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Chianti: Vast Region Makes Vast Improvements

2012 July 11

vineyards in Chianti Classico region

Quality improvement has been the watchword for most of the wine world over the past few decades. As a result, those of us who love wine have access to better wines, from virtually all regions, than we’ve ever had before.

A vast, region-wide example of conscious planning to make better wines is the huge project the leading organization of Chianti producers in Italy, the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, launched nearly 25 years ago.

Called “Chianti 2000,” the project, which ultimately lasted 16 years, began in 1988. Its aim was to help the region make better wines by planting experimental vineyards throughout the region to assess the impact on wine of different rootstocks, planting densities, vine training methods, and soil management techniques. Its most important mission, however, was to select the best clones of the primary Chianti grapes for replanting.

Chianti is made primarily from Sangiovese. The percentage requirements have changed a lot over the past 45 years, since the original DOC rules allowed up to 30% white grapes. Frustration with those old rules helped spark the development of non-conforming wines in this region, which came to be known as Super Tuscans. See my earlier post on the Super Tuscan legacy for more background on that development.

Currently, Chianti has to contain a minimum of 70% Sangiovese. Up to 30% of the blend can consist of other varieties, with a maximum of 10% being white varieties and 15% international varieties, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Canaiolo and Colorino are two of the traditional blending grapes in the region–softer, rounder red grapes, used to balance the highly acidic and tannic Sangiovese.

Sangiovese bunches

In searching for the best grape clones, 239 presumed clones were tested, of which 34 proved to be virus free. After analyzing the grapes and wine made from those grapes under a variety of climatic conditions for many years, some proved to have consistently smaller berries, thicker skins and more open bunches. The first two are desirable qualities for fine wine in general, creating a higher solids to juice ratio. The last quality, more open bunches, was particularly an improvement for Sangiovese, which normally has a tendency to grow in very tight bunches, preventing the entry of sunlight and even overall ripening. In 2004, seven clones of Sangiovese and one of Colorino that had these characteristics were selected and registered in the national grape-variety registry as “Chianti Classico 2000.″

A significant amount of replanting with these clones has already occurred, and it’s estimated that 60% of the vineyard area of the Chianti region will have been replanted in a period of 10 years.

We’re talking a truly vast region–almost a 100-mile-long area taking in much of Tuscany and portions of the provinces of Pisa, Florence and Arezzo. This is larger than the entire region of Bordeaux.

There are eight subzones of Chianti. The original area, most of which was designated as far back as 1716, is in the Chianti hills between Florence and Siena. This is the Chianti Classico region, which has more stringent requirements than other subzones. Among other things, Classicos have stricter yield restrictions, longer aging requirements (a minimum of seven months in oak) and must contain at least 80% Sangiovese and no white grapes.

The two other subregions gaining a reputation for high quality and ageworthy wines are Chianti Rùfina, east of the city of Florence, and Chianti Colli Senesi, in the hills above Siena.

Chianti may be labeled Riserva if it meets certain aging requirements. For Chianti Classico, this means a minimum of 24 months, including three in bottle. Outside of Chianti Classico, Riservas must be aged at least 38 months. Chianti from sub-regions other than Chianti Classico can be designated as Superiore if it meets more stringent requirements as to yields, alcohol and dry extract levels, and contains a minimum of 75% Sangiovese.

Now that wines containing these improved grapes are coming online, a major trade tasting sponsored by the Consorzio Vino Chianti this past Spring seemed like a great opportunity to compare wines from different producers, including many that are lesser known or without U.S. distribution as yet, as well as to compare wines from the different Chianti subregions.

The results were generally strong, helping, along with other excellent Chianti Classicos I’ve had in recent years, to put to rest memories of the thin, orangey, acidic wines of my youth that came in the bulbous, wicker covered bottles–known as fiascos.

traditional Chianti fiasco bottle

The Chiantis I tasted from 45 producers at the Consorzio event had bright aromas of red fruits and flowers, and sometimes spices, like cinnamon. They generally tasted of red fruits, like currants and cherries, some showing also herbs, or dried fruits. They all had high acidities. These are the kinds of wines that, due to their acidity, pair better than any other red wines with tomato based dishes, as well as with salamis and beef dishes.

