The Chianti Classico Collection once again is confirmed to be the most glamorous wine premiere of all. Spotlight on the red carpet at Stazione Leopolda in Florence then, a thrill one can never get used to!
With the Chianti Classico Collection the Consortium had devised the perfect formula to combine duty with pleasure each time, with a large ans well-organized press room to serve the many journalists and bloggers from all over the world, all absorbed with concentration in the technical tasting of the new vintages. The Black Rooster’s party is in the beautiful hall right next to the press room instead, with people smiling and toasting joyfully among the Producers’ tasting counters.
Two days are unfortunately not enough to taste the 511 samples available in the press room, while the total number of labels presented by the Black Rooster amounts to over 750, with the participation of 206 Wineries. Quite impossible to even think of tasting them all!
Moreover, I am not able to ignore the irresistible lure of the producers’ party for too long, therefore such a challenging endeavor is a mission impossible to me! This is why I was forced to make a decision, and I chose to focus on the blind tasting of Chianti Classico DOCG in vintages 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, while leaving the Riserva and Gran Selezione to be shared with Producers in the hall.
Vintage 2021 has been rather hot and quite difficult, but none of it showed much at the tasting. This proves once again, that the deliberate choice to produce excellence is not just a slogan, but a serious and passionate commitment throughout the entire DOCG. A widespread endeavor that pays off by raising the bar of excellence each year regardless of any contingent difficulty.
Perhaps, this vintage lacks in those peaks of excellence that act as punctuation, cadencing with rhythm the phrasing of any great vintage. Nevertheless, the quality on average remains very high. Of the 66 samples tasted, the ones that stood out for pleasantness of the olfactory spectrum and smoothness of the sip are:
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Altiero
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Buondonno
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Casa Emma
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Castagnoli
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Istine
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – La Montanina
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 H’amorosa – Maurizio Brogioni Winery
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 Morino – Mori Concetta
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Riecine
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Tenuta di Campomaggio
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Terra di Seta
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Vallone di Cecione
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2021 – Villa Valacchio
Vintage 2020 resides most definitely on a higher dimension with peaks of absolute excellence, and wines that present traits of unquestionable elegance and great precision in execution. It is in this vintage that the highest expression of the Black Rooster’s talent was concentrated, with delightful aromas and joyful sips. Among the 96 samples tasted I found to be truly irresistible:
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Borgo La Stella
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 Aria – Casa al Vento
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Castellinuzza
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Castello di Radda
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Fattoria della Aiola
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Fattoria di Rignana
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Il Palagio di Panzano
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Montesecondo
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 Morino – Mori Concetta
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Podere Capaccia
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Podere Terreno alla Via della Volpaia
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Poggio al Sole
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Tenuta Selvolini
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020 – Vallone di Cecione
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2020- Villa Vallacchio
The number of labels presented for the 2019 vintage thins out considerably, with 35 samples only. Wines characterized by deep noses, intense and dressed up in elegance. On tasting they were all very pleasant, taut, vibrant, fresh, and enjoyable, with polished tannins that never overpower the sip. The pure Sangiovese versions stood out for their elegance and balance, with didactic noses punctuated by the crisp, precise, and elegant aromas of the varietal. Best performing were:
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 Vigneto Boscone – Castello Monterinaldi
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 – Fattoria Le Fonti
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 Primum- Fattoria Montecchio
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 – Il Barlettaio
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 – Feliciano
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 Casa di Colombo- Tenuta la Novella
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 – Valvirginio
There are 12 labels that you will finally find on the markets for the 2018, 2017 and 2016 vintages at last, so it no longer makes sense to talk about vintage characteristics. The right to choose when to present the new labels, based on stringent internal quality parameters rather than on the prescriptions of production specifications, remains an inescapable and virtuous one. A brave and challenging choice for those wineries who opt for longer aging and present their labels only when deemed ready. Standouts on tasting:
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2018 – Pensieri di Cavatine
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2018 – Scheggiola
- Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 – Bucciarelli – Antico Podere Casanova
Let me spare a few words on Additional Geographical Units before the curtins fall on this edition of the Chianti Classico Collection. The Black Rooster in fact is going straight down the path of defining UGAs. They are not to be confused with sub-areas, because this is not what they are at all. From a legislative point of view, the UGAs of Chianti Classico are comparable to the MGAs of Barolo and Barbaresco, but in substance they somehow differ from the latter. While MGAs are conceptually more like Burgundy climats, UGAs can be defined as districts.
UGAs will initially be used only for Chianti Classico Gran Selezione and they do not identify a superior wine but only the area of origin. A new project created with the aim of telling the story and identity of a vast and varied territory with greater detail and precision. Production methods become less important compared to the ability of explicating a territory, and the human factor becomes fundamental in its ability to be historical memory of the past and a bridge to the future in passing on practices of excellence.
“A project destined to grow and improve over the years, designed as a legacy for future generations” and uniting in diversity around the shared concept of terroir and excellence. Stay tuned for future updates. The Black Rooster is always full of surprises! See you at the next edition of Chianti Classico Collection.
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