Anteprima Chianti Classico 2018
What is an anteprima? It is a Premiere in the wine world. A series of days, each one dedicated to a certain type of Tuscan wine. Today it was about Chianti Classico, here are a few numbers and wines that I really enjoyed and want to share with you.
The numbers are increasingly important: 186 companies for 659 labels in tasting. A total of over 9000 bottles have been opened and served by a team of 50 sommeliers in the two-day event, attended by over 250 journalists from 30 different countries in the world and more than 1800 operators, Italians and foreigners. 59 the barrel previews of the 2017 vintage and 92 labels of Chianti Classico Gran Selezione.
Let’s just call it an ocean of Tuscan wine!
Last week I was in Verona to taste all the new Amarone, this is the week when Tuscan wines go en premier.
A few hundred wine critics form all over the world are invited to taste them all!
The first day was in Florence tasting wines like Morellino di Scansano and Sangiovese from the south of Tuscany, the Maremma wines and Val di Cornia from the Southwest bit going towards the coast; wines from Sovana and Pitigliano (the Jerusalem of Tuscany) the Cortona Doc famous for its Syrah and Montecucco a wine made of Sangiovese only a few chilometers away from Montalcino. Montecarlo wines near Lucca and then Orcia wines between Montalcino and Montepulciano. And close to Florence the wines of Valdarno di Sopra and finally Chianti with its 87 million bottles produced each year!
Chianti comes also with its 7 sub-appellations: Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini, Montalbano, Colline Pisane, Montespertoli and Chianti Rufina. This already could knock any professional wine critic down.
Monday is the Chianti Classico Collection moment with a staggering 9000 bottles ready to be served showcasing almost 700 labels!
So let’s start form here.
Chianti Classico is the wine produced in the historical area of Chianti.
It’s a small region in the immaculate Leonardo da Vinci and Duccio da Buoninsegna countryside between Florence and Siena.
Here is were 2.500 years ago the Etruscan started to produced wine.
The Sangiovese variety is king here with a minimum of 80% going up to 100%. Sangiovese is know to boost wines with a beautiful red ruby brilliant color, plenty of acidity, wonderful red berry crush aromas, violets and licorice.
The “Annata” can be released in the market after one year of aging. So this year they showcased the 2016 vintage which for me is gonna give a lot of pleasure to Burgundian style wine lovers. It’s a classic vintage packed with small red fruit, great juiciness and a very pleasant minerality. To get a better picture we gotta wait the tasting in May.
Now is some of the 2016 Chianti Classico and some of the 2015 Riserva and Gran Selezione that jumped out of the glass during this tasting round.
Chianti Classico 2016 Badia a Coltibuono
Jucy red berries, smooth tannins, great acidity, finesse with just a simple touch. 93
Chianti Classico 2016 Barone Ricasoli “Brolio” 
A lovely sour cherry driven wine with a touch of vania and roses. Pretty reactive on the palate with a good grip.  90
Chianti Classico 2016 Bibbiano 
Black berries, structured tannins and plenty of dry herbs, sage and earthiness. 89
Chianti Classico 2016 Buondonno
Gotta love the sweetness and the raw material of this rustic Classico with a lot of juice to give. 92
Chianti Classico 2016 Castellinuzza e Piuca 
A very contrasted Red with a salty touch which adds drinkability: Spices, mushrooms, sour cherries with a nice drinkability. 89
Chianti Classico 2016 Castello di Monsanto
This is one of the best samples I have had in years form this winery. Soft touch with a floral and vanilla nose. A crunchy palate with some intriguing coffe bean and floral complexity. 93
Chianti Classico 2016 Cigliano
A simple and very refreshing nose made of sour cherries and some seductive spices. Needs time but has a good grip. 89
Chianti Classico 2016 Cecchi Villa Cerna “Primocolle”
A softly handled 2016 which shows some nice plums, vanilla notes and a roundly pleasant mouthful. 89
Chianti Classico 2016 Dievole
Redcurrants, wild strawberries and a super agile palate with plenty of orange zest and juice. Not overly complex but good. 89
Chianti Classico 2016 I Fabbri Lamole
Blood orange, bay leaf, licorice and mushrooms. Super juicy and mineral palate with an important structure but an energetic one. Not too perfect which is what makes it a treat! 91
Chianti Classico 2016 Isole e Olena 
Strawberries and a meaty complexity. A very refreshing floral classic Classico with a balanced palate, cola and dry herbs finish. 92
Chianti Classico 2065 Montebernardi Retromarcia 
Leather, marjory and a touch of spices. Floral palate with so much juice and sour cherries to dive into! 94
Chianti Classico 2016 Monteraponi
Iron, earthy and leather notes over some prunes, broom flowers and licorice. Depth and lenght. 93


Chianti Classico 2016 Villa Pomona Bandini
An extractive and yet lyrical 2016 with black berries, orange peel and a pine tree sap perfume. 95
Chianti Classico 2016 Rocca di Castagnoli 
Structured sweet tannins, plenty of Mediterranean character with a very savory sour cheery sweet tannic finish. 91
Chianti Classico 2016 Rocca di Montegrossi
A very complex an intense wine which manages to get together fresh forrest fruit with balsamic notes, firm tannins and loads of elegant juice on the palate with an amazing aging potential as well. 93
The “Riserva” is usually a selection of the best crop or single vineyards which has to spend at least two years aging in the cellar. So these are wines with more oak, structure and concentration.
