Tag Archives: Chianti Classico

Choice of Wine Touring Regions in Tuscany


Tuscany is without a doubt Italy’s most known wine region all over the world. For many years, it’s reputation was compromised by mass produced cheap Chianti in the straw flask bottles that unfortunately created a deep branding in the minds of American wine shoppers. Over the years, the consortium that protects the Chianti wine region has given its name a huge make-over with many strides in the direction of  tradition and quality over quantity namesake.

Before you take a wine tour in Tuscany, it is crucial that you know a few basics:

IGT, DOC and DOCG wine regions. What? Okay 1st you should know what these acronyms stand for.

IGT: Indicazione geografica tipica. Protected Geographical territory for wine, this indicates a wine is guaranteed from the territory in which it comes from and usually applies to table wines and strangely to some Super Tuscan-styled wines, albeit being one of the highest quality of wines in the whole country.

DOC: Denominazione di origine controllata. Controlled designation of origin. This means this area produces wine from a specified region with specific production methods traditional to the wine’s recipe and history. For instance, a DOC wine simply guarantees the recipe and where it comes from. A Bolgheri DOC has to follow a formula, method and come from the Bolgheri region in order to be given DOC status. Italian wines have a huge placed importance on terroir, place of origin. The place is sometimes more valued than the grape itself.

DOCG:Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita. Controlled and guaranteed designation of origin. DOCG wines are considered to be the highest quality wines on the Italian market. Not only are they controlled for the recipe and location, they are controlled for quality and go through rigorous screening by government officials before being given DOCG status. The land is surveyed, the vineyards are checked even for how many bunches grow on each vine according to the original production method of the wine in question and most importantly the wines have to have consistent olfactory and gustatory characteristics that the wine is traditionally characterized by. If a wine maker submits their wine to these officials and it does not taste or smell like a chianti classico according to the set standards, it will be refused a DOCG stamp. This serves to protect the wine’s reputation, history, territory and well- quality. The most popular DOCG wine regions of Tuscany are Chianti Classico and Montalcino.

Now that you have an idea of the Italian quality designation system, now you can be more confident about choosing which wine regions to tour in Tuscany. Here are some of the wine regions to consider in your research:

Super Tuscan wines from Bolgheri (IGT)- Bolgheri has some of the world’s best, most exclusive, and most expensive wines. The coastal location, away from the tourist centers of Florence and the rest of inland Tuscany, offer you a chance to explore an unspoilt area most tourists will never see. Bolgheri was first praised by its native son and Nobel Laureate poet, Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907). Nowadays it is primarily known as the home of Super Tuscan wines, most notably Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Thanks to inventive and experimental local wine makers, Bolgheri now ranks among the most prestigious wine regions in the entire world, and has a reputation for taking the lead in new wine making techniques to produce outstanding, cutting edge wines.

Vernaccia from San Gimignano (DOCG): Set half-way between Florence and Siena, this is a popular white wine considered the ambassador of Tuscan whites. The name of the grape variety, Vernaccia, almost certainly derives from the Latin vernaculus meaning of the house, home, place, or town, suggesting that the grape is indeed indigenous to the area. In 1966, Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first wine in Italy to be granted the prestigious DOC recognition. In 1990 it gained further importance by being assigned the DOCG recognition. In recent years the area has also shown an interesting potential for great red wines as well.

Montepulciano (Red Wine)- (DOCG)    As a region on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Vino Nobile from Montepulciano is made from a Sangiovese clone that is locally known as Prugnolo Gentile. As early as the seventeenth century it was crowned by many as as “the king of Tuscan wines”, and because the nobility eagerly sought it out, it became known as ‘noble’ and ‘aristocratic’ wine, hence the name. The walled town of Montepulciano is perched atop one of Tuscany’s high peaks, at 605 metres, or 1,950 feet, above sea level. It contains many incredible art treasures, as well as Etruscan and Roman wine cellars, some dating back to the time before Christ.

Brunello wines from Montalcino– (DOCG) Brunello was developed by Ferruccio Biondi Santi a little more than a century ago, and almost immediately drew the attention of connoisseurs for its excellence. Brunello is produced exclusively within the Montalcino territory, and only from Sangioveto Grosso grapes, a Sangiovese clone perfectly suited to local conditions. Before release, Brunello must be aged for four years, at least two of which must be in wooden casks. It is the most prized wine region in Tuscany as it takes so long to make and refine. For red wine lovers and those with a wine cellar, this is a region not to be missed.

