TONY

WOOD

ITALIAN

WINE

Chianti Classico Collection 2022



This year I asked the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, if their members would kindly send only the latest vintages of Chianti Classico Annata, Riserva and Gran Selezione.

My reason for this was based on the following:

1) To attempt to identify the style of wine produced in a particular area of the denomination.

2) To understand the quality of the wines in that particular region

3) To see if these new sub zones of Chianti Classico that have formed smaller associations, within the Consorzio, are in fact producing better overall quality wines bearing in mind this new ‘Co-Op’ approach through information sharing, members assistance and passing on knowledge previously held “under lock and key”.

Of course, this study is going to take some years to reach a conclusive opinion, but I get the vibe from the zones that have embraced this “working together” mantra.

This new open approach is a huge innovative step: the winemakers of Chianti Classico were historically extremely protective of their estates’ winemaking methods.

There is now a major overall will to evolve in all levels of wine production, which can only benefit all producers involved and eventually the consumers.

Most of the wines submitted were 2018 and 2019.

The weather conditions in 2019 varied but in general terms consisted of a mild winter and spring: bud break occurred when it was expected in early April. Rainfall continued throughout May which at this time had two effects, firstly it gives the plants a store of water to use up in the Summer but it also slows down growth giving a more equable maturation period. By June the weather was ‘near perfect’ and continued through July. August was mostly very hot, but not for sustained periods. A little rainfall late August was very welcome.

Due to this weather pattern, the berries were not tight on the grape bunches, leaving good spacing for aeration, therefore forestalling the possibility of rot in its various forms. Mild winds also helped the concentration of the juices. September lent a helping hand with good temperature variation between day and night which is very important for flavour and for great colour; fruit with thin skins were to be found in most areas.

The harvest started at end of September to late October.

In conclusion, this was an exceptionally good year for Chianti Classico weather wise

I am often being asked when is the best time to drink the three Chianti Classico styles?

Although it is almost impossible to put a best drinking age on most wines due to the many contributing factors: vintage quality, winemaking expertise and so on, but this is broad stroke indicator:

Annata 3/4 years after vintage

Riserva 7/10 after vintage

Gran Selezione 10/12 after vintage.

I have tasted some 50 years old Chianti Classico that are bright with plenty of life and enjoyment to bestow.

This might be a good time to take a snapshot of what is Chianti Classico. The Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico has approximately 500 members, around 350 of them bottle their own wines, there are 140 members that produce a Gran Selezione. The area of Chianti Classico is 70,000 Hectares of which ten per cent is registered for wine production. In 2019 Chianti Classico produced roughly 36 million bottles.

Latest Chianti Classico news in brief:

At last, a Chianti Classico wine has been awarded a coveted 100 Points by one of the most venerated and prolific wine critics in the world: James Suckling awarded Gran Selezione CeniPrimo 2018 from the Barone Francesco Ricasoli Estate.

Changes to regulations within the Chianti Classico Consorzio:

There are now eleven sub-zones of Chianti Classico, known as Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive or UGA, they are: Castellina, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Gaiole, Greve, Lamole, Montefioralle, Panzano, Radda, San Casciano, San Donato in Poggio and Vagliagli.

The main differences from the previous sub-zones are:

Castelnuovo Berardenga is cut into two, the western part is called Vagliagli.

Barberino Val d’Elsa and Tavernelle have joined to become San Donato in Poggio

Greve in Chianti has been split into four: Lamole, Montefioralle, Panzano and Greve.

The Consorzio members decided to highlight the historic distinct terroirs on their labels.

At present the UGA’s will only be printed on the Gran Selezione labels.

There is a strong possibility that this new labelling will extend to Riserva and Annata over the next few years.

Furthermore:

Starting from vintage 2022, the highest category of Chianti Classico namely Gran Selezione must contain 90% Sangiovese grape and, for the remaining 10%, only indigenous grape varieties such as Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nero, Mammolo, Pugnitello and Sanforte will be allowed (rather than international varieties).

Acknowledgement:

I wish to offer my thanks to the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico for their trust and all the winemakers who have kindly sent their wines to my office in Umbria to be appraised.

