Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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  • Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Chianti Classico Tasting - Celebrating 300 Years



Chianti Classico 300 Years
The final wine tasting of was held at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville, downtown Toronto. Inside was a tasting celebrating 300 years of Chianti Classico wines. The borders of the Chianti Classico DOCG were formed in 1716 and lies in the territory between the provinces of Florence to the north and Siena to the south. The total area of the territory is 173,000 acres, 25,000 acres of which are dedicated to vineyards, and 18,000 acres that are registered as Chianti Classico.

Every bottle of Chianti Classico contains the trademark Black rooster, an historic symbol of the Chianti Military League, among other things. The history of the symbol dates back to a legend from medieval times, at a time when there was bitter fighting over the territory between the Republics of Florence and Siena. In order to settle the conflict, legend has it that a knight from each Republic would depart from their respective cities and fix the boundary of the territory at the point of where they meet. Departure from each city would take place at dawn, when the rooster crows. The Sieneses chose a white rooster, while the Florentines chose a starved black rooster that was kept in a small, dark chicken coop.

When the big day arrived and the roosters were freed from the coop well before dawn, it was the black rooster that started crowing immediately. On that signal, the Florentine knight began his journey, well before his counterpart from Siena, and reached Fonterutoli, a mere 12 kms from Siena. This resulted in nearly all of Chianti being brought under control of the Republic of Florence and the legend of the Black Rooster was born.

Chianti Classico Tasting Notes Booklet
Sangiovese is the primary grape within the region and a minimum of 80% of every wine must contain this varietal. There are three levels of Chianti Classico - Annata, Riserva, and Gran Selezione. The entry level is the Annata (a term you won't see on the label) and requires a minimum of 12 months ageing. The middle-tier Riserva wines require a minimum 24 months of ageing, including 3 months of bottle ageing. At the top of the quality pyramid is the Gran Selezione - a tier that was created only in 2013 - and states that these wines must use grapes from a single vineyard or from the estate's best grapes, and be aged for a minimum 30 months, including 3 months of bottle ageing.

In all, there were more than 25 wineries in attendance, providing the opportunity to try more than 75 wines. Many of the wines poured were quite good, but the ones that stood out above others were the Gran Selezione wines, specifically from the outstanding 2010 vintage. Wine reviews of some of favourites are provided below. Please contact the agent listed for availability, pricing and ordering information.

Tasting Notes:

CASTELLO VICCHIOMAGGIO SAN JACOPO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#710194) (XD) - $19.95
Matured for 8 months in large oak barrels and contains 5% Canaiolo and 5% Colorino. Beautiful, highly aromatic, dark scented and focused nose of dark flowers, dark cherry, clov and spice. It's medium-to-full bodied nicely balanced aroma replays and gains texture with air. It has very good acidity providing freshness. Good oak integration. Finish is long with hints of mineral. Contact Signature Wines & Spirits for availability. Score: 90+ pts

Castello Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (90+ pts)Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

CARPINETO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#047118) (XD) - $29.95
The medium-to-high intensity nose offers nice, sweet herbally spice, clove, sweet oak and cherry aromas. It's medium-to-full bodied on the palate with balanced, full tannins, and very good acidity. Aromas follow through to the palate along with hints of pencil lead and mineral on the long finish. Enjoy over the next 5-8 years. Contact Univins et Spiriteaux for availability. Score: 91 pts

MAZZEI CASTELLO DI FONTERUTOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (XD) - $75
Lovely, focused and intense nose featuring floral, cherry, clove and sweet oak spice aromas. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with a fine texture and silky smooth, structured tannins. Pleasing aroma replays on the palate. Excellent length on the finish shows hints of mineral. Contact Profile Wine Group for availability. Score: 92 pts

Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)Fèlsina Colonia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)

FÈLSINA COLONIA CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (XD)
Beautiful, perfumed nose of sweet spice, floral, oak, cherry, red fruits and clove. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with pleasing sweet oak and spice aroma replays, and hints of purple flowers. Very good acidity. Earthy, cherry notes on the excellent finish. Tannins are a bit tight, but provide good tannic structure for ageing. Better in 2-3 years and enjoy until 2026. 100% Sangiovese. Contact Lifford Wine & Spirits for pricing and availability. Score: 92 pts

IL MOLINO DI GRACE IL MARGONE CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#435115) (XD) - $39.95
This 100% Sangiovese has medium-to-high intensity aromas of ripe red fruits, cherry, floral, sweet oak and clove notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has firm tannins and juicy acids, along with balanced earth, cherry, floral and spice flavours. Excellent finish length. A bit young, try in 3 years. The 2010 vintage was released into VINTAGES in March. Contact Frontier Wine Merchants for availability of the 2011 vintage. Score: 92 pts

Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)Castelvecchi Madonnino della Pieve Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (93 pts)

CASTELVECCHI MADONNINO DELLA PIEVE CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (XD)
From a great vintage, this 100% Sangiovese, has a highly aromatic and inviting nose of floral, sweet oak, cherry, clove and hints of sweet spices. Maturing very nicely, it has a medium+ bodied palate with yummy purple flower led aroma replays. Well balanced, with juicy acids and balanced tannins. Excellent length on the finish. Drink by 2023. Contact Barrel Select for pricing and availability. Score: 93 pts


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