The best Chianti Classicos I’ve had to date have been from Antinori, Badia a Caltibuono, Barone Ricasoli, Castello di Ama, Castello La Leccia, Fontodi, La Massa, Querciabella and San Vincenti. I’ve also had very good Chianti Rùfina from Frescobaldi and Selvapiana.

For more recommended producers, and for my complete tasting notes on 143 wines from Chianti producers, including Super Tuscan wines and sweet Vin Santo wines made by these producers, see below.

CONSORZIO CHIANTI GRAND TASTING – Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California (4/18/2012)

041812 Chianti Tasting 002

This was an unusual opportunity to compare Chianti from 45 producers. It also provided a chance to assess the impact of Chianti Classico’s “Chianti 2000″ project, as well as to sample Super Tuscan and Vin Santo wines from a number of the same producers. In all, I tasted through 143 wines.

The producers responsible for my favorite wines at this tasting, wines rated 90 points or higher, were Bini, Castello del Trebbio, Castelvecchio, Fattoria di Grignano, Il Corno, Lanciola, Lavacchio, Monte Chiaro, Piazzano, Pietro Beconcini, Pieve de’ Pitti, Poggio Capponi, Poggiotondo and Tenute di Fraternita Chianti.

My favorite whites were:
2010 Fattoria Lavacchio Pachàr Toscana IGT – 90 points
2011 Pieve de’ Pitti Tribiana – 91 points

My favorite Super Tuscans were:
2006 Castello del Trebbio Chianti Rùfina Pazzesco – 90 points
2007 Castelvecchio Numero Otto – 90+ points
2007 Castelvecchio Orme in Rosso – 90 points
2005 Tenuta Il Corno Colorino Del Corno Toscana IGT – 90 points
2007 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Vigna alle Nicchie Toscana IGT – 92 points
2007 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Reciso Toscana IGT – 90 points
2008 Pieve de’ Pitti Scopaiolo Toscana IGT – 91 points

My favorite Vin Santos del Chianti were:
2005 Lanciola Vin Santo del Chianti Colli Fiorentini – 90+ points
2007 Fattoria Lavacchio Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina Riserva – 91 points

My favorite Chiantis from this tasting, scored 90 points or higher, were:
2006 Azienda Agraria F.lli Bini Srl “Fattoria Bini” – 90 points
2010 Castello del Trebbio Chianti DOCG – 90 points
2010 Castello del Trebbio Chianti – 90 points
2010 Castello del Trebbio Chianti Riserva – 90+ points
2007 Fattoria di Grignano Chianti Rùfina – 90 points
2003 Fattoria di Grignano Chianti Rùfina Riserva Poggio Gualtieri – 90+ points
2009 Montechiaro Terre della Grigia Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva “Primum Vinum” – 91 points
2009 Montechiaro Terre della Grigia Chianti Colli Senesi – 90+ points
2006 Piazzano Chianti Classico Riserva Rio Camerata – 90 points
2010 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Chianti Antiche Vie DOCG – 90+ points
2009 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Chianti Riserva – 91+ points
2009 Pieve de’ Pitti Chianti Superiore Cerretello – 91+ points
2010 Poggio Capponi Chianti – 90 points
2009 Poggio Capponi Chianti Montespertoli – 91 points
2008 Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva – 90+points
2008 Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva “Vigna delle Conchiglie” – 91 points
2009 Tenute di Fraternita Chianti Il Priore – 90+ points

For my complete tasting notes, see below.