Also Silvia Fiorentini, the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico’s Marketing and Communication Manager whose continued support has been invaluable.



Tasting Notes




Antinori Peppoli CC 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Florals are off the charts. Ripe red berries, Eastern spice, weighted minerality. Faint notes of clove and liquorice. Juicy. Tons of energy. Faint tartness on the close does not distract.

Points 90 TW

Antinori Badia a Passignano CC Selezione 2018

Intense ruby red in colour. Blackberry, dark cherry, purple florals, black pepper. Unfortunately this bottle turns out not to be showing its best.

Points 85 TW

Antinori Villa Antinori CC Riserva 2018

Ruby red in colour. Elegant and glorious bouquet of red cherry, pomegranate, dark baked plum assisted by lavender and mint notes. Silky and generous. Medium bodied with great length and purity of flavour.

Points 93 TW



Badia a Coltibuono CC 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Elegant bouquet of dried cherry, blood orange, eucalyptus, mint, sweet tobacco and crushed rock minerality. Such poise and presence. Gently caressing the palate. Leaves with the same elegance as it arrived.

Points 93 TW

Badia a Coltibuono CC Riserva 2017

Bright ruby red in colour. Red cherry, red forest berries, clove, pipe tobacco, worn leather. Agile with great length. Graceful and subtle. Standout wine.

Points 94 TW


Badia a Coltibuono Cultus CC Riserva 2017

Intense ruby red in colour. Fresh red cherry, cranberry, golden tobacco, bitter orange peel. Exotic spice. Boisterous and super expressive. Fresh with buoyant energy. Linear finish.

Points 93 TW



Badia a Coltibuono Cultus Boni CC 2020

Deep garnet in colour. Red cherry, crushed raspberry, mint, menthol, orange peel, herbs and eastern spice. Youthful silky entry showing all things at the correct level. Promises much. Needs a year or two bottle age. Long finish.

Points 92-94 TW


Borgo Scopeto CC 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Red cherry, wild strawberry, raspberry, orange peel, liquorice and damp earth. Soft, juicy and expressive entry, expands across mid palate leaving youthful tannins and acidity. Just needs time to come together. Very appealing.

Points 94 TW

Borgo Scopeto Vigne Misciano CC Riserva 2018

Medium ruby red in colour. Red cherry, dark plum, pomegranate, liquorice, faint eucalyptus aromatics, sweet tobacco and rose petal florals. Light textured, showing poise and elegance. Acidity and tannin balance needs time to fully play out. Juicy and supple.

Points 93 TW

Borgo Scopeto CC Gran Selezione 2016

Tasted last year…See post on May 9th, Chianti Classico Collection 2021 (Part 1 A- H).

Points 96 TW


Cantine Guidi 1929 CC 2020

Medium garnet in colour. Potent blend of red and black berries, iron, muted menthol, bitter orange peel, liquorice and a fine dusting of cinnamon. Opens wide on the palate saturating every part with intense forward fruit, fine tannins and fresh acidity. Youthful but such poise and grace. Wow!

Points 94 TW

Cantine Guidi 1929 CC Riserva 2018

Ruby red in colour. Raspberry, baked plum and tons of dark chocolate, blood orange and cranberry. Sweet spice box and liquorice. On the palate distinctive nuances of bitter herbs and dark fruits. Fascinating juicy texture that just keeps pulsing with energy. What a wine!

Points 95 TW


Capannelle CC Riserva 2017

Ruby red in colour. Plum, currant and fig. Dark chocolate. Sweet spice. Dark cherry. Medium bodied. Palate shows a mix of sour notes, chewy tannins and sweetness from concentrated fruit. Not showing well.

Points 86 TW

Capannelle CC Gran Selezione 2016

Bright ruby red in colour. Red and black wild berries, dark plum, orange peel, liquorice, leather exotic spice, dried Mediterranean herbs and cedar notes. Rich and dense. Floats on the palate. Ultra fine tannins. Layered intensity. Compelling.