Chianti Classico Wine Region – (DOCG) Chianti Classico is truly the heart of Tuscany and its primary wine zone. The region’s fame was confirmed in 1716 when Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici issued an ordinance to regulate the wine trade after some unscrupulous merchants labeled as “Chianti” a consignment of wines from dubious sources. Thus Tuscany became the first European state to safeguard an appellation of origin (label to distinguish wines). Today the Chianti Classico is one of Tuscany’s most prestigious DOCG areas. The symbol of the Chianti Classico consortium is the gallo nero or black rooster, which you will see adorning road signs and wine bottles throughout the region.

Please contact us if you would like additional resources or assistance in choosing a wine tour in the wonderful eno-gastronomic region of Tuscany.


Antinori Wine Touring in Tuscany


The new Antinori winery set in the rolling hills of Chianti Classico that has been 7 years in the making is finally opening its doors to the wine drinking public tomorrow, March 20th!

Be one of the first to experience the fantastic Antinori wines, visit the Antinori museum complete with hundreds of years of winemaking and family history with roots that run deep in the Tuscan countryside. The new winery is an architectural jewel, with natural products used in its construction and green technology that keep impact and energy usage to a very minimum without sacrificing style.

Be one of the first to visit the underground cellars and taste the top rated Antinori wines and dine in the newly opened restaurant. Why not join us for a Antinori Wine Tour while you are in Florence or Siena, both are just over 30 minutes away.


Decanter’s Great Italian Fine Wine Encounter 2008


Il Drappo Rosso, Sicilia IGT, Benanti 2004

Basil and peppermint on a dense blackberry extraction. A wine full of natural sweetness and vibrant acidity and a juicy lingering finish. (FB)


Avignonesi, Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice NV

Top of cream caramel, toffee, vanilla and coffee with some toasted hazelnuts and almonds. This is just the beginning for a never-ending and extremely complex real Tuscan Vin Santo. Quince marmalade, baked pear and yummy cough syrup and liquorice. Luscious, decadent, viscous and vibrant world-class dessert wine. (FB)

Valle d’Aosta, Chardonnay, Les Cretes NV

Elegance and character for a unique Alpine Chardonnay. Superb fruit extraction and oak integration, great acidity on a very silky and structured palate. Some sweet floral scents get together on a creamy and mineral intriguing finish. A wine to drink and keep. (FB) approx £30

Taurasi, Naturalis Historia, Mastroberardino 2003

Complex perfume of white truffle and mushrooms match some dense and very compact blackberry and prune aromas. A structured and firm wine with a lingering liquorice and tobacco finish. A wine to keep for many years. (FB) £27.99

Barolo, Parafada, Massolino 2004

My top wine of the tasting. Exteremly expressive despite being a Barolo from the tough Serralunga. It’s a great classic which you can drink now or keep – forever. Elegant dry roses, back cherries and leather with an extremely refined tannic structure make this wine a total beauty. Mineral, juicy, meaty and very lingering. A must have. (FB) approx £45

Gratius, Toscana IGT, Il Molino di Grace 2004

Nice perfume, an explosion of ripe black cherry with some spice and a hint of chocolate. Beautiful balance, with a fine acidity and smooth tannin, good structure and complexity. (CG) £24-25

Capo di Stato, Colli Trevigiani IGT, Conte Loredan Gasparini 2004

Elegant nose, aromas of black fruit with some spice and hint of vanilla. Elegant complexity on the palate, balanced and well-structured. Drink up to 2013. (CG) £27.40

Chianti Classico, Rocca di Montegrossi 2005

Lovely perfume of crushed fresh red fruits and some undergrowth. Very fine acidity on the palate, some smooth tannin with complex red fruit characters. (CG) £15.99-17.99

Chianti Classico, Casanuova di Nittardi, Fattoria Nittardi 2005

Very vibrant fruit on the nose, some ripe cherry with hint of violet; very perfumed. Ripe tannin but smooth and well-integrated with the acidity and the perfumed characters. Great depth. (CG) £15

