Tuesday, October 12, 2021

More Top Spanish Wine Regions: Ribera del Duero!

Located in the province of Castilla León in Spain, Ribera del Duero is about 100 miles drive north of Madrid. It's much smaller than Rioja and has about 21,000 hectares dedicated to vineyards, all of which are located in the valleys surrounding the Duero river. This river, the second most important of Spain, runs from the province of Soria and moves west across the meseta (high plateau of central Spain) ending its trajectory in Portugal (where it is known as Douro, producing ports and very good dry reds there). 



Ribera del Duero
is known mostly for its delicious and robust reds and like Riojas, these are made from the same grape variety:Tempranillo, known here as Tinto Fino.  Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec are also allowed, but only in small quantities; since each wine must have, by law, a minimum of 75% Tempranillo/Tinto Fino in the blend. 

The climate of Ribera del Duero is continental with very hot summers, easily reaching up to 100º Fahrenheit during the day. Temperatures however, go down at night due to altitude, that plays a very important role here. Most vineyards are planted higher than in Rioja too, between 2,500- 3,000 feet. Ribera del Duero is also much warmer, producing reds that are usually more extracted, luscious, and ripe, I normally describe them as “Tempranillo on Vitamins”, their power and concentration come mostly from very old vines, some of which are between 50 to 80+ years old.  

There are two types of soils in Ribera del Duero, near the river, we find marl, riverbed stones and sediments and on the slopes, limestone, and clay. The river has an enormous impact in the whole area, especially during the Spring, when it moderates temperatures, keeping the area warm and preventing frosts that otherwise will seriously affect yields. 


Like Riojas, Ribera del Duero wines are aged in oak and bottle before release and are classified in the following categories:

* Joven: without any oak aging.

* Crianza: one year in oak and one in a bottle.

* Reservas: 3 years minimum, with 1 year in oak, the rest in a bottle.

* Gran Reservas 5 years minimum with 2 years in oak and the rest in a bottle. Keep in mind that most producers can/will choose to age for much longer times. Aging used to happen in American oak, but nowadays more and more wineries are choosing French oak or a mix of both.


Stylistically, Ribera del Duero wines are super elegant and long lived, they have full bodies, with nice acidity and structure. Their typical aromas are blackberry, black cherry, plum and dried fig. With aging, they show tobacco, dill, coffee, game and leather notes. 

Over 300 wineries make wines in this region. Some of which are very expensive; a clear example is the Vega Sicilia Unico, whose current vintage costs $500 + per bottle; it is by far one of the best reds of Spain, a collectible item and a treat we all should taste in our lifetimes. Other top producers are Alejandro Fernández (Pesquera) and Peter Sisseck (Pingus & Hacienda Monasterio), whose wines impress wine lovers at all price levels. In general, this region produces incredible quality wines, and it’s so much more than "the other Tempranillo appellation", it has a well deserved reputation of its own, which has translated into more and more brands becoming widely available in the US. 


My recommendations: 

I had the pleasure of receiving a bountiful of Ribera del Duero samples, and many from wineries I didn’t know. Though, I must warn you, in general, Riberas are a bit more expensive than Riojas, but so worthwhile! Here are some of my favorites that I have tasted recently: 

 

Barco de Piedra 2019, $18.99

Bodegas Aster Crianza 2015, $20.99

Dominio Fournier Crianza 2016, $29.99 

Finca La Capilla Crianza 2016, $32.99

Torre d' Goblan Crianza 2016, $34.99

Dominio de Ateuta 2015, $34.99

JC Vizcarra 2014, $34.99

Protos Reserva 2014, $34.99

Dominio Fournier Reserva 2014, $49.99

Protos Gran Reserva 2014, $54.99

 



Once again thanks to all producers and importers for the samples and to the CRDO Ribera del Duero/ Riberaruedawine.com for the map. 

Cheers! Silvina

#thoughtsoflawina #spanishwines #winesfromspain #tempranillo #tintofino #riberadelduero. 