Points 94 TW


Carpineto CC 2020

Medium ruby red in colour. Red cherry, camphor, spice and liquorice. Approachable. Dense and fruity. Forward fruit does not allow much else to have a say. Pushed a little too hard maybe.

Points 87 TW

Carpineto CC Riserva 2017

Ruby red in colour. Black fruit, eastern spice, worn leather, mocha, dried forest floor. Thick and evident tannins. Very dense. Not a shy personality.

Points 87 TW



Carus Vini Baldero CC 2016

Bright ruby red in colour. Red cherry, red berries, plum, violet florals, vanilla, oaky notes. Savoury. Well balanced. Secondary nuances of black pepper and Eastern spice. Ultra fine tannins vie with perfectly pitched acidity. Lingers on the close.

Points 92 TW

Carus Vini Gaudio CC Gran Selezione 2015

Bright and intense ruby red in colour. Dark cherry, plum, blood orange. Exotic spice. Blue florals and a whiff of bitter chocolate. Rich with tons of energy. Still youthful tannins. Tangy acidity. Articulated juicy finish.

Points 93 TW


Casa di Monte Le Capitozze CC 2017

Pale garnet in colour. Dark ripe fruit, sweet tobacco, mocha, red florals, vanilla oaky notes, liquorice. Soft juicy expression with chewy tannins and tangy acidity. Tapers off at the close.

Points 89 TW

Casa di Monte Le Capitozze CC Gran Selezione 2012

Pale tawny in colour. Concentrated fruit flavour of cherry and plum. Sweet scented bouquet of brown spice, menthol and liquorice. Unpleasant mouthfeel. Rustic. Not showing well.

Points 85 TW

Casa di Monte Le Capitozze CC Riserva 2016

Pale garnet in colour. Red berry fruit, eucalyptus, liquorice and mint, tobacco. Juicy. Rounded. Tannins are crunchy but blended. Lacks direction. Into its shell.

Points 87 TW


Casa Emma CC 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Inviting fresh bouquet of red cherry, wild forest berries, herbs, black tea, scented spice. Entry showing good weight. Succulent mouthfeel. Balanced. Integrated. Persistent long close.

Points 92 TW

Casa Emma CC Gran Selezione 2017

Medium ruby red in colour. Heady bouquet of ripe black berries and cherry, pomegranate, camphor and mint. Very lean and tight on entry. Almost bitter drying tannins with rapier acidity. Has not come together. Poor example of Gran Selezione.

Points 86 TW

Casa Emma Vignalparco CC Riserva 2017

Ruby red in colour. Mix of red and black berries, morello cherry, blood orange, liquorice, violet florals. Slight tension. Mid palate tends to pucker with dryish tannins and a line of nervous acidity. Tapers off at the close.

Points 89 TW


Casaloste CC Gran Selezione 2017

Deep ruby red in colour. Dark fruits abound, pipe tobacco and orange peel. The fruit just pumps through the veins of this wine. So much to offer. Complex. Tons of depth and intensity.

Points 93 TW

Casaloste CC Riserva 2018

Intense ruby red in colour. Dark cherry, red and black wild berries, leather, damp forest floor, menthol notes. Polished palate. Traces of vivid acidity are vanishing. Fine tannins and shell minerality are assisting the rich textural structure. Need a year or two to complete its cycle.

Points 93 TW


Castellinuzza CC 2018

Pale ruby red in colour. Red cherry, balsamic notes, liquorice, menthol, blood orange, dried Mediterranean herbs. Clean fresh mouthfeel. Lightly bodied. Soft textures. Sour cherry and slight dryness coming of mid palate.

Points 90 TW

Castellinuzza CC Gran Selezione 2017

Pale ruby red in colour, Red fruits, liquorice, balsamic notes, leather, puff of pipe tobacco smoke. Underbrush. Juicy. All things in the right place. Linear finish. Showing well.

Points 93 TW

Castellinuzza CC Riserva 2017

Pale garnet in colour. Sweet red cherry, tangerine peel, violet florals, menthol, liquorice. Soft entry showing faint raspberry cassis and blood orange. Juicy. Pleasant mouthfeel.

Loiters on the close.

Points 91 TW