Italy, Chianti Classico

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
The Chianti Classico subregion covers an area of approximate 260 square kilometres between the ancient city of Florence to the north and Siena to the south. Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti are the four communes that are located entirely within the Classico area.

Within the collective Chianti region there are more than 8 million cases of wines produced and classified as DOC level or above! Both soils (weathered sandstone & bluish-gray chalky marlstone) and altitude (250 to 610m) make for varied range of wines. Typically producing Sangiovese based wines, medium bodied, with medium to high acidity and firm tannins is what the region is renowned for. The ultimate Pizza wines have so much character and interest and are well worth exploring.
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  1. Retromarcia Chianti Classico Docg 2017
    The grapes come from vineyards consisting of shale (Galestro) 70%, sandstone (Arenaria-Calcare-Pietraforte) 20%, limestone (Alberese) 10%. The vineyards age range from plantings 2003-2010. The vinification and maturation is reminiscent of a more traditional style Chianti Classico. Intense mountain herbs, aromas of cranberry, wild ... Learn More
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    Decanter
    Out of stock
  2. Isole E Olena Chianti Classico Docg 2017
    Winemaker Notes - Estate-grown, hand-harvested grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with approximately 15 days maceration. During fermentation, delestage and pumping-over takes place twice a day. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into barrels and 4,000 liter casks ... Learn More
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  3. Querciabella Chianti Classico 2016
    "Querciabella has been on a roll over the last few years" Antonio Galloni Perfumed and pretty, red cherry and strawberry, dusting of pepper and spice. Light and fresh, wonderful savoury note to go with the beautiful cherries notes of Sangiovese. ... Learn More
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  4. Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 'Vigna Del Sorbo' 2015
    Fontodi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico precisely in the valley which lies south of the town of Panzano and is called the “Conca d’Oro” (the golden shell) because of its amphitheatre shape. A genuine and characteristc “ ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    The Wine Advocate
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  5. Castello Di Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
    The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Annata is a real knock-out. This is very tight and muscular. Needs at least four to five years to soften. The legend lives. ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Jancis Robinson MW
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