 18 months and in bottle for 12 months before release. The wine has hints of red berries, cherry, mint, a touch of licorice and a note of vanilla.
Monsanto Chianti Classico “Il Poggio” 2016 made from 95% Sangiovese and 3% Colorino and 2% Canaiolo. The training system is guyot and spurred cordon. The soil is sandstone content with limestone. There are 5,500 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. Fermentation lasts for 15 days with prefermentation maceration lasting 3 days in temperature controlled truncated-cone vats with indigenous yeasts. Delestage and pumping over lasts for 22 days. The wine is aged in 38 HL French oak barrels for 18 months. The wine has hints of black cherry, cassis, coffee, tobacco and a note of violets.
I have a long history with Monsanto going back almost 40 years and the wonderful 1977 vintage.
Chianti Classico Badia a Colibuono 2011 90% Sangiovese 10% Colorino and 5% Ciliegiolo. The vineyards are at 250/330 meters and the soil in clay loam and limestone rock. The training system is guyot and the wines are 6 to 30 years old. There are 5,000 to 7,300 vines per hectare. Indigenous yeast from grapes with a starter. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. There is a light gelatin fining and a membrane filtration. The wine is aged in 2,000 to 2,500 liter French and Austrian oak casks for about 12 months. Then aged in bottle for about 3 months before release. The winery has been organic since 1995. The wine has hints strawberry and raspberry with good acidity, a note of violet and a touch of sunshine on the Tuscan pines. I have been drinking this Chianti Classico since the 1978 vintage.
Principe Corsini Villa Le Corti Don Tommaso 2016 Gran Selezione. Made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. The vineyard is at 270 to 350 meters and the soil is loamy stone content with limestone. Fermentation is in open, frustum cone-shaped stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature for 14 days and after 24 hours at 20C the grapes are inoculated with selected indigenous yeast. Skin contact is for 10 days and punch down and delestage is in stainless steel. The wine ages for 16 months mainly in tonneaux of 500 to 700 liters. The wine has hints of black cherry, cassis, coffee, tobacco and a note of vanilla.
Banfi Tuscany Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 made from Sangiovese Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil is calcareous and well structured. The alcoholic fermentation takes place with a medium period of maceration. Aging for two years of which a minimum of 12 months is in Slavonian oak barrels. The wine is then aged in bottle for at least 6 months before release. This wine has hints of cherries, plums and iris with a note of leather.