Badia di Morrona

Bini

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Cantina Sociale Colli Fiorentini

Casalbosco

  • 2010 Casalbosco Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; reduction, tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, tart cherry palate; medium finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot; stainless steel) (87 pts.)
  • 2008 Casalbosco Chianti Porpora Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; tart cherry, ripe currant, cinnamon nose; fresh, tart cherry, ripe currant, cinnamon palate with medium acidity; medium finish 88+ points (90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot; 12 mos. in oak) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Casalbosco Orchidea Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Opaque ruby color; ripe berry, plum, vanilla nose; rich, ripe cherry, ripe plum palate; medium-plus finish (50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon) (88 pts.)

Castello del Trebbio

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  • 2010 Castello del Trebbio Chianti DOCG – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark red violet color; focused, tart cherry, pomegranate, ripe cranberry, red berry, sandalwood nose; tight, red berry, smoky, tart cherry palate with medium acidity; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Castello del Trebbio Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; red berry, tart cherry nose; bright, red berry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and Canaiolo) (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Castello del Trebbio Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; mature, tart plum, cherry nose; poised, tart cherry, tart plum palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (100% Sangiovese) (90 pts.)
  • 2006 Castello del Trebbio Chianti Rùfina Pazzesco – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Medium dark red violet color; deep plum, tart currant nose; tasty, tart plum, ripe currant palate; medium-plus finish (60% Merlot, 40% Syrah) (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Castello del Trebbio Congiura Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Light yellow color; oily, tart peach nose; tart peach, mineral palate; medium finish (60% Riesling, 40% Pinot Grigio) (89 pts.)

Castelvecchio

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  • 2010 Castelvecchio Chianti Santa Caterina – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color; tart cherry, juniper nose; tart cherry, juniper palate; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Castelvecchio Chianti Colli Fiorentini Il Castelvecchio – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium cherry red color; tart plum, tart currant nose; tart plum, tart currant palate; medium-plus finish 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot) (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Castelvecchio Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna La Quercia – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico
    Medium dark ruby color; deep, fresh cassis, tart cherry nose; tight, fresh cassis, tart cherry palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Castelvecchio Il Brecciolino – Italy, Tuscany
    Dark ruby color; baked plum, cinnamon nose; tasty, tart berry, tart plum, baked plum palate; medium-plus finish (40% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot; new oak) (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Castelvecchio Numero Otto – Italy, Tuscany
    Medium ruby color; tart cherry, tart red fruit nose; delicious, tart cherry, tart red fruit, grenadine palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (100% Canaiolo) (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Castelvecchio Orme in Rosso Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, ripe currant nose; fresh tasting, ripe currant, tart cherry, tart plum palate; medium-plus finish (50% Sangiovese, with Merlot, Petit Verdot & Cabernet Sauvignon) (90 pts.)
  • 2003 Castelvecchio Vin Santo del Chianti Chiacchierata Notturna – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    From 375 ml – medium orange color; aromatic, smoke, dried orange nose; tasty, silky textured, tart orange palate with medium acidity; long finish (70% Trebbiano, 30% Sangiovese) (89 pts.)

Cignozza

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  • 2009 Cignozza Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; tart plum, currant nose; tasty, tart plum, currant palate; medium finish 88+ points (80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 5% Marmalo) (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Cignozza Rosso dei Poggi – Italy, Tuscany
    Medium ruby color; tart plum nose; tart plum, oak palate; medium finish (84 pts.)
  • 2008 Cignozza Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; ripe raspberry, baked raspberry, baked cherry nose; ripe raspberry, baked raspberry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish (80% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo; 2 years in barrel) (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Cignozza Peregrinus – Italy, Tuscany
    Dark ruby color; rich, roast cherry, baked cherry, berry nose; rich, roast cherry, baked cherry, berry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese, 18 mos. in barrique) (89 pts.)

Conte Ferdinando Guicciardini

Corbucci

Donna Nera

  • 2010 Podere Donna Nera Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color; fresh, tart cherry, red berry nose; tart cherry, red berry, juniper palate; medium finish 88+ points (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Podere Donna Nera Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium cherry red color; tart red berry nose; tart red berry palate; medium-plus finish 87+ points (85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 5% Colorino) (87 pts.)

