The Chianti Region of Tuscany

Tuscany (Toscana) is one of Italy’s most famous wine regions and splits into two big geographical regions: the Tyrrhenian Coast and the Central Hills in the provinces of Florence and Siena. Chianti is the name of the area that stretches south from Florence to Siena. The Chianti Classico DOCG (Denomianzione di Origine Contollata e Garantita) is the traditional heart of the Tuscan wine region around the villages Gaiole, Radda, and Castellina. The main variety is the Sangiovese grape, which is sometimes blended with Canaiolo, Colorino, and Mammolo as well as small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  Here are some examples of delicious, reasonably priced wines from that region:

Casa Alle Vacche 2005 Vernacchia di San Gimignano $20
The Vernacchia di San Gimignano DOCG was first mentioned in 1276, and this white varietal is one of the oldest in Italy. The grapes are grown on the slopes around this medieval town which is not far from Siena. This winery is located in the village of San Gigmignano and is named after the stables for the hard-working animals. Tasting notes: Fresh and vibrant, with floral pear as well as melon aromas and crisp lemon and lime flavors, with hints of nectarine. Wonderful, fresh finish, with violets and almond notes. Best paired with seafood and salads. Drink now.

Casa Alle Vacche 2006 Chianti Colli Senesi $18
This Chianti is made by the same winery as the Vernacchia. The vines are coming from vineyards around the famous town of Siena. Tasting notes: Wonderful aromas and flavors of black cherry and blackberry fruit, with some herbal and spicy notes. Excellent acidity and fine tannins on the finish. Best paired with pasta with red tomato based sauces. Drink now, up to 2years.

Fattoria di Poggiopiano 2004 Chianti Classico $29
Fattoria di Poggiopiano is located in the hilltops of Fiesole, south of Florence, which look over the Arno Valley. The vineyards and olive groves are spread over 17 hectares, 150 meters high on gravely, chalky terrain. The Galardi brothers, descendents of a long line of Florentine wine and olive traders, took over the estate in 1935, and since 1985 Mauro Galardi heads the estate, which is one of the top producers for olive oil and Chianti. Tasting notes: A dark, polished, modern style, with fabulous aromas of blackberry, mineral and licorice, leading over to plush mocha and espresso flavors, with some plum and cherry notes. Medium-bodied, with fine, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Very smooth and wonderfully balanced. Food pairing: Osso bucco or pasta with wild boar ragout would be great. Drink now. This wine is at its peak.

Enjoy & cheers!
Jens

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2 thoughts on “The Chianti Region of Tuscany

  1. I recently had a 2004 Travignoli Chianti Rufina Riserva that was splendid. It seems that Rufina is pretty rare, but you should stock if you can find it. It requires decanting and can probably age for another decade. I believe it was under $25/bottle.

    1. I agree, the Chianti Rufina subzone produces great quality wines. We’ve stocked several Chianti Rufina’s in the past, such as Castello di Nipozzano (from the Frescobaldi family), Selvapiano and the one you mentioned from Travignoli (1999, 2001, 2003). We don’t currently have any on the shelf, but we could certainly special order these. Thanks so much for your input.

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