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VIDEO 002. CHIANTI CLASSICO

February 2. 2011

Today the Chianti wine region stretches across much of Tuscany from Pisa to Arezzo. It is divided into several subzones, each with different quality rules. The lowest are for a Chianti DOCG, the highest claims are made to the Chianti Classico DOCG. The zone of the Chianti Classico lies between Siena and Florence. It is  the heart of the Chianti wine region. Here, the winemakers have joined forces in the Consorzio del Marchio Storico Chianti Classico: Only their Chianti Classico may carry the famous Gallo Nero, the black rooster on the bottleneck – the sign of a high-quality Chianti Classico.

In the middle of the 19th century, the legendary Baron Bettino Ricasoli invented the “Chianti formula” at his Castello di Brolio. After numerous attempts, he found out that a Chianti wine became best when using the following assamblage: 70% Sangiovese for fruit and body, 15% Cannaiolo for fragrance and color and 15% white grapes such as Trebbiano or Malvasia for lightness and elegance. For a long time, this mix set was considered irrefutable. His most important ingredient was the Sangiovese. In the 80’s, the Consorzio decided to change the formula for the Chianti Classico DOCG. Other red grapes could now be blended with Sangiovese. That did not necessarily contribute to the improvement of the Chianti Classico, but to the falsification of the typical Chianti. The addition of foreign red grape varieties to Sangiovese has led to the term Chianti Classico becoming absurd. Some growers abandonned the addition of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot, saying this would change the character of a Chianti re wine and, in the worst case, drowning out the fine cherry Sangiovese fruit.

The most important grape in Chianti Classico is Sangiovese, there is hardly a vine in Italy that is as versatile as Sangiovese. What is produced from these grapes ranges from the cheapest bulk wine in the Romagna or in the plains of Lazio to the noblest Brunello, Vino Nobile or Chianti Classico. It is the human being who has selected the clones with different views. The origin of the Sangiovese is certainly central Italy. In addition to the Barbera vines, the Sangiovese vine is the most widespread in Italy. This is an indication of their high quality.

In this episode Piero is reviewing Rancia 2004 from Fattoria di Fèlsina and Castello di Ama 2006.

FEATURED WINES

Chianti Classico 2006. Castello di Ama

Country: Italy
Wine region: Tuscany
Locality: Gaiole in Chianti
Vintage: 2006
Classification: D.O.C.G. Chianti Classico
Variety: Sangiovese, Malvasia nera, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Pinot nero

CASTELLO DI AMA
CHIANTI CLASSICO

Chianti Classico 2006 from Castello di Ama is garnet-red colored with some brown rays. The nose is somehow shy and takes its time to blossom. Cherries, black berries, leaves and delicate vanillin. Juicy with a slim body. The cherries get interwoven with earthy tones. Wild tannins and acidity, which fit well together. Medium finish. Now through 2014. – February 2011

89 PS

Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 2004. Fattoria di Fèlsina

Country: Italy
Wine region: Tuscany
Locality: Castelnuovo Berardenga
Cru: Rancia
Vintage: 2004
Classification: D.O.C.G. Chianti Classico Riserva
Variety: Sangiovese

FATTTORIA DI FELSINA
RANCIA

Rancia 2004 from Fattoria di Fèlsina is opaque purple-hued colored. Complex. Shows dark cherries, black berries and wood berries, which are intermixed with hints of leather. Violet, pimento and cardamom. Full-bodied with excellent fruit. Intense. High-quality tannins come along with a strong and harmonic acidity. Superb and profound finish. Best from 2018 through 2030. – February 2011

93 PS

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