Fattoria di Fiano

  • 2010 Fattoria di Fiano Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; tart cherry, juniper nose; tart cherry, juniper palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (88 pts.)
  • 2001 Fattoria di Fiano Chianti Anteprima – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; tart plum, tart cherry nose; fresh, tart plum, tart cherry palate; medium finish 88+ points (85% Sangiovese with Merlot, Syrah and Canaiolo; stainless steel) (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Fattoria di Fiano Chianti Colli Fiorentini – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Dark ruby color; reduction, tart cherry nose; reduction, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 87+ points (Sangiovese with Merlot & Syrah) (87 pts.)
  • 2008 Fattoria di Fiano Chianti Colli Fiorentini Ugo Bing Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium dark ruby color; heavy reduction, tart currant nose; heavy reduction, tart currant palate; medium-plus finish (87 pts.)

Fattoria di Grignano

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  • 2007 Fattoria di Grignano Chianti Rùfina – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, ripe cherry, baked cherry nose; ripe cherry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish (80% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah; large oak casks) (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Fattoria di Grignano Chianti Rùfina Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Dark ruby color; baked cherry, raspberry nose; soft, baked cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 89+ points (90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot; 1 yr in barrel) (89 pts.)
  • 2003 Fattoria di Grignano Chianti Rùfina Riserva Poggio Gualtieri – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Bricking medium dark ruby color; rich, tart cherry, tart cassis nose; rich, refined, tart cherry, tart cassis palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (100% Sangiovese, Grosso clone; 35 yr old vines) (90 pts.)

Fattoria di Polvereto

Fattoria Di Sammontana

  • 2010 Fattoria Di Sammontana Chianti DOCG – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark red violet color; tart cranberry, tart red berry, raspberry nose; tangy, tart cranberry, red berry palate, robust with medium acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Fattoria Di Sammontana Chianti Superiore San Firenze – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Medium dark ruby color; oak, tart plum nose; oak, tart plum, tart cherry, raspberry syrup palate; medium-plus finish (80% Sangiovese with 20% Syrah and Merlot; in oak for 6 mos.) (88 pts.)
  • 2003 Fattoria Di Sammontana Maestro Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Cloudy, bricking, medium ruby color; mature, ripe plum, ripe cherry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese) (87 pts.)
  • 2006 Fattoria Di Sammontana Vin Santo del Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    From 375 ml – light orange color with 1 millimeter clear meniscus; mature, baked plum, baked apricot nose; hot, baked apricot, baked plum palate; more grappa like than most vin santo; medium finish (83 pts.)

Fontanelle

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Guidi 1929

  • 2010 Guidi 1929 Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; oak, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart currant palate; medium finish (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Guidi 1929 Chianti Colli Senesi – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Senesi
    Medium ruby color; redolent, tart cherry, dried cherry, tart raspberry palate; ready now; medium finish 88+ points (88 pts.)

Il Corno

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  • 2010 Tenuta Il Corno Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; lifted, herbal, tart red fruit nose; pomegranate, tart cherry, floral palate; needs 1 years; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, plus Canaiolo & Colorino; stainless steel) (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Tenuta Il Corno Chianti Riserva San Camillo – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; redolent, floral, baked raspberry nose; tight, tart raspberry, tart red fruit palate with firm tannins; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese, 6 mos. in large oak casks) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Tenuta Il Corno Chianti Colli Fiorentini Fossa Spina – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium ruby color; herbs, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry, herbs palate; medium-plus finish (85% Sangiovese with Colorino and Canaiolo; stainless steel) (88 pts.)
  • 2005 Tenuta Il Corno Colorino Del Corno Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium dark ruby color; intriguing, lively, tart raspberry, floral nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry palate with medium acidity; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (more tension and energy than the Sangiovese-based wines; mix of barriques and oak casks) (90 pts.)

