Chianti Classico: 46 top wines tasted and rated

Held in May 2021 in London (one of six global Chianti Classico events, including Chicago, New York, Monaco, Firenze and Tokyo), this was one of the first main post-lockdown tastings. It was a really good one: a chance to assess some current releases from Chianti Classico. The wines were poured at our tables by a team of sommeliers, so it was a good chance to focus and get some really good notes. I came away impressed: there were plenty of wines here I really liked.

Chianti Classico

Capraia 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is fleshy and ripe with sweet cherry and berry fruit, but also a bit of structure. Lovely fruit here: it’s a very accessible style of Chianti Classico, but with some seriousness, too. 91/100

Vicchiomagio Guado Alto 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Fresh and showing good concentration, with a sweet cedary edge to the bright cherry and berry fruit. Fruit driven but with what seem to be some woody notes. 89/100

Tenuta La Gabbiola 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Ripe, sweet and sleek with nice supple cherry and berry fruits. Well structured, but there’s a plushness to the fruit that masks this. Satisfying. 90/100

Rocca di Casagnoli 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is supple and sweetly fruited with polished cherry and berry fruits sitting over some gravelly structure. Nicely weighted and very satisfying, with good fruit purity. 91/100

Castello di Radda 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Great balance here with some good structure underlying the compact cherry and plum fruit. Very stylish with fine grainy texture and ripe, expressive fruit. Very supple and well balanced. 93/100

Castello di Querceto 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Fine aromatics with some cherry, plum and spice. There’s some ripeness and richness on the palate with spicy oak under the fresh, ripe cherry and berry fruit. Has a nice grainy finish. This is ripe and generous with lovely fruit presence. 91/100

Reicine 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Supple and ripe with smooth, quite lush, textured cherry and plum fruit. Has some dry, dusty structure. Pleasant and rounded, with a sophisticated sheen. Nice balance here with some wood evident as well as ripe structured fruit. 90/100

Fontodi 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is very stylish with ripe cherries and plums, showing refined structure. Everything is in place: some floral cherry notes, fine spicy characters, good depth and a bit of grip to the structure. This should age really well. 94/100

Querciabella 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Fine and expressive on the nose: really focused cherry and plum fruit with fine green notes and lovely aromas. The palate is supremely fresh and balanced with lovely focus to the fresh, elegant red berry fruits, as well as nice herby, slightly spicy complexity. Really bright and expressive. 95/100

Molino di Grace 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This shows lovely freshness and elegance with bright cherry and plum fruit, good acidity, and also some tight structure. Bright with nice finesse and harmony, this is really satisfying in a pure restrained style. 93/100

Isole e Olena 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Notes of chocolate and spice on the nose as well as well structured cherry and berry fruits. There’s a touch of tar here, with some iodine and mineral complexity. Has an interesting savoury dimension, alongside the lovely pure fruit. Finishes fresh and structured: quite impressive. 93/100

Babbiano 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Spicy cherry and berry fruit nose with a nice grunt to it. The palate is structured and quite savoury, with grippy black fruits and some cherry and plum notes. Has some tar and gravel on the finish with firm, grainy tannins. Satisfying. 91/100

Brancaia 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Floral, spicy, slightly green aromatics with cherry and plum fruit. The palate is fresh with some elegance and midweight, digestible cherry fruit backed up by fine spices. A really elegant expression of Chianti Classico. 93/100

Volpaia 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Sweet, floral, liqueur-like cherry and plum fruit on the nose: really inviting. Such elegance on the palate with pure red cherry and berry fruits – it’s almost Pinot Noir-like with beautiful purity and elegance to the fruit. Such a pretty expression of Sangiovese. 94/100

Antinori Pèppoli 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is fresh and elegant with nice balance, showing fleshy cherry and plum fruit with nice texture. Fruity and well balanced with nice plum and spice hints. Very friendly and ripe, but with a hint of seriousness. 92/100

