“Chianti Classico Collection” preview of new vintages

Anteprima of the new vintages of Chianti Classico 2014 and 2015 – but not only

– Everyone just wants to talk about Trump it is horrible! Says my American colleague when we meet in Florence. I was just about to ask about Trump but decide to keep quiet. Instead, I focus on the large selection of Chianti Classico waiting in the big beautiful room at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence.

The black rooster has every reason to pout with his chest since Chianti Classico is doing really well. For the seventh consecutive year, sales are increasing. Since 2009, sales have increased by a whopping 48.5 percent. The US remains the largest market with 32 percent. However, many are concerned that the positive trend may change with Trump as president. But we should not talk Trump! Italy is second with 22 percent; Germany also likes the sangiovese and clocks in at 13 percent. Canada arrives at eight percent, while the UK and Scandinavia have five percent each.

Chianti Classico gallo nero new rooster logo

Awful 2014, but not!

The two vintages 2014 and 2015 could not have been more different. The 2014 is one of the most difficult years one can remember. Rain, rain and cold. In July, it rained 21 days! In many places in the Chianti Classico region grapes had not changed color in August (veraison). Miraculously, the sun came out in September and in mid-October, the vintners could harvest grapes better than anyone had thought.

The wines of 2014 reflects the weather conditions and they are unusually aromatic, has high acidity and medium to light texture.

I am very impressed with the wines from 2014, despite the difficulties of the year it is of high quality. It shows the widespread expertise and knowledge winemakers in the Chianti Classico have today.

Just harvested Sangiovese at Barone Ricasoli

Just harvested Sangiovese at Barone Ricasoli, copyright BKWine Photography

Dream year 2015

-The 2015 is a year that all winemakers dream of, perfect weather, grapes of the highest quality and great volume. We had so much grapes that it almost became a shortage of space in the cellar, says one of the producers.

You can feel the abundant year in the wines that in some cases have a tendency to be “too much”. Occasionally lacking the elegance that I want to see in a good sangiovese. Therefore, if the 2014 vintage needed to get a boost to cope the challenge until the end, on the opposite the best wines from 2015, according to me, are the wines where producers managed to hold the reins.

Here are my favorites of the 676 wines that were available during the days in Florence. I have not tried them all due to lack of time but I have made a selection of large and small, well-known and unknown producers. Overall, I tried my way through hundreds of wines.

Chianti classico collection 2017 at anteprima

Chianti classico collection 2017 at anteprima, copyright A Johansson

Favorites of Chianti Classico 2015

Isola e Olena

Paolo de Marchi never makes you disappointed. Typical sangiovese with cherry, spice, mint and herbs. Broad and intense flavor. Good body. Explosive finish.

Monteraponi (barrel sample)

Michele Braganti´s Chianti Classico is a barrel sample but promises more than good. Fine fruit, hints of herbs, thyme, good balance between long elegant tannins and fresh acidity. Elegant, complex and nuanced.

Oliviera

Family-owned vineyard in the southern part of Chianti Classico, Castelnuovo di Berardenga. Oliviera’s Chianti Classico has a nice fruit that gives breadth to the wine, refreshing acidity and tannins that provide a fine-boned spine. Long fine finish. A Signora.

Badia a Coltibuono

A well-made Chianti Classico showing professional work both on the field and in the cellar. Fresh, fruity with hints of rosemary in the background.

Riecine

Quite shy at the start, but gains strength in the glass. Slightly austere and elegant with floral aromas and a nice saltiness that gives complexity.

Bottles at Chianti Classico anteprima 2017

Bottles at Chianti Classico anteprima 2017, copyright A Johansson

Chianti Classico 2014

Candialle – La Missè di Candialle

Finn Jarkko Peränen and German Josephin Cramer has their farm just south of Panzano in Chianti. Elegant, aromas with finesse, red fruit with hints of dried roses, medium body and long juicy finish. Very good!

Istine

Vibrating fruit and acidity. Tannins that give character. Nice finish. Uplifting interruption during the long tasting.

Rignana

For the vintage very ripe fruit, dark ripe cherries, round tannins, long finish. Surprising wine to come from 2014.

Cigliano

Many agreed that Cigliano is this year’s gem. Delicious long tannins, intense flavor, peppery, integrated oak, uplifting finish. A favorite.

Poggerino

Beautiful ruby red color, intense aromas of wild berries and herbs. Elegant and juicy with well-integrated tannins. Long finish. Very good!

Isole e Olena

Well-made Chianti Classico without complications. A mirror image of the vintage with its intense aromas, violets and spice, light body, but is stylish and shows class.

Val delle Corti

Complex wine with a wonderful richness along with fruit, berries and lavender fragrance. A fine acidity makes this one of the best wines in the tasting. Long complex finish.

Tasters at Chianti Classico anteprima 2017

Tasters at Chianti Classico anteprima 2017, copyright A Johansson

Chianti Classico Riserva 2014

Caparsa Caparsino

Much energy, red fruit, currant and raspberries, intense. Well integrated tannins. A pearl!

Monteraponi il Campitello

This shows that even in a tough year, like 2014, you can make good wines. Il Campitello comes from a single vineyard which is over 40 years old. A slim wine with medium body, elegant with floral aromas like roses and violets, hints of fennel and herbs. A favorite.

Poggerino il Bugialla

Well balanced and elegant. Good concentration. Fine fruit with hints of anise, fennel and peppery notes. Anything but banal. Intense finish that whets the appetite.

Chianti Classico Riserva 2013

Felsina, Rancia

They know their sangiovese at Felsina. Ripe fruit, integrated oak, well made. Safe card.

Querciabella

Cherry, wild herbs aromas, rosemary, lavender, hints of vanilla in the background. Black pepper, medium body, integrated tannins, fine, vibrant acidity. Long finish. Very good!

Gran Selezione 2013

Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio

Ripe fruit, intense flavor of dark berries, sangiovese´s high acidity supported by tannins and alcohol in a nice way. Fills the mouth but without feeling heavy.

Rignana – Villa di Rignana

Showing freshness in both aroma and taste. Fruit and acidity. Medium bodied, well-made and food friendly wine.

Åsa Johansson is BKWine’s person in Italy. She lives in Florence since the early ’00s. Asa writes regularly on wine and food in Swedish and Italian publications as well as online.

The very best place to experience Chianti is of course in Tuscany, perhaps with some delicious Italian food? Come on a wine tour to Chianti and Tuscany with BKWine and you will get plenty of both.

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