Chianti Classico Wine: characteristics, accompaniments and organoleptic propertiesMay 30, 2014
Chianti Classico is a D.O.C.G. wine produced in Tuscany in a wide area included between the provinces of Florence and Siena. Its production goes back to the Etruscan age The districts involved in said production are Greve in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Barberino Val d'Elsa, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Greve in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi.
To be eligible for the Chianti Classico D.O.C.G., a Chianti wine must possess two fundamental requirements: the production area and the use of some specific and exclusive grape varieties, the Sangiovese being one of them.
The Chianti Classico is produced with at least 80% of Sangiovese grapes, the red variety typical of the area, while the remaining 20% is produced using other local red grapes, such as Canaiolo and Colorino, or international ones, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. As far as the organoleptic properties are concerned, this wine is characterized by a lively ruby red color, it smells of violets and its taste is dry, fruity and harmonious. Its minimum alcohol content is of 12 degrees. The Chianti Classico distinguishes itself from other Chianti wines thanks to the unmistakable pink label with the symbol of the Black Rooster on gold background. This label represents the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium that preserve the wine and its name since 1924.
The best Sangiovese grapes are used for the production of the very exclusive Chianti Classico Riserva: this is a particularly fine wine, with a deep ruby red color and a mandatory minimum aging period of 24 months, at least three of which have to be in bottle. Its minimum alcohol content is of 12.5 degrees.
Chianti Classico is a wine that goes effectively with most of the dishes, although the best chefs recommend to taste it especially with roasts, poultry, rabbit and cheese. It has to be preferably served at a temperature of 16-18 °C, uncorking the bottle two hours before serving it. The Chianti Classico Riserva is instead a perfect accompaniment to roasts.
The best vintages of Chianti Classico, among the relatively recent ones, are undoubtedly those of 1970, 1971, 1978, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006 and 2008.