recently tasted Chianti Classico

A few newly released wines from the Chianti Classico zone (with many more to follow). The 2017 vintage in this region was challenging, but some winegrowers produced seriously good wines.

2016 Azienda Agricola Caparsa Chianti Classico Caparsino Riserva  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/18/2019 – Impressive energy, soul. This is still too young for my palate; it certainly shows the structure and energy to improve from here. Red-fruited, balanced, clean, with notes of dust and forest that keep it interesting at all times. Give this BIO wine another 1-3 years, and your patience will be rewarded. 13,5% abv., drink 2022-2034. (90-92)
2015 Capannelle Chianti Classico Riserva 
DOCG Sangiovese Blend
9/18/2019 – Very traditional aromas and flavors, even if the nose tended toward ripe+, the palate shows a fine recovery, keeping the wine in good balance. The finish is just ‘average’ now, but will likely improve with more time given for a more complete integration. Drink 2021-2031; ~ 15k bottles produced. 100% Sangiovese. HOLD. (87-89), with upside noted.
2016 Cantina Ripoli Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese9/18/2019 – Vibrant, with deep soil notes, and just a hint of smoke hovering about. Medium-bodied, with good+ typicity; juicy, fresh, and balanced. Nice now, but likely better with 1-2 years of rest. Solid effort; drink 2021-2031. (90-92)
2017 Cantina Ripoli Chianti Classico Chianti
DOCG Sangiovese
9/18/2019 – (flawed) My sample was a little too riddled with VA. 100% Sangiovese, ~ 7,500 bottles produced. I doubt this is representative of this year’s production.
2017 Burrone Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese9/18/2019 –  From Ca’ di Pesa, Greve in Chianti. 96% Sangiovese with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; ~ 15k bottles produced. Foursquare, clean, with some structural components that may better reveal themselves with time. Right now, it’s offering a med(-) finish, rendering it pretty middle-of-the road. Drink 2020-2027. (87-89)
2015 Bindi Sergardi Chianti Classico Grand Selelezione Mocenni Particella 89 DOCG Sangiovese9/18/2019 – I was hoping for more with a “Gran Selezione” classification. Right now, this is tight, and the finish is short. There’s some good acidity that one day might support some additional palate presence if additional rest helps this to fill out more properly. It’s ok, but for the money, there are better choices. 100% Sangiovese, with just 5k bottles produced. Drink 2020-2027. (NR)
2015 Bibbiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Capannino  DOCG Sangiovese 9/18/2019 – Pretty impressive, more so considering the price. This is several notches higher than the base Chianti in terms of pretty much everything (palate weight, structure, etc.), and blurs the lines of red/dark red fruits. Aromas need coaxing at this early stage, so I’d let it rest in the cellar a few years before opening. 100% Sangiovese Grosso; ~ 15k bottles produced. Drink 2021-2033. (90-92), with upside potential.
2015 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Fonte alla Selva Gran Selezione DOCG  9/18/2019 – Not something I would personally gravitate toward, this is 90% Sangiovese, with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. A restaurant wine for those more interested in the setting/company/food/etc., than the intricacies of fine wine. ~ 10k bottles produced, drink 2019-2025. (NR)
2015 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Cultus Boni Riserva DOCG 
9/18/2019 – Still rather young, this offers good typicity of aromas and flavors even if today it’s showing the need for another year or two of rest to better integrate some of the more wild tendencies. 80% Sangiovese with the balance made up with local blending grapes. This BIO-wine needs some taming, but with rest it should be a fair value. ~14k bottles produced, drink 2021-2027. (90-92)
2015 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 
9/18/2019 – Solid. This BIO/organic wine offers solid structure, a medium+ middle, and good composition on the flavorful finish. Likely to improve in the next year, this would be a safe choice on a restaurant list, or for your table at home. This has the same blend as the base Chianti Classico; ~ 40k bottles produced. Definitely has some charm; some upside is likely. Drink 2020-2029. (90-92)
2017 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese9/18/2019 – Decent mid-week red composed of 90% Sangiovese, with Colorino, Ciligiolo, and Cannaiolo. This organic wine shows good typicity, an average finish, and decent structure; may improve slightly in next years. ~ 130k bottles produced. Better after 30 minutes of aeration. Drink 2019-2026, (87-89)
Red2015 Machiavelli Il Principe Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend9/18/2019 – Very basic, and therefore, for me, pretty uninteresting. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Sangiovese. ~ 12k bottles produced in this vintage. Not a bad quaffer; already quite accessible. Drink in the short(er) term.(NR)
Red2016 Machiavelli Chianti Classico Solatio del Tani DOCG Sangiovese9/18/2019 – Acceptable, entry-level Chianti Classico for those with an eye more on price than complexity. That said, it’s not a bad partner to food; drink 2020-2025. (87-89)
2015 Machiavelli Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna di Fontalle  DOCG Sangiovese Blend9/18/2019 – Shows good restraint on the vintage, i.e. not too ripe, not blowsy. In fact, the EtOH on this is just 13% abv. So, not too surprising that this shows structure, and typicity. Pretty straightforward aromas, and flavors, with chalky dusty, and fresh cherry dominating. Needs only another year or two before it’s entering peak. From ~ 27 ha of vines and olive groves in the northeast corner of the appellation; a wild, forested setting whose attributes are subtly nestled into the wine. Good value; will likely improve some with ageing. (87-89)
Red2016 Casa Sola Chianti Classico  DOCG Sangiovese Blend2/20/2019 – Association (Viticoltori di) San Donato in Poggio (Castello della Paneretta, località Monsanto II, Barberino val d’Elsa, FI): Very good. Second sample, as the first was just ‘off’. This was fresh and complete from the uncorking; it improved over the course of two hours while open. Med>Med+ body, rich flavors that largely follow the nose, with floral, herbs, and some spice notes that really bring authentic character, and even brighten up on the finish. An excellent effort that was not only correct, but a real joy to drink. Kind of defies the idea of Chianti as many may, unfortunately, know it, and instead exemplifies what is possible with the proper attention to these Sangiovese vines. Easily recommended today, with good upside potential. A case purchase would not be out of the question, it’s that interesting and enjoyable. Now and the next 10 years, I should think. (90-92)

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