Chianti Rufina Riserva, Vigneto Bucerchiale, Selvapiana 2004

A northern style, authentic and very well-interpreted Sangiovese – strength, good fruit extraction, zippy acidity and loads of earthy/leathery complexity. It’s an austere wine which will need time to open up but your patience will be rewarded. (FB) £18.99

Barolo, Cerequio, Batasiolo 2000

Some development with notes of chocolate and tobacco. Complex palate with intense spicy and savoury character; balanced structure with firm tannin. Great depth. (CG) £21.65

La Grola, Veronese IGT, Allegrini 2005

Dark jammy fruit with a chocolate hint and well-integrated oak. Balanced on the palate, medium bodied with a vibrant acidity; smooth tannin. Drink up to 2011. (CG)

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, Pojega, Guerrieri Rizzardi 2007

Black pepper and chocolate with a dense cherry and blueberry nose. Seductive and decadent, with an elegant earthiness and a tobacco leaf touch. Very lingering, with a sweet and mineral blackberry finish. (FB)


Val di Cornia, Molisso, Rubbia al Colle-Suverto, Fratelli Muratori 2003

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Complex fruit characters with some undergrowth bouquet. Robust palate with a good structure, and clean fruit on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG)


Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia IGT, Jermann 2006

A creamy and round wine with a full-on tropical character. Very ripe, with a citrus fruit-driven style and yet retaining a lovely honey-scented minerality. (FB) approx £30

Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Rubesco ‘Vigna Monticchio’, Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti 2003

Complex ripe fruit aromas supported by spice. Balanced on palate, with firm tannin and clean ripe fruit. Good length. (CG) £20

Chianti Classico, Barone Ricasoli 2004

A leathery and earthy nose with scents of Mediterranean herbs, violets and cherries. Good tannic structure, length and ageing potential. (FB)


Soave Classico, Capitel Croce, Anselmi 2006

Concentrated and very fresh aromas of apples and pears. Intriguing creaminess and finesse on the vanilla and floral-scented palate. Very good and intense. (FB)

Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese IGT, Masi 2005

Made using the Ripasso method, this wine is packed with red cherry fruits and has a rich texture and a fine acidity. Drink up to 2010. (CG)


A Sirio, Toscana IGT, San Gervasio 2003

Made with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet, this wine shows blackberry fruit with a hint of cedarwood. Full bodied and dense on the palate, robust. (CG)

Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, Franz Haas 2006

Intense aromas with notes of bread, almond and flowers. Crisp acidity on the palate, and a long finish. Drink 2008. (CG) £10.49

Terrano, Venezia Giula IGT, Castello di Rubbia 2006

Full of forest fruit aromas with delicate spice. Medium bodied on the palate, lots of juicy red fruit with a vibrant and fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £13.99 Colasanti

Maremma Toscana, Dromo, Tenuta Poggio Verrano 2005

Perfume nose with ripe cherry fruit. Intense and complex palate, clean and pure red fruit with spice. Great depth. (CG) £27-30

Moscato d’Asti, Nivole, Michele Chiarlo 2007

Very expressive, explosion of fruit-floral aromas. Fresh acidity with low alcohol, lots of apricot and peachy notes, very refreshing, a perfect summer wine. Drink 2008. (CG) £6.99

Barbera d’Alba, Vigna del Cucculo, Cavallotto 2004

Black cherry aroma on the nose following through on to the palate, sweet spice. Good complexity, with a vibrant acidity and lots of fruit purity. (CG) £16.-20

Leverano Rosso Riserva, Terra, Conti Zecca 2004

Leather and tobacco with a fine earthiness and foral complexity. Great blackberries extraction yet retaining a lot of freshness and savouriness. Very well balanced, with an elegant black pepper finish. (FB)

Rina Lanca Grillo-Viognier, Sicilia IGT, Feudo di Santa Tresa, Casa Girelli 2006

Lots of ripe fruit, with notes of dried apricot and peach. Complex with good weight; ripe apricot on the palate and a fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £7.95

Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friulano, Colutta 2007

White pepper and acacia flowers. A very refreshing and aromatic white with a natural unoaked spiciness, aromatic power and a long mineral finish. (FB) £11.50

Cortona, Syrah, Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro 2006

Spicy, elegant and fruit-driven wine with an extremely refreshing palate. A very natural wine with character, savouriness and a jucy red-berry lingering palate. Great value. (FB) £8

