A New Branch of the Chianti Family Tree?
March 9, 2013 2 Comments
Last month (February 17, 2013 to be exact), the Chianti Classico Consorzio approved the creation of a new top-tier classification of Chianti Classico DOCG wines to be known as “Gran Selezione.” The term is expected to be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, and if so, will be a quality level “above” Chianti Classico Riserva.
It is estimated that approximately 7% of the production of Chianti Classico will be eligible for the designation. The first wines eligible to display the term on their label will be those from the 2010 vintage.
If you’ve been following my study guide on the wines of the Veneto (or even if you’ve been following Italian wines at all) you know that Italian wines are already surrounded by a jungle of regulatory and legislative classifications. Luckily, this in no way affects how delicious, delightful, and affordable they can be!
In the interest of “keeping it simple.” here is a quick look at how this new branch of the Chianti family tree fits in with its brothers and sisters:
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG:
- Must be produced from 100% estate-grown fruit
- Minimum 30 months of aging
- Is intended to acknowledge vineyard-specific wines
- Will represent approximately 7% of the production of Chianti Classico
- Minimum 24 months of aging
- Minimum 12.5% abv
Chianti Classico DOCG:
- Minimum 12 months of aging
- Minimum 12% abv
All versions of Chianti Classico must be a minimum of 80% Sangiovese, produced from grapes grown within the 100-square miles of the designated Chianti Classico region. Up to 10% Canaiolo may used, along with up to 15% other varieties, of which Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot are often used. Yields are limited to 3 tons per acre.
By the way, not everyone is thrilled about this new development. A quick websearch on “New Chianti Classification” revealed a wide range of opinions up to and including disgust(!), bewilderment(!), and we are not amused(!). Of course, many people also think it is a great idea, intended to showcase and honor the highest level of production of the region. We will be watching how this plays out in the future!
My Source (in Italian): http://www.aisitalia.it/chianti-classico-gran-selezione.aspx
The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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