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Italy | Chianti

Winery located atop the rolling hills of Chianti in Tuscany

Situated in the region of Tuscany in central Italy, Chianti - based on the Sangiovese grape - is arguably Italy's most famous red wine. The winemaking zone of Chianti is located between the cities of Florence (to the north) and Siena (to the south) and stretches into the provinces of Arezzo, Pisa, Pistoia and Prato. Chianti was established as a DOC in 1967 and then the region was promoted to DOCG - the highest level of Italian wine classification - in 1984. However, the guidelines for its production date back to 1716 when the Grand Duke Cosimo Medici III officially demarcated the first Chianti wine zone, making Chianti the first ever appellation in history.

The best, basic Chianti wines, are full of juicy cherry, raspberry and plummy fruit flavours alongside savoury notes, wild herbs, spices and well-structured tannins. The Chianti DOCG comprises seven sub-appellations covering the areas surrounding Chianti Classico. These are Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Sensi, Montalbano, Montespertoli and Rufina, which is generally considered as the finest.

The regions most highly regarded wines come from Chianti Classico, which was established as a subzone of the Chianti DOC in 1967 and was awarded a separate DOCG status in 1996. As in other Italian regions, the Chianti Classico designation roughly corresponds to the original (and so theoretically the best) area of production in the Chianti hills as set out by the Grand Duke Cosimo Medici III in the early 1700s. The Gallo Nero, or Black Rooster, is the historic symbol of Chianti wines and the trademark seal for Chianti Classico wines.

Starting from the 2010 vintage the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione category was created as the highest quality level in the region. It was initially designed to get the same reputation of the 'Super Tuscans'. Grapes for these wines must be estate grown and the wine aged for at least 30 months, three of which must be in bottle. It must also be approved by a special tasting panel of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico.

Historically, Chianti was required to have a small proportion of white grapes in its blend, usually from Malvasia or Trebbiano; however, since 2006 the use of white grapes has been prohibited. Since 1996, Chianti wines must contain a minimum of 70 percent Sangiovese. This rises to 80 percent for Chianti Classico DOCG and above. The native grape varieties of Canaiolo and Colorino are also permitted in the final blend, as are the international varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The 1996 rule changes allowed wine producers to release pure Sangiovese Chianti wines, focusing on the flagship Tuscan grape variety.

Whilst not without controversy, the recent changes in regulations have led to an increase in pride and confidence of the Chianti brand and many producers are now beginning to return their flagship wines to Chianti Classico or Gran Selezione status, rather than a simple Toscana IGT red wine. As such, Chianti in the 21st century is now a source of truly world-class wines and has finally managed to shed its long-associated image of mediocre quaffing wine presented in fiaschi (the squat, straw-covered bottles).

 

Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico | Half Bottle

£11.00
The vineyards of the Pèppoli estate are located 5 kilometres north east of... Read More...

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Terre di Prenzano 2018

From £16.50 - per bottle
Classic, intense, Chianti Classico from world renown Vignamaggio... Read More...

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2019

From £17.00 - per bottle
The best Chianti Rufina display a finesse & definition few in Chianti Classico can match... Read More...

Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico 2019

From £17.50 - per bottle
A typical floral and fruity Chianti Classico from the renown Antinori stable... Read More...

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Riserva Gherardino 2016

From £20.50 - per bottle
A supple, silky Riserva Chianti Classico dedicated to the noble Gherardini family who founded the estate... Read More...

Querciabella Chianti Classico 2017

From £22.00 - per bottle
The centerpiece of Querciabella’s winemaking operations since the winery’s debut, Querciabella Chianti Classico... Read More...

Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2018

From £23.50 - per bottle
With unmistakable style, Villa Antinori's Chianti Classico Riserva is delicate, decisive and elegant... Read More...

Monte Bernardi Chianti Classico Riserva 2018

From £24.00 - per bottle
An elegant, rich & organic expression of Chianti Classico Riserva from a fine Tuscan estate... Read More...

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2018

From £25.00 - per bottle
An elegant Chianti Classico, full of perfumed fruit, with depth, structure & minerality... Read More...

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2018

From £26.00 - per bottle
Pure Sangiovese of outstanding quality, with great depth of flavour & silky-smooth texture... Read More...

Selvapiana 'Vigneto Bucerchiale' Chianti Rufina Riserva 2018

From £28.00 - per bottle
Outstanding single vineyard expression of Chianti Rufina Riserva only produced in the best vintages... Read More...

Querciabella Chianti Classico Riserva 2017

From £30.00 - per bottle
Produced only in the very best vintages and in limited quantities, one to try!... Read More...

Marchese Antinori Vinsanto del Chianti Classico 2016

£31.00
Vinsanto production in Tuscany and in the Chianti Classico region dates back to... Read More...

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva di Monna Lisa 2016

From £32.75 - per bottle
A seductive and concentrated, top flight red from picturesque Tuscan estate, Villa Vignamaggio... Read More...

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2019

From £37.00 - per bottle
A superb Chianti Classico Riserva produced solely from grapes of the Tignanello estate... Read More...

Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018

From £45.00 - per bottle
Produced exclusively from the finest Sangiovese grapes harvested from its namesake vineyard... Read More...

Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva | Magnum (150cl)

Contact us for price
The Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva is a blend of Sangiovese together with... Read More...

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 | Magnum (150cl)

£80.00
The Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG is a historic wine of the... Read More...

Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione | Magnum (150cl)

£95.00
Produced exclusively from the finest Sangiovese grapes harvested from its namesake vineyard... Read More...