La Gigliola

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  • 2010 Tenuta La Gigliola Chianti San Enrico – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; redolent, deep, black cherry, smoke, tar nose; lively, balanced, baked cherry, tart raspberry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (88% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 2% Colorino) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Tenuta La Gigliola Canaiolo – Italy, Tuscany
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, light red berry nose; appealing, ripe red berry, ripe cherry palate; medium finish (8 mos. in 500 liter oak) (89 pts.)
  • 2005 Tenuta La Gigliola Camporsoli – Italy, Tuscany
    Dark ruby color; redolent, tart plum, sandalwood nose; poised, tart plum, cedar, tart cassis palate; medium-plus finish (70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 10% Syrah; 14 mos in barrique) (89 pts.)

Lanciola

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  • 2009 Lanciola Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color; tart plum, reduction nose; tart plum, reduction palate; medium finish (95% Sangiovese, stainless steel and concrete) (84 pts.)
  • 2009 Lanciola Chianti Colli Fiorentini – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium cherry red color; reduction, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry palate; medium finish 87+ points (87 pts.)
  • 2006 Lanciola Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, tart raspberry nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (1 yr in cask, 1 yr in barrique) (88 pts.)
  • 2006 Lanciola Terricci – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Dark ruby color; tart plum, tart raspberry nose; tart plum, tart raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and Cabernet Franc) (88 pts.)
  • 2005 Lanciola Vin Santo del Chianti Colli Fiorentini – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium orange color with ruby lights; orange marmalade, intense, orange marmalade, smoky, tart orange palate with medium acidity; long finish 90+ points (50/50 Malvasia and Trebbiano) (90 pts.)

La Querce

  • 2010 La Querce Chianti Sorrettole – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark red violet color; lifted, raspberry syrup, pomegranate, tart cranberry, tart red berry nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry palate; needs 1-plus year; medium-plus finish (80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 10% Colorino; steel for 8-9 months) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 La Querce Chianti Colli Fiorentini La Torretta – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Dark ruby color; tart cherry, tart red fruit, pomegranate nose; tart cherry, tart red fruit, pomegranate palate; ready now; medium-plus finish 88+ points (90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Merlot; in used barriques for 16 mos.) (88 pts.)

Lavacchio

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Le Fonti A San Giorgio

Malenchini

  • 2010 Malenchini Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; reduction, tart red fruit nose; reduction, olive, tart red fruit palate; medium finish (100% Sangiovese) (84 pts.)
  • 2010 Malenchini Chianti Colli Fiorentini – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, herbs nose; tart cherry, herbs palate with medium acidity; medium finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo) (85 pts.)

Manetti

  • 2010 Manetti Paolo Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; cherry syrup, berry syrup nose; cherry syrup, berry syrup palate; medium finish (80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 5% Colorino; stainless steel) (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Manetti Paolo Chianti Montalbano Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Montalbano
    Medium cherry red color; redolent, baked cherry, baked berry nose; mature, soft, tart black fruit palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish 86+ points (86 pts.)
  • 2000 Manetti Paolo Vin Santo del Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    Light medium orange color with 1 millimeter clear meniscus; poached pear, apricot jam nose; silky textured, tart apricot jam, mineral, tart apricot palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Montechiaro Terre della Grigia

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Moriano

  • 2011 Tenuta Moriano Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Bright medium ruby color; green herb, tart cherry, juniper berry nose; green herb, tart cherry, juniper berry palate; needs 1 years; medium-plus finish (95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot) (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Tenuta Moriano Desiderio Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Dark ruby color; appealing, lifted, ripe plum, cedar nose; tart plum, olive palate with a sense of pepper; medium-plus finish 87+ points (blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot) (87 pts.)

