Chianti Classico wine guide: grape, history and organoleptic characteristics
Chianti Classico is the wine that has made Tuscany famous all over the world. Originally, thanks to Cosimo III de ‘Medici proclamation (the first DOC in the wine history), included only the central area of the three small towns of Gaiole, Radda and Castellina. Now it goes from Florence to Siena, from 250 meters above sea level up to 800 of the near east side near Chianti mountains, northwest of Radda, with an impressive variety of soils: limestone, tuff and the famous galestro.
Food and wine tours & itineraries in Chiantishire are endless: in these 7000 hectares, shaped by the constant wars between Florence and Siena and great Renaissance’s characters, you can find wineries, castles, hills with a chubby profile and a series of stunning products of the Italian cuisine, we only remember a few: extra virgin olive oil, finocchiona, cantucci, and the Tuscan ham.
The places of Chianti Classico
The municipalities in which it’s possible to produce Chianti Classico are San Casciano Val di Pesa, Greve in Chianti, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Castelnuovo Berardenga. How to recognize a bottle of Chianti Classico? You can not go wrong: if you see the historical Gallo Nero sticker, you are holding a bottle approved by Consorzio.
Chianti Classico’s organoleptic characteristics
Now, how to recognize a Chianti Classico wine? Wines produced in the Chianti area are fresh, round and graceful, but very balanced on the palate; with strong aromas of cherry, blackberry, undergrowth, with a faceted structure, but never too full-bodied, which makes them incredibly versatile for plenty of food pairings. The watchword when it comes to Chianti is freshness.
The landscape of Chianti is extremely diverse so it’s hard to trace an exact profile, it depends a lot on the choices made in the vineyard, terroir and winemaker’s style, what remains constant is a quite good average quality.
Chianti Classico typologies
To make these wines more and more particular and adherent to the territory, they were divided into Chianti Annata, Riserva and Selezione. The basic Chianti Classico is a fresh wine, to be drunk within a few years, that stands out for drinkability, notes of violets and black cherries and good liveliness. It’s not required wood aging.
Then we have Riserva, a more full-bodied and structured wine, which must age in wooden barrels. Riserva has more complex features, a fine and intense bouquet, with spices and earthy returns that are interwoven to a more developed fruit. Aging potential of 6-7 years. W
And now Chianti Classico Selezione, the cream of the crop, born from the need to identify and develop the most suitable wine-growing areas, where are produced wines of great finesse and adherence to the territory.
Which grapes are present in Chianti Classico?
The ancient recipe of Bettino Ricasoli stipulated that it had to be made with Sangiovese blended with Canaiolo, Mammolo and a small percentage of Trebbiano added to sweeten the grumpy character of Sangiovese. The use of Trebbiano was officially abandoned in 2006 and today the disciplinary admits other international varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. By law, Chianti Classico must have a minimum of 80% Sangiovese and 1 year of aging, two the Chianti Riserva.
Chianti Classico’s serving temperature
If you have to serve a light, young wine you can opt for a temperature of 18° C, which can reach 16 ° C in summer.
For complex and structured wines, the serving temperature is the classic 20° C. If you need to serve 15 years or more Chianti Classico uncork it in advance, but not decant it, the sudden oxygenation might crush its delicate spirit.
Chianti Classico Food Pairings
Its greatest strenght is the acidity, it has good, but not prepotent, tannins so let’s pair grilled and smoked meat, finocchiona, chicken curry, lamb kebabs, gnocchi with Bolognese, hamburgers, baked lasagna, truffle risotto, pasta Amatriciana