14 Tasting Notes from the Heart of Tuscany

Florence View
Following the previous post on “14 Classic Chianti You Cannot Miss”, we dig deeper into each wine with the tasting notes.

Tasting notes

  1. Barrique and big barrel. Spices, wood, young vintage. Black cherry represents Sangiovese’s character. Tannins are not too “invasive” and good acidity as it is common in Florence. It’s easier to drink than the wines from Siena as we will see in the next wines, where Chianti becomes more Brunello-style, more tannic and full-bodied.
    Therefore, this wine is more delicate than powerful and it should be drank young: it’s not suggested to age it too long.
  2. Big Barrel. We now move to Siena to a more argillaceous soil and the color of the wine transitions to garnet. Damp earth and smoky aromas. This wine is located half way between Chianti and Brunello: it’s a strong representation of the Siena-character of Chianti.
  3. Tonneau and Big Barrel. Some balsamic notes with a light vanilla. 2011 was a very hot vintage and the dehydration of the grapes made stronger tannins.
  4. Barrique. Another wine from Siena and another argillaceous soil, but now we are closer to the mountains. This winery is a safe bet when you are hunting for quality and this wine is well appreciated by the critics with several awards. Toast, smoke and wet soil aroma. Very good complexity and high ageing potential: this wine can easily wait 20 years in your cellars.
  5. Tonneau. Darker color due to the other varieties blended with Sangiovese. Good acidity, aromatic wood from a first-class winery. Modern wine with a silky finish.
  6. Barrique. We go back to a warmer area in Siena now: this winery is owned by a Canadian who employed a very well-known French winemaker (chi?). We can indeed find the use of “new woods” with a new-bordeaux connotation.
  7. Big Barrel. Another foreign ownership, this time from the UK: John Matta is very respectful of the terroir and we can taste the violet in this wine, as a clear identification of Florence.
  8. Big Barrel. Damp earth from Siena is back again in this wine. Tannins are strong but more balanced than with other wines from this region. The attention both in the vineyard and in the cellar is great for this winery. Gran Selezione refers to the origin of the grape from a specific vineyard where the vines were completely replanted to reach the highest quality levels of Sangiovese.
  9. Barrique. With this wine, we move to a colder region in a colder vintage and you can immediately feel the higher acidity given by higher temperature ranges.
  10. Big Barrel. Black cherry, rhubarb and earth first reach the nose. Very good and elegant tannins and a special velvety feeling that reminds merlot and red cherry.
  11. Barrique and Tonneau. This winery has an American ownership since 1994, Kendall Jackson, and an amazing relais Chateaux where you can spend a night for $300 (“an experience that everyone deserves at least once in life” as Cernilli commented).
    More fruity than expected but also wet soil make it a very good Chianti, respectful of the terroir.
  12. Barrique. In the southern part of the Chianti Classico region, we find this winery not far from San Gimignano. Legendary damp earth as typical in Siena but also vanilla. Powerful tannins but also a good acidity. This is a very traditional Chianti classico: indeed, as Cernilli underlined, Gambelli is the historical winemaker of the hard-core wines made with sangiovese (the alter-ego of Giacomo Tachis for Antinori family).
  13. Big Barrel. Smoky, florentine notes. Apparently from Siena at the nose, it is definitely a wine from Florence once tasted.
  14. Barrique. The oldest vintage in this group (and for this reason “it should not be the last one to taste”). Warmer vintage than 2010. Red fruit, raspberry and black cherry. Difficult vintage for a typical Chianti. Cabernet Sauvignon gives more color and it is very useful especially in a hot vintage. Balsamic.

14 Chianti Classico

# Winery Wine Blend Location
1 LANCIOLA Chianti Classico Le Masse di Greve DOCG 2012 95% sangiovese, 5% other red grapes Pozzolatico (Florence)
2 BIBBIANO Chianti Classico Riserva Montornello DOCG 2012 100% sangiovese Castellina in Chianti (Siena)
3 TENUTA DI CAPRAIA Chianti Classico Tenuta di Capraia DOCG 2011 100% sangiovese Castellina in Chianti (Siena)
4 FELSINA Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia DOCG 2011 100% sangiovese Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena)
5 LE FONTI Chianti Classico Riserva Le Fonti DOCG 2011 90% sangiovese, 6% merlot, 4% cabernet sauvignon Panzano in Chianti (Florence)
6 TOLAINI Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2011 100% sangiovese Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena)
7 CASTELLO VICCHIOMAGGIO Chianti Classico Gran Selezione La Prima DOCG 2011 90% sangiovese, 10% merlot Greve in Chianti (Florence)
8 ROCCA DELLE MACIE Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva di Fizzano DOCG 2011 95% sangiovese, 5% merlot Castellina in Chianti (Siena)
9 CORTE DI VALLE Chianti Classico Corte di Valle DOCG 2010 100% sangiovese Greve in Chianti (Florence)
10 CARPINETO Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010 at least 80% sangiovese, up to 20% canaiolo and other red grapes Greve in Chianti (Florence)
11 TENUTA DI ARCENO Chianti Classico Riserva Strada al Sasso DOCG 2010 100% sangiovese Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena)
12 ORMANNI Chianti Classico Riserva Borro del Diavolo DOCG 2010 100% sangiovese Poggibonsi (Siena)
13 LAMOLE DI LAMOLE Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto di Campolungo DOCG 2010 95% sangiovese, 5% cabernet sauvignon Greve in Chianti (Florence)
14 VIGNOLE Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Crespine DOCG 2009 90% sangiovese, 10% cabernet Panzano in Chianti (Florence)

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