The 2015 will be in the market soon and they will be perfect for those who love concentration of fruit, a compact tannin structure and length.
The “Gran Selezione” is like a Riserva with 6 months of extra aging and the mandatory requirement to bottle non purchased grapes only.
So right now the new GS will be the 2015, which means concentration, extraction and in the best cases also a mediterranean mineral complexity.
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Marchese Antinori
A modernly made Chianti Classico with some clean cherry notes, vanilla, and a leathery finish. 90
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 Bibbiano Vigna Capannino
Dark fruit, leather, cypress aromas, prunes, blackberries and a really sweet tannic and powerful structure. 90
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 Castello di Ama, Vigneto Bellavista
An earthy and spicey nose of cloves licorice and rosamary.  Lots of depth with tons of cherries on the palate and a great tannic structure. 91
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Castello di Radda
A rustic and yet very juicy wine with a lot of savouriness and an iodine quality. Sweet fruit and a little earthyness. 89
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 Cecchi Valore di Famiglia
A very floral and red berries nose with a delicate tannic touch, juice, vanilla and leather. 90
Chianti Classico Gran Selezionee 2015 Castello di Albola “Il Solatio”
A super floral wine with a distinctive strawberry jam complexity, medicinal herbs and some oaky spices. 91
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2015 I Fabbri
Mediterranean dry herbs, sour cherries, bay leaf, tons of juiciness and an earthy character. Power and floral elegance with some underbrush and violet notes. 90
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Istine “Vigna Istine”
A super expressive Riserva with tons of forrest fruit, flowers, strawberries and cherries. I love the supplness  of this wine and its ability to combine sweet juice to a firm structure. 94
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Montebernardi 
Red fruit, black pepper, strawberries and a floral touch. Juicy mouth with a natural fruit driven sweetness, you just can’t get enough of it.  93
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Monteraponi “Il Campitello” 
A darker and more structured Riserva with an earthy and leather complexity. Power and a lot of underbrush aromas with a prune and blueberry finish.  Lot’s of lenght. 94
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Poggerino “Bugialla”
An austere quality with a leather and earthy touch. Violets and cherries wit an important tannic structure but a lot of potential. Wine to age. 91
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Riecine 
I just love the red fruit here with a touch volatile exuberance which makes this wine fly right into my heart. Great strawberry and sour cherries, depth and light. 95
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Rocca di Castagnoli 
Structured sweet tannins, plenty of Mediterranean character with a very savory red cherries and violets finish. 91
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Rocca delle Macie 
Some dried fruit, prunes and roses. a vanilla presence with dry herbs and tobacco. Pretty smooth with some sweeter fruit then expected. 89
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Val delle Corti
Structured and very firm tannins with plenty of fruit to soften them with a little more aging. Great earthiness, bay leaf savoriness and depth. 90
Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 Vignamaggio “Gherardino”
Floral with a lovely tangerine zest to go with a more austere underbrush and some winter spices. A pretty firm Red with some blackberries and prune juice. 89
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 Villa Calcinaia “Vigna La Fornace”
With a concentrated prune and black cherry nose, a salty and structured palate with very well balanced tannins. 91
The tasting offered also a lot more form the other vintages all the way down to 2010 but I decided to focus on the new release only.
The following days I will report on Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 and 2017, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 and Brunello di Montalcino 2013 and Riserva 2012.
Stay tuned, I gotta go back to taste now, cheers!