Grechetto dei Colli Martiani, Grecante, Arnaldo Caprai 2007

Very attractive nose, clean and fresh apple with some zestiness. Crisp acidity on the palate with lots of fresh white fruit. Very enjoyable. (CG)


Aglianico del Vulture, Il Sigillo, Cantine del Notaio 2004

An extremely slick and seductive full-bodied red displaying great extraction without being overdone. Elegant menthol and prunes aromas take your nose into a very rich and intriguing realm. Evident yet silky tannins and a vibrant acidity keep this dense Amarone-style wine from the Volcani Vulture in truly juicy shape. A must try. (FB)

Galatrona, Toscana IGT, Fattoria Petrolo 2005

Great example of Tuscan Merlot, with an elegant, smooth and dense character of blueberries, violets and black cherries. Loads of weight and body, but well integrated, with superb acidity. Rather opulent and mineral. (FB) approx £45

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Bertani 1998

Lots of ripeness on the nose, layers of chocolate and ripe cherries. Velvety palate with some sweet spice characters; full bodied and complex. Drink 2013 plus. (CG)


Gattinara Riserva, Travaglini 2004

A developed bouquet with hint of violet, dried fruit with some spice. Full-bodied palate with lingering tannins and a balanced acidity. (CG) £25.76

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vigneto Poggio Sant’Enrico, Carpineto 2001

Expressive cherry and liquorice scents with a fresh floral touch. A great Sangiovese with structure, elegance and length. (FB) £43.99

Chianti Classico Riserva, Rancia, Felsina Berardenga 2005

Great freshness on the nose and the palate, some dark berry flavours with some smoky characters. Great texture and complexity on the palate supported by firm tannin. (CG) £31.69

Impero Blanc de Pinot Noir, Marche IGT, Fattoria Mancini 2006

This 100% Pinot Noir displays some lees characters with some spice from the oak. Lots of weight on the palate with creamy fruit and apple flavours. (CG) £23.99

Taurasi, Fatica Contadina, Terredora 2001

A classic Aglianico – intense leather, tobacco and liquorice nose with jam-packed blueberries. A juicy and luscious refreshing red, with undeniable ageing potential and loads of character and expressiveness. (FB)


Decima Aurea, Merlot, Veneto IGT, Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve 2002

Good fruit concentration on the nose; full of red cherry aromas. Firm tannins on the palate, well-structured with some savoury notes on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG) £29.49

Vin Santo di Carmignano, Tenuta di Capezzana 2000

Dry figs, hazelnuts and saffron. Some intriguing toastiness and vanilla scents, and then iquorice, dry apricots, dates and orange peel on the palate. A sweet and delicious Vin Santo, very viscous and lingering. (FB)

Poggio Valente, Fattoria le Pupille 2005

Delightful wine with lively blackberry fruit characters and some spice. Great balance between the acidity, the fruit and tannin. Complex on the finish. (CG) £25.15

Kepos, Maremma Toscana IGT, Ampeleia 2006

Lovely intensity, clean ripe fruit with some minerality. Ripe tannin with some black fruit; complex and good acidity. Long finish. (CG) £17

Costa di Giulia, Toscana IGT, Michele Satta 2007

Made of Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc, the wine displays vibrant aromas of apple and lime with some smoky hints. Crisp on the palate but with lots of weight; clean and fresh finish. (CG) £13.45

Franciacorta Cuvee Brut, Bellavista NV

Made of 80% Chardonnay with some Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the wine shows fresh and pure citrus aromas with fresh apple. Good intensity on the palate with elegant fruit, vibrant and pure on the finish. (CG)

Pergolaia, Toscana IGT, Caiarossa 2004

Lovely perfume, elegant and delicate red fruit with some spice. Rich on the palate with a lively, lingering acidity and good depth of fruit on the finish.

