There’s a new Chianti in town (and in the Provinces of Florence and Siena)!

Oakville's Sommelier

New Chianti Classico logo
There’s a new Chianti in town (and in the Provinces of Florence and Siena)!
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Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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This past month found me at an event in Toronto tasting a preview of the new Chianti Classico category: Gran Selezione. The Chianti Classico DOCG (Denominazione de Origine Controllata Guarantita) classification is a sub-zone of Chianti, and it is the original Chianti production zone located in the centre of Chianti, a little history:

In 1716 the Chianti zone was delimited by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III. The Chianti DOC (Denominazione de Origine Controllata) wine zone was created in 1967, then moved from DOC up to DOCG status in 1984 (DOCG wines are the most strictly regulated in the Italian wine classification system). In 1984 Chianti Classico was part of Chianti, then became its own zone in 1996. Since 2005 every bottle of Chianti Classico has been marked by the Black Rooster symbol signifying that the wine has received suitability certification. In 2013 changes were made to this zone and there are now three quality designations:

  • Chianti Classico Annata has a minimum alcohol content of 12% vol., aged for a minimum of 12 months, is easy to drink characterized by fruitiness.

 

  • Chianti Classico Riserva has a minimum alcohol content of 12.5% vol., aged for a minimum of 24 months, has fruitiness enhanced by wood.

 

  • Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is at the top of the quality pyramid with a minimum alcohol content of 13% vol., aged for a minimum of 30 months, is fruity and spicy, elegant with depth of flavour, aromatic complexity, balanced tannins and acidity. Grapes for this wine are produced from a single vineyard or the best grapes from an estate.

 

Chianti Classico DOCG wine production zone

Chianti Classico DOCG wine production zone

Produced in nine communities within the Florence and Siena provinces of Italy, all Chianti Classico wines must be made with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese grapes. The Chianti Classico Gran Selezione designation is described as “the highest expression of production.” Many of the top producers introduced their wine at the event. Notes for two I tasted from Greve in Chianti:

  • Castello di Verrazzano produces Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigneto Querciolina – Sassello 2011 from 100% Sangiovese grapes. With a deep ruby red colour and purple overtones, this wine is full of fruit and spice with notes of blackberries, cherries, raspberries, oak and vanilla, with a smooth, long finish.

 

  • Fattoria Viticcio is a family owned and operated winery with six generation of winemaking experience. Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Beatrice 2011, was poured by the namesake of this wine, the delightful Beatrice. Her Chianti comprised of 95% Sangiovese Grosso and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon is from old vines. Deep ruby red, aged in 1/3 new oak and the remainder in second to third use oak, a persistent wine with notes of violet, cherry, sweet tobacco, pepper and chocolate with a persistent finish.

 

Elizabeth Wright of Cottonwood Wine Agency presenting wine at the Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club June meeting

Elizabeth Wright of Cottonwood Wine Agency presenting wine at the Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club June meeting

Sangiovese crossed my path on another occasion this month during the Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club of Oakville monthly wine tasting, a wonderful presentation by Elizabeth Wright of Cottonwood Wine Agency. One of the wines was a red from Tuscany labelled with a Toscana IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) classification made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. IGT was created in 1992 for the regulation of non-DOC/DOCG wines which affords winemakers more choices for what grapes can go into their wine and where the grapes can come from. Most “super Tuscan” wines are labelled IGT and the word “Toscana” on the label is a good clue that it is one:

  • Camp’Albracco Toscana IGT Rosso 2009 produced by the passionate Formichi family of Tenuta Bonomonte is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes, alcohol content of 13% vol., aged for 12 months in barriques, this wine was garnet in colour with notes of brushwood, cherry, plum, tobacco, pepper, and chocolate with smooth tannins. This wine is a good value at $27.00 price per bottle and can be ordered through the Cottonwood Wine Agency.

 

Next OWEC wine tasting on Friday, September 26th with Tre Amici. For guest information check out the OWEC website Guests page.

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