Ricasoli Brolio 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Good concentration and freshness here with fine green hints in the background, and ripe, plush cherry and berry fruits. This is ripe and delicious with a really friendly side to it. 91/100

Badia a Coltibuono 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
I really like the freshness and elegance here: it’s open and nicely poised with hints of green and spice alongside digestible red cherry fruit. Notes of iodine and herbs with nice plushness but also a savoury, spicy framing. Distinctive. 94/100

Berardenga 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Taut, compact and structured, but there’s lovely purity to the cherry and berry fruits here, with a bit of liqueur-like richness on the mid-palate, before the acid and tannin clamps down. I think it’s very fine and pure though, and should age well. 94/100

Podere Terreneo 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Tar and spice on the nose with some compact sweet berry fruits. Shows admirable freshness and delivers some pleasure, with a nice sweetness to the fruit. Has a hint of chocolate/coffee as well as some cedar. 91/100

Quercia al Poggio 2019 Chianti Classico, Italy
Sweet, supple and quite elegant with ripe cherry and berry fruit as well as some grip. Juicy and with nice structure under the fruit. Finishes bright. 92/100

Filetta di Lamole 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Open and quite elegant with some freshness and a bit of structure to the midweight cherry and plum fruit. Has a nice spicy warmth on the finish. Open and appealing with modern-style fruit emphasis. 90/100

Quercia al Poggio 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Notes of tar, leather and spice on the nose with a bit of grip and a nice fleshy, textured palate with a dry, slightly dusty finish. Lots of interest here: quite warm, but also structured. 92/100

Le Fonti 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Good concentration and quite a bit of finesse here. Fresh but fully ripe with sleek berry and black fruits. There’s a taut but seamless structure here, with purity, ripeness, a slight chalkiness and bold berry fruits. Stylish. 93/100

Chianti Classico Riserva

Castello di Querceto Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Ripe, dense and structured with some oak apparent, supporting concentrated cherry and plum fruit, with firm tannins but also the fruit to counter them. A big, impressive, structured wine with a lot of character. 94/100

Castello di Volpaia Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Floral, spicy and beguiling on the nose with sweetly aromatic cherry fruit and also some refined, exotic spiciness. The palate is supple and fine with lovely freshness and elegance as well as a lot of structure and ripe sweet cherry and berry fruits. Fresh, spicy, complex and delicious. 95/100

Il Molino di Grace Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is made in fresh, elegant style with lovely cherries and plums as well as good structure. There’s lovely brightness here and it doesn’t lack concentration, although it’s not a blockbuster style. Very fine, fresh and expressive, with a tapering red fruit and spice finish. 94/100

Brolio Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Nice taut fruit here covering good structure. Finely spiced with sweet plums and cherries. There’s nice fruit and a lovely ease to the wine, although it should age well. Has some liqourice and damson, too. 93/100

Reicine Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is ripe, warm and sweetly fruited with a slight stewed plum character as well as sweet cherries and berry fruit. Shows depth and breadth with textured, open sweet fruit and some fine herbal hints. Distinctive style. 93/100

Brancaia Riserva 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Beautiful balance here: has a combination of sweet cherry and berry fruits with some mid-palate richness of texture, and then a spicy, gravelly framing round the outside. So expressive with a cedary gravelly savouriness countering the fruit. 94/100

Bibbiano Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Structured and dense with sweet cherry and berry fruits backed up with grainy, spicy, gravelly structure. Quite tannic, but with nice complexity here, finishing focused and dense. 92/100

Fèlsina Rancia Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Warm, aromatic nose showing black tea, spice, cherry and plum fruit, and notes of leather and cedar. The palate is structured but also has lovely depth with well integrated oak adding complexity to the dense fruit. Has some autumnal warmth and real poise. Very stylish indeed. Lots of potential for ageing here. 95/100

Tenuta Tignanello Marchese Antinori Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
There’s a freshness to the red fruit on the nose, and this carries through to the palate, which shows flesh and detail, with lovely seductive, sweet, well balanced cherries and berries. Fine and expressive with good concentration. Polished and quite seductive. 93/100