Chianti Classico Riserva, Marchese Antinori, Antinori 2003

Despite the hot vintage this is a truly old-time classic Chianti Classico. A restrained and elegant red full of liquorice, cherries and leather and a touch of violets. Big tannic structure with an earthy and juicy cranberries and leather complexity. (FB)

Cepparello, Toscana IGT, Isole e Olena 2004

Smoky and tarry notes with plenty of berry fruit; well integrated new oak. Full bodied with good acid; ripe but firm tannins; spicy new oak on the finish. (CG) £38.49

Barolo, Aldo Conterno 2004

An intense and very powerful Barolo packed with cranberries and cherries. Modern and slick showing superb extraction and big tannins. Needs time to develop though. (FB) £57

Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Volpaia 2005

Red cherry and spice on the nose. Full bodied and well-structured on the palate. Great depth of fruit on the finish. (CG)

Nero d’Avola-Merlot, Ramione, Sicilia IGT, Baglio di Pianetto 2004

Orange peel and prunes with some Mediterranean spices and a cranberry complexity. Great concentration and an intriguing black pepper finish. (FB)


Cerviolo Rosso, Toscana IGT, San Fabiano Calcinaia 2004

Ripe red cherry fruit with hint of violet and spice. Powerful on the palate, lots of black fruit with a vibrant acidity; robust and well-structured. (CG)

Freisa is Nebbiolo’s genetic father so get ready for your tar and roses fix – but with a more refreshing approach on the palate. A vibrant red berry crush wine with excellent ageing potential and great character. (FB) £7

Sassoalloro, Toscana IGT, Jacopo Biondi Santi 2005

Lots of cherry fruit with some herbaceous characters. Firm tannin with some black fruit and sweet oak on finish. (CG)


Ribolla Gialla Brut Millesimato Spumante, Collavini 2004

Peaches and bananas for this ‘Collavini sparkling method’ Ribolla wine. A unique floral and mineral character, with a very fresh and zesty finish and a pleasant touch of creaminess. (FB) £25

Chianti Rufina, Nipozzano Riserva, Marchesi dei Frescobaldi 2001

Well structured wine with robust tannins, an elegant earthiness, some red berries and a meaty, leathery palate. Good length and balance. A classic Tuscan wine – verging on four stars. (FB) £14.99

Terrine Rosso di Toscana, Castello della Paneretta 2003

Elegant perfume with notes of blackberry and liquorice. Intense palate, elegant fruit characters with a hint of violet, silky tannins on the finish. (CG)

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Castello di Semivicoli, Masciarelli 2006

Seriously refreshing wine with a touch of hazelnut and violets. Quite lingering, with some pleasant liquorice, vanilla and peach flavours. (FB)

approx £15

Cometa, Sicilia IGT, Planeta 2007

Sweet vanilla spices and a fine apricots and jasmin flowers nose. On the palate, some lovely thyme and camomille contribute to an aromatic and smooth honeydew texture. (FB)

Collio, Pinot Grigio Russiz Superiore, Marco Felluga 2007

A well rounded wine with a tropical character, some hazelnuts and peaches, and with a pleasant spicy finish. (FB)


Colli Orientali del Friuli Rossazzo Bianco, Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2006

This wine has a refreshing green and grassy character with some elegant floral scents. A lingering wine with rich white and citrus fruit flavours and a well-structured (almost tannic) pleasant body. Bordering on four stars. (FB) £40

Barbaresco, Starderi, La Spinetta 2005

Blackberries and more dense black fruit combined with tobacco and chocolate make this Barbaresco a most modern and richly-extracted monumental wine. Gets a grip with some great acidity and a savoury, lingering complexity. Too young to drink now – needs time when it could go up to four stars. (FB) £85 T

Nero d’Avola, Sagana, Sicilia IGT, Cusumano 2005

An expressive tobacco and menthol-like nose. A rich and dense wine packed with ripe prunes and black cherries. (FB) approx £20

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Gersemi, Fazi Battaglia 2003

Lots of savoury aromas with some spice and cherry fruit. Full bodied on the palate, rich fruit characters with firm acidity. (CG) £17.54

Biddas Arrubias, Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Feudi della Medusa 2005

Coffee beans and dark chocolate for a very spice-driven wine. Prunes and vanilla and more black fruit, and an elegant gun-flint finish. (FB)


Cappello di Prete, Salento Rosso IGT, Candido NV

Spicy and gun flinty with a yummy red berry crush nose. A light yet intense and lingering red wine. Rich and full of character. (FB) £8

Terre del Guiscardo, Salento Rosso IGT, Antica Masseria del Sigillo 2005

Dark and inky with loads of prunes, vanilla, liquorice and cocoa powder. A dense leathery and blackberry-driven palate and a dense and complex coffee and vanilla finish. Almost warrants four stars. (FB) £14.49

Text from the decanter.com. Authors Christelle Guibert, Filippo Bartolotta