Morzano

Piazzano

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  • 2008 Piazzano Chianti Rio Camerata – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; focused, tart plum, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart plum palate; ready now; medium-plus finish 88+ points (90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino) (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Piazzano Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark ruby color; reduction, tart red fruit nose; reduction, tart red fruit palate; medium finish (80% Sangiovese, with Canaiolo, Colorino and other varieties; cement) (84 pts.)
  • 2006 Piazzano Chianti Classico Riserva Rio Camerata – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico
    Medium dark ruby color; redolent, tart red berry, tart cherry nose; tart red berry, tart cherry palate with medium acidity; ready now; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino; Slavonian botti) (90 pts.)

Pietro Beconcini

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  • 2010 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Chianti Antiche Vie DOCG – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Black tinged dark red violet color; appealing, redolent, roasted berry, ripe cherry, braised cherry nose; delicious, tart cherry, dried cherry palate with firm tannins and medium acidity but drinkable now; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Vigna alle Nicchie Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Dark ruby color; redolent, baked cherry, dried red berry nose; tasty, baked cherry, dried red berry, baked raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (the grapes are first dried before fermenting, for over a month; 70% French and 30% American oak for two years) (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Ixe Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium ruby color; redolent, baked plum, baked cherry nose; baked plum, baked cherry, raspberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (90% Tempranillo, 10% Sangiovese) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Maurleo Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Bricking medium ruby color; redolent, baked plum, baked cherry, baked raspberry nose; baked plum, baked cherry, baked raspberry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (50% Sangiovese, 50% Malvasia Nera) (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Reciso Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium ruby color; intriguing, baked cherry, tart red fruit, pomegranate nose; baked cherry, tart red fruit, pomegranate palate; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Azienda Agricola Pietro Beconcini Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; redolent, baked berry, spice, baked plum nose; baked berry, spice, baked plum palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (85% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo; raised in 25 hectolitre barrels) (91 pts.)

Pieve de’ Pitti

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  • 2008 Pieve de’ Pitti Scopaiolo Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Very dark ruby color; deep, tart black fruit, tar, pencil lead nose; tasty, savory, tart black fruit, mineral, pencil lead palate; medium-plus finish (95% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Pieve de’ Pitti Chianti Superiore Cerretello – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Red ruby color; redolent, baked cherry, spice, dried cherry, baked berry nose; baked cherry, spice, dried cherry, baked berry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2005 Pieve de’ Pitti Moro di Pava Rosso Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Bricking dark ruby color; maturing, redolent, baked black fruit, mushroom nose; tasty, mature, tart plum, mushroom palate; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese; raised in concrete) (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Pieve de’ Pitti Aprilante – Italy, Tuscany
    Light yellow color; tart apple, tart peach nose; tart apple, tart peach palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (100% Vermentino) (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Pieve de’ Pitti Tribiana – Italy, Tuscany
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, pear sorbet, floral, pungent nose; tasty, ripe pear, pear glace, tart peach, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (late harvest Trebbiano, but not a sweet wine) (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Pieve de’ Pitti Appunto Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium ruby color; redolent, cedar, tart plum nose; juicy, ripe cherry, tart plum palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (60% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot) (88 pts.)

Poggio Capponi

041812 Chianti Tasting 038

  • 2010 Poggio Capponi Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color; bright, lifted, tart cherry, juniper berry nose; tart cherry, juniper berry, lifted palate; medium-plus finish (95% Sangiovese, 3% Colorino, 2% Canaiolo) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Poggio Capponi Chianti Montespertoli – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; redolent, tart cherry, lifted nose; fresh, tart cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino; 14 mos. in used French oak) (91 pts.)

Poggiopiano

  • 2009 Fattoria Poggiopiano Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; oak, tart cherry nose; oak, tart cherry, tart plum palate; medium finish (75% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon; stainless steel and barriques) (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Fattoria Poggiopiano Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; tart plum, oak nose; tart plum, oak palate; needs 1 year; medium-plus finish (75% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon) (87 pts.)

