Preview of Chianti Classico: the 15 best wines according to Gambero Rosso

Feb 22 2024, 14:34
We tasted the wines from the 2022 vintage in advance: a warm vintage that led to an excess of alcohol in the glass. More virtuous are the Reserves and Gran Selezione 2021

by Divina Vitale and Franco Pallini

One hundred years since the foundation of the Chianti Classico Consortium, the thirty-first edition of the Chianti Classico Collection opened with this celebration at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence. The event, born as the Anteprima del Chianti Classico in 1993, set a new record this year for the number of participating producers, with 211 Gallo Nero companies presenting their latest vintages of Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione for a total of 773 labels for tasting, including 172 Chianti Classico Riserva and 151 Gran Selezione. Thirty-six samples were previewed for the 2023 harvest.

Denomination numbers

The emerged data is quite comforting for the denomination despite the not-so-positive global trends that have also affected the wine sector. The sales of Gallo Nero wines in recent years (2020-2023) have indeed been 4% higher than the production in the same period.

As for 2023, in the face of a contraction in bottled product (-11%), linked to various causes, including forecasts of reduced production, the general rise in prices, and the phenomenon of overstocking in some key markets of Gallo Nero, the year ends with some noteworthy results: in particular, the excellent performance of the domestic market and the further growth in value and fame of the Gran Selezione.

The impact of climate change

But let's get to the heart of the tastings. The 2022 vintage of Chianti Classico presented itself with a production of 260,000 hectoliters. A warm vintage, now increasingly recorded as a customary climatic record, with heat becoming denser throughout the summer. The rains arrived, after spring, in mid-August, sometimes persistently and continuously. In addition to sudden phenomena that somewhat tested the regular development of vine vegetative rhythms and grape ripening processes.

In the glass, most of the time, depth and richness and aromatic variety are lacking, with alcohol that sometimes pushes too much. The wines appear thinner but still pleasant in their overall structure.

More virtuous are the Reserves and Gran Selezione 2021, benefiting from a more regular vintage, with much more controlled heat and a general trend that resulted in the harvest of intact, generous, and well-interpreted grapes, some of which were a bit early. In the tastings, beautiful proofs of reactivity, dynamism, freshness, and energy are recorded.

The best tastings of Chianti Classico 2022

Castellare di Castellina
A greedy Sangiovese, wild strawberries and raspberries, inviting aromatic articulation. In the mouth, it is full with a beautiful progression and secure agility. The fruit reigns unchallenged from start to finish.

Castellinuzza e Piuca
Wine with character and joyous. It has good material, centered in its overall profile. Savory and with a serene sip.

Ama - Castello di Ama
Sangiovese with great aromatic intensity, deep, and with very pleasant and well-defined floral notes. Beautiful mouth that cuts into taste and acidic thrust. Beautiful spicy finish with spicy tones that enhance its great drinkability.

Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano
Classic version highlighting a beautiful undergrowth fruit supported by juicy tannins and a good overall consistency. Savory and clear, it has a nice movement on the palate where it becomes precise and tasty.

La Montanina
Minty recall with bright Mediterranean hues accompanying a good crisp fruit. So much juice for an intact finish with good future prospects.

Val delle Corti
Sunny and airy, of exhilarating pleasantness on the palate where it presents itself with beautiful sapidity, freshness, and an inexhaustible juiciness.

The best tastings of Chianti Classico Riserva 2021

Castello di Volpaia
A wine of great nobility, with beautiful material, body, thickness, and much intensity. It knows how to outline itself on the palate, convincing with excellent fruity and superb acidic vein. Authoritative, elegant, vibrant. Beautiful dimension and progression.

Vigneto Branca - Cigliano di Sopra
Sangiovese with character and dynamic spirit. Good juice and excellent agility. A wine that develops all in verticality and frankness. Slim but not devoid of material richness and fruit integrity. Beautiful perspective, great vitality.

L’Erta di Radda
A mouth that makes you dream. The fruit is extremely clear, almost tangible on the palate, straightforward and fine. Beautiful definition and vibration. In the mouth, there is a vigorous and fascinating tension. Aromatic richness embraces even traits of vegetal freshness. Masterful tannic texture.

Vigna Barbischio - Maurizio Alongi
So much vitality and personality in this Chianti Classico full of flavor. Lively and pulsating, it has energy to spare. Of excellent tannic management, of great overall finesse.

Doccio a Matteo - Doccio a Matteo
A wine still in its infancy with great aging potential. Still not very expressive on the nose, in the mouth, it has the material of an exceptional wine. Lots of beautiful pulp and lots of flavor.

The best tastings of Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

Badìola 2021 - Castello di Fonterutoli
A crescendo in flavor for this Sangiovese that sinks with a pronounced sprint on the palate. Remarkable freshness, it is vigorous and decisive. Enveloping and with excellent tannic resolution.

Vigna Cavarchione 2021 - Istìne
Wine with exquisitely Gaiolese aromatic traits, rich in small fruits and imbued with a light spiciness. It becomes even more complex with streaks of citrus tones. The taste progression is solid with well-resolved tannins and a crescendo finale.

Gran Selezione 2019 - Monteraponi
A glass that becomes an interpreter of immense expressive finesse. Gentle and rhythmic on the palate, not neglecting the fullness of the fruit and aromatic intensity. Extremely elegant and complex, it condenses the Chianti characteristics of Radda origin with a lively stylistic sensitivity from a true vigneron.

Il Poggio 2019 - Castello di Monsanto
With a beautiful Mediterranean character, rich in all the nuances that the Chianti soil can give, of earth and fruit with dense and tasty tannins. A broad and rigorous, juicy and generous finish. Endless.

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