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Chianti Classico Collection 2023

Updated: Feb 15

This year, the pattern of tasting Chianti Classico continues: Annata, Riserva and Gran Selezione, separate from IGT Toscana from the same wineries.

The point of this exercise is to try and identify the style difference between the new zones of Chianti Classico and to attempt to pinpoint these to smaller sub zones, much the same as Burgundy.

Among these new UGAs (Additional Geographical Units), I was surprised to identify two strong sub zones of taste, style and uniqueness namely: Panzano UGA in the municipality of Greve in Chianti, roughly half way between Siena and Florence and Monti UGA in the southern sector of Gaiole in Chianti, six miles to the north in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. These sub zones are not only showing a collective style by the individual wineries, but producing wines of a serious, high quality nature.

Taking Panzano first: this area consists of 39 wineries, a total area of 2,840 hectares of which 595 hectares are under vine. This is famed for two reasons: it has the highest density of vines in all Chianti Classico and the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic wineries in the entire region. The most acclaimed area is the Conca O’Oro, found to the west of Panzano. These wines seem to be more concentrated, darker, savoury with earth tones and a compact tannin structure with outstanding fruit quality. Wineries of note here are Fontodi, Le Cinciole, Castelli del Grevepesa, Castello di Rampolla, Vecchie Terre di Montefilli, Gagliole and Casaloste.

The area of Monti consists of 625 hectares in total with 125 hectares under vine, including areas of Cacchiano, San Marcellino, Il Colle and Monti di Setto. These wines have a lighter colour tone, refined tannins, lush mouthfeel, elegance is the order of the day. These are approachable and yet exceptionally age worthy. Wineries of note are Rocca di Montegrossi, Barone Ricasoli, Badia a Coltibuono and Castello di Cacchiano.

The weather in 2020 for the Chianti Classico region was generally very kind, with no extreme conditions: cool spring, long warm to hot summer, with good variation of day to night temperatures, allowing grape maturation time to complete the ripening cycle to near perfection. Rain in June and September avoided any drought scenario. Production down 10% on 2019 due to cold night temperatures in April, which affected bud break.