Poggiotondo

041812 Chianti Tasting 020

  • 2009 Poggiotondo Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; redolent, baked cherry, raspberry syrup nose; ripe cherry, baked cherry, raspberry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish 88+ points (raised in cement and oak, usually with 10% Merlot) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Poggiotondo Chianti Superiore – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Dark ruby color; black cherry, baked cherry nose; tart black cherry, baked cherry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; lifted, baked raspberry, berry syrup nose; fruit forward, berry, berry syrup, baked black cherry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish 90+ points (12-14 mos. in barrique) (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva “Vigna delle Conchiglie” – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; redolent, baked berry, berry syrup, baked cherry nose; baked berry, berry syrup, baked cherry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese; single vineyard) (91 pts.)

Ruffino

  • 2010 Ruffino Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; reduction, tart cherry nose; pomegranate, tart red fruit, reduction palate; medium-plus finish (70% Sangiovese, 30% Canaiolo, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; stainless steel) (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Ruffino Chianti Superiore – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Medium ruby color; reduction, tart cherry nose; reduction, tart cherry, olive palate; ready now; medium finish 86+ points (80% Sangiovese, lower yields than the regular bottling; stainless steel) (86 pts.)

San Vito

041812 Chianti Tasting 006

  • 2010 San Vito Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color; reduction, herbal nose; herbal, tart cherry, raspberry, reduction palate; ready now; medium finish 88+ points (88 pts.)
  • 2010 San Vito Chianti Colli Fiorentini – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini
    Medium ruby color; roasted cherry nose; tight, tart cherry, olive palate; medium finish 88+ points (90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 San Vito madiere Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, poised, tart plum, tart berry nose; tasty, tart plum, tart berry palate with integrated oak; medium-plus finish (60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot; 12 mos. in French barrique) (89 pts.)
  • 2006 San Vito Vin Santo Malmantico – Italy, Tuscany, Vin Santo
    From 375 ml – light medium orange color with 1 millimeter clear meniscus; baked apricot, orange marmalade nose; soft, silky textured, orange marmalade, tart baked apricot palate with good acidity; long finish 88+ points (88 pts.)

Sant’Andrea

  • 2010 Fattoria Sant’Andrea Sangiovese Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium ruby color; tart plum, herbal nose; tart plum, herbal palate with medium acidity; medium finish (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Fattoria Sant’Andrea Chianti Morgiano – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; herbs, tart cherry nose; herbs, tart cherry palate with medium acidity; medium finish 87+ points (95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo; raised in chestnut barrels) (87 pts.)

Sant’Appiano

  • 2010 Sant’Appiano Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; lifted, cherry, red candy nose; soft, tart cherry, tart cranberry palate; needs 1 years; medium finish (90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot; 8 mos. in large oak barrels and 3 yrs in bottle) (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Sant’Appiano Chianti Superiore – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Medium dark ruby color; tart plum, olive nose; tart plum, olive palate; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese; 9 mos. in barrique, 6 mos. in bottle) (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Sant’Appiano Chianti Montelero – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; olive, reduction, tart plum nose; olive, reduction, tart plum palate; medium-plus finish 86+ points (85% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino, 5% Merlot; 14 mos. barrique, 1 yr in bottle) (86 pts.)

Tenute di Fraternita

  • 2009 Tenute di Fraternita Chianti Il Priore – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Dark ruby color; appealing, ripe cherry, baked cherry, berry nose; tasty, poised, tart cherry, tart berry palate with balance; needs 1 year; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino, 5% Canaiolo) (90 pts.)

Terre di Poppiano

Terre di San Gorgone

Travignoli

  • 2010 Travignoli Chianti Rùfina – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Medium dark ruby color; deep, tart black cherry, sandalwood nose; tight, tart black cherry, sandalwood palate; needs 1 years; medium-plus finish (100% Sangiovese) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Travignoli Chianti Rùfina Riserva Tegolaia – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
    Medium dark cherry red color; appealing, lifted, ripe cherry, baked cherry, raspberry, graham cracker nose; tight, tasty, tart cherry, tart red berry palate with medium acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 88+ points (13 mos. in large oak casks) (88 pts.)

