Chianti Wine - All You Need To Know
Tuscany has become one of the most loved areas of Italy for British tourists
but for many years before, Chianti, its most famous export, has been a much
loved wine of the UK consumer.
Remember the days of the wicker flask, the Fiasco? These days one or two
producers are returning to its use but things have moved on considerably
since those days.
Sangiovese is now the main constituent grape variety of all Chianti but it
wasn’t until the mid 1990’s before regulations allowed it to be used by itself.
Besides the main production region of the Chianti Classico, there are
numerous other areas that make up Chianti.
To the north east of Florence lies the Chianti Ruffina and to the south lies the
Colli Fiorentini. By Sienna is the Colli Senesi. Over towards the coast near
Livorno are the Colli Pisane and up near Prato is the Chianti Montalbano. But
it is the Chianti Classico that is the most important and popular region of all.
The Classico region lies in the heart of Tuscany between Florence and
Sienna and the wines are generally regarded as being the finest by many
consumers and journalists alike.. They must be made of a minimum of 80% of
Sangiovese and the best producing vineyards tend to be higher lying. The
wines tend to be savoury with bright aromas and flavours of bitter cherry and
violets, medium body and a spiky acidity. These are great food wines and the
salinity of the food really brings out the fruit.
I remember being in San Gimignano one night and ordering a bottle of
Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico which I tried before the food was served. It
didn’t really appeal and seemed a little volatile and over acidic. I’d ordered
some Bigoli (pasta) with a duck sauce. Again, I found it too salty. After a
couple of mouthfuls, the pasta and sauce were sublime and the wine fruity
and generous. These things grow up together, go together!