Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

Chianti and zones

Chianti and its many zones

From this page you can launch yourself into articles on Chianti and its zones including Chianti Rufina, Chianti Classico (now an entirely separate DOCG from Chianti DOCG) and Chianti Barberino Val d’Elsa, following visits in the summer of 2011 and 2012, and read up on some tastings. If you like Sangiovese-based wines, these pages are for you! 

  • Chianti – what’s in a name? – The name Chianti has a certain magic, conveying history, culture, a beautiful landscape and sunshine.  Sadly, the wines have not always lived up to the name.  What’s the problem?  And how does one go about finding the fine wines that have something unique to offer?  Read more
  • Chianti Rufina – a connoisseur’s zone – Chianti Rufina is a small, historic zone, up in the hills to the east of Florence. It is definitely one for the connoisseur as historically the wines have been high in acidity and tannins and needed long ageing. This has left producers with an interesting dilemma – either to stick with what they know or to soften the wines for the modern market. The varieties of strategies are worth following … Featured wineries: Grati, Castello del Trebbio, Castello di Nipozzano, I Veroni… Read more
  • A place called Capezzana – With a documented history of this property with reference to vineyards going back to AD 804, it could be said that Capezzana is a special place, even in the venerable annals of Tuscan viticulture.  It is also a top exponent of Carmignano DOCG, the only Sangiovese-based appellation that requires 20 per cent of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. There is so much to enjoy here, including exceptional Vin Santo … read more 
  • Chianti Classico – the heartland – Woods, vineyards and olive groves fill the hilly landscape between Florence and Siena. It is from this zone, defined first in the eighteenth century and expanded in the 1930s that many of the very best wines come. Forget most of the cheap versions available in supermarkets and discover the really thrilling wines which could only come from Tuscany. Featured wineries: Montevertine, Rocca di Montegrossi, Caparsa, Castello di Ama, Riecine – the list could go on … read more
  • Barberino Val d’Elsa – Chianti’s western edge – Barberino Val d’Elsa is a zone which is partly on Chianti Classico’s westernmost edge and partly just outside of it. It features one of the best-known names of Tuscany in Isole e Olena, as well some classic producers in Castello di Monsanto, Casa Sola and the innovative I Balzini. … Read more
  • Revisiting Chianti – in the glass – The ‘Definitive Italian’ wine tasting held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in June 2011 was an opportunity to reassess what is going on in Chianti Classico and Rufina.  In the constant tension between ‘tradition’ ( = tough wines made basically from Sangiovese?) and ‘modernity’ ( = increasing amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as the blending partners of Sangiovese) which styles are winning?  Read more
  • Chianti Classico finds its soul – There have been many good vintages in Chianti in the last decade with 2004 being outstanding and 2006 not far behind.  This article reviews the particularity of Chianti Classico and gives the results of a small blind tasting of six examples available in England from the 2006 vintage. Read more

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