11 class-leading Chianti Classicos (Part 2)

We continue our countdown of the best Chianti Classicos from all quality levels following a comprehensive tasting of wines from this famous Italian region.

NEW-LOGO-ChiantiClassico_nuovo_Logo_19_02_20131As previously reported by the drinks business, the wines featured in this list were selected by a panel of experience tasters at the inaugural Chianti Classico Masters by the drinks business, which was held on Thursday 12 March at London’s Clos Maggiore restaurant.

All the entries were tasted blind during the course of one day using Schott Zwiesel glasses supplied by Wine Sorted. Each sample was scored and discussed before the medal was awarded, with the top Chianti Classicos given Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. Meanwhile, those that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Chianti Classico Master.

The juding panel, which was chaired by myself, comprised Tom Bruce-Gardyne, a wine writer specialising in Italy; Alex Canneti, longtime Italian wine buyer and off-trade director at Berkmann Wine Cellars, where he is also brand manager for Antinori in the UK, and Roberto Della Pietra, native Italian and former head sommelier at Clos Maggiore.

As we approach the very best wines of the tasting, it is worth nothing that although the judges encountered many rich and powerful Chianti Classicos, particularly among the Riserva and Gran Selezione classifications, the wines, thankfully, remained reflective of the region’s hallmark grape, Sangiovese, with its naturally high acidity, slightly gritty tannin, and flavours of ripe red fruits and sour cherries.

Furthermore, so good were some of these wines, it was felt that Chianti Classico must be one of Italy’s most improved wine regions, and consequently underrated relative to the likes of Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello – the country’s revered fine wine Bs – and unfairly overshadowed by the excitement surrounding Etna Rosso. In other words, among fine wine lovers, Chianti Classico is worth another look.

Part 1 of this tasting report can be viewed here. As for this, the second and final listing of the very best Chianti Classicos, click ‘next’ to view the class-leading wines, all of which scored a gold medal or above.

Chianti Masters_judges_Clos_Maggiore

The judges (clockwise from bottom left): Patrick Schmitt MW; Tom Bruce-Gardyne; Alex Canneti, Roberto Della Pietra

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