Valdarno

  • 2011 Valdarno Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Barrel sample – medium dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, red berry nose; tasty, tart cherry, tart red berry palate with balance; medium-plus finish 89-90 points (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Valdarno Chianti Superiore – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark cherry red color; reduction, tart red fruit nose; tight, tart cherry, reduction palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Valdarno Chianti Superiore Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Superiore
    Medium dark ruby color; reduction, tart cherry, olive nose; reduction, tart cherry, olive palate; medium finish (87 pts.)
  • 2007 Valdarno Vin Santo del Chianti La Treggiaia – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    Medium orange gold color; redolent, VA, baked apricot, baked yellow cherry nose; silky textured, tangy, tart apricot, peat palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (88 pts.)

Venatoria Tacinaia

041812 Chianti Tasting 015

  • 2008 Venatoria Tacinaia Chianti Poggiodesto – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; slightly bricking medium ruby color; ripe, a little porty, baked plum, baked apricot nose; unusual, soft, smoky, dried cherry palate; medium-plus finish (Sangiovese with a small amount of Canaiolo; stainless steel) (87 pts.)
  • 2007 Venatoria Tacinaia Vin Santo del Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    From 375 ml – light orange color with 1 millimeter clear meniscus; orange marmalade, baked apricot nose; silky textured, tart marmalade, baked apricot palate with near medium acidity; long finish (15% alcohol) (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Venatoria Tacinaia Vin Santo del Chianti Occhio di Pernice – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti
    From 375 ml – medium peach pink color with 1 millimeter clear meniscus; redolent, cherry marmalade, baked cherry nose; tight, cherry marmalade, baked cherry, Rainier cherry palate; long finish 88+ points (95% Sangiovese, 5% Trebbiano) (88 pts.)

Villa Ilangi

Villa Lucia

  • 2010 Villa Lucia Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; tart cherry, juniper nose; tart cherry, juniper palate; medium finish 86+ points (86 pts.)

Villa Poggio a Varna

  • 2010 Villa Poggio a Varna Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium dark cherry red color; aromatic, tart cherry, tart cranberry nose; very tart cherry, tart cranberry palate with medium acidity; needs 1 year; medium finish (95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Villa Poggio a Varna La Torme Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Medium dark red violet color; redolent, savory, smoky, dried cherry, roast berry, nose; light-medium bodied, tart cherry, smoky, roasted cherry, tar palate; needs 1 year; medium-plus finish (70% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot; 10 mos. in French barriques) (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Villa Poggio a Varna Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Barrel sample – dark cherry red color; lifted, very aromatic, floral, pomegranate nose; tart cherry, floral, tart pomegranate, tart raspberry palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89-91 points (89 pts.)

Volpaio

041812 Chianti Tasting 022

  • 2009 Podere Volpaio Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; redolent, olive, tart red fruit nose; olive, tart red fruit palate; ready now; medium finish (85% Sangiovese, with Canaiolo, Malvasia Nera and Colorino) (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Podere Volpaio Chianti – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium ruby color; reduction, olive, tart plum nose; reduction, olive, tart plum palate with medium acidity; medium finish (85% Sangiovese with Canaiolo, Malvasia Nera & Colorino) (85 pts.)
  • 2004 Podere Volpaio Chianti Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Medium red violet color; mature, tobacco, cigar box nose; tart currant, tobacco, cigar box palate; medium-plus finish (90% Sangiovese) (88 pts.)
  • 2001 Podere Volpaio Chianti Riserva Terre dei Pari – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
    Bricking medium red violet color; mature, redolent, mushroom, tobacco nose; mature, tasty, savory, mushroom, tobacco palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)
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