Castello Vicchiomaggio Agostino Petri Riserva 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Nice balance between the fruit and the structure here: this has some grip, and some gravelly savouriness, but also a core of sweet plum and cherry fruit. Rounded in the mouth with nice concentration and freshness. Has potential for further development. 93/100

Badia a Coltibuono Cultus Riserva 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Sweetly aromatic on the nose with cherries and wild strawberries. The palate is fresh and supple with nice elegance to the concentrated cherry and berry fruit. Good structure, but it’s so well integrated into the refined palate. Lovely stuff. Has nice grip. 95/100

Querciabella Riserva 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is fresh and focused with amazing balance and presence. Good structure under the fresh berry fruits, with notes of spice, iodine and firm tannins finishing things off. A really stylish wine with nice intensity, but also a sense of freshness and a grippy backbone. 95/100

Gran Selezione

Gran Selezione Castello Fonterutoli 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Finely aromatic with cherries, cedar, plums, spice and dried herbs. The palate is relatively pale in colour, wonderfully structured, and shows a combination of sweet red berry fruits with some fine spices. It has power and elegance, with real beauty. Sensational stuff, superbly balanced and yet also immense, despite the palate colour. 97/100

Gran Selezione Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is plush and ripe, but also really beautifully balanced, showing sweet cherries and plums with a touch of liquer-like richness but also good structure. Concentrated, ripe, seductive and stylish with bold fruit. Very fine and also full of immediate appeal. 95/100

Gran Selezione Fèlsina Colonia 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Sweet leather, herbs, plums and spice on the nose. The palate has a liquorice and dried herb edge to the sweet bold fruit with a significant oak overlay, although it intregrates quite well, adding some sweetness and structure. Ripe and powerful. 93/100

Gran Selezione Le Fonti 2016 Chianti Classico, Italy
Complex, beguiling nose of sweet cherries, spices and fine herbs. The palate is layered and tautly structured, but shows open, sweet fruit with good concentration. Combines ripeness, poise, structure and complexity. 94/100

Gran Selezione Isola e Olena 2015 Chianti Classico, Italy
Brooding spice, liquorice, sweet cherries and plums here, with polish and poise. Has some warm spiciness and a touch of oak adding a sense of luxury to the ripe cherry and berry fruits. Very stylish and nicely balanced, with great concentration. 95/100

Querceto Gran Selezione Il Picchio 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Powerful, spicy and structured with firm tannins and sweet cherry and berry fruits. This is vibrant with good acidity and freshness, and a lovely intensity on the palate. 93/100

Volpaia Gran Selezione Coltassala 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
There’s a lovely elegance to this wine, which has plenty of volume, but also purity and a nice flow across the palate. Shows sleek ripe cherry and plum fruit with liqueur-like richness, but also freshness and purity. Very fine, and pretty serious. 95/100

Il Molina di Grace Gran Selezione Il Margone 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
This is a dense, structured wine with firm tannins and sweet cherry, plum and damson notes. As well as the concentrated fruit, the structure is immense, and this is a wine with ageing potential that’s somewhat challenging now. 93/100

Brolio Gran Selezione Castello di Brolio 2018 Chianti Classico, Italy
Beautifully elegant waxy red fruits nose leads to a fresh, concentrated palate dominated by red fruits. Fresh, lively and quite detailed, this is more about freshness and poise than power, and I like it. 94/100

Gabbaiano Gran Selezione Cavaliere d’Oro Bellezza 2017 Chianti Classico, Italy
Supple and well balanced with nice open cherry and plum fruit, with a real ease to it. Midweight and very drinkable, with some elegance to the open fruit. Fresh finish. 92/100

Cacchiano Gran Selezione Millenio 2013 Chianti Classico, Italy
Complex and beguiling with leather, spice, herbs and appealing red fruits. Has refined structure on the palate that sits under the fine, quite elegant fruit. Lovely poise and freshness here with notes of iodine, wax and fine herbs. Has evolved in a nice way. 94/100

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