Remember to subscribe to keep receiving Thoughts of La Wina in your inbox and to follow me on Instagram @ Silvinalawina and Linkedin.



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Aromas of our favorite grapes!

Hello Wine Nerds! Oh you know who you are! I’m writing to you, to those that like to impress people,  every time you taste a wine. You like swirling your wine in your glass and start talking about aromatics, while the rest of us stay there wondering… is my nose working correctly? All I smell is wine... Of course, there is no problem with your nose! All you need to do is to train it, and this is done by smelling, and not only wine, but by smelling fruits, flowers, soils, foods, etc. 

But to help you with this task, I decided to create this cheat sheet by grape, so you too can impress your friends. Though, I always mention the flavor profile of each grape that I write about, this info is also ideal if you are learning about wine or writing tasting notes. 


Reds: 

Cabernet Sauvignon: black currant, cassis, violets, black cherry, cigar box, cedar wood, green bell pepper (when unripe), tobacco, mint (especially Cabs from Australia)

Merlot: plums, fruit cake, black cherry, blueberry damson, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate

Gamay: cherries, bubble gum, banana, pomegranate, peony

Shiraz/ Syrah: black pepper, blueberry, black licorice, leather, smoke, mulberry, milk chocolate, tobacco

Cabernet Franc: red currants, cherries, strawberries,  grass and green leaves, green pepper, pencil shavings

Pinot Noir:  strawberries, cherries, earth compost/forest floor, gamey meat, truffles, mushroom

Nebbiolo: tar, roses, violets, leather, truffles

Grenache: raspberries,  strawberries jam, leather, dried herbs

Zinfandel: blackberries, prunes, raisins, tobacco, cinnamon, dried figs

Sangiovese: red cherries, oregano, tomato jam, vanilla, balsamic

Tempranillo: strawberries, red cherries,  plum jam, tobacco, dill

Mourvèdre: blackberries, tobacco, licorice, cocoa

Malbec: blackberry, damson, violet, tobacco, cocoa

Petit Verdot: plum, black cherry,  pepper, licorice, violet 

Pinotage: mulberry, blackberry, black cherry, menthol

 

Whites:

Chardonnay: butter, apple (green and yellow), peach,  pineapple, vanilla, lemon, lime 

Sauvignon Blanc: gooseberries, grass, green pepper, passion fruit, grapefruit

Semillon: lanolin, honey, egg custard, peach 

Chenin Blanc: yellow apple, grapefruit, honey, orange, quince

Riesling: petrol, lime, green apples, jasmine, honey

Gewurztraminer: lychees, roses, ginger

Viognier: apricots, peach, rose, tangerine

Pinot Gris/Grigio: honey, pear, yellow apple

 


 

Well, isn't it time to open a few bottles and put our skills to the test? Let me know how it went.


Here are two Chilean recommendations from Global Vineyards.

Escarlata Pinot Noir 2020, expressive red features black cherry, wild herbs and strawberry notes, with smooth tannins. This is ideal for the current fall weather, that is not too hot or too cold.

Escarlata Chardonnay 2020, full bodied and creamy white shows pineapple, peach and almond notes. Both are a great value @ only $12 each.


Until next time. Cheers! Silvina


Remember to subscribe to receive Thoughts of La Wina in your inbox and to follow me on Instagram @Silvinalawina and Linkedin.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Rioja: Land of Great Reds!

Rioja is to Spain what Napa is to the US, it's by far the most important wine appellation, and though many great wines are produced in other D.Os, for centuries great quality Spanish wines came from only two places: Rioja and Jerez/Sherry

Rioja is located to the north east of Madrid, and south of the Basque country. This wine appellation or as we say in Spanish” Denominación de Origen Calificada”, covers three provinces, part of Navarra in the South, part of the Basque Country (Alava) in the north and the province of Rioja itself. All the vineyards are located along both sides of the Ebro River, plus you also have the influence of the Cantabrian Mountains (Sierras) in the north creating special conditions ideal to grow vines.

Rioja is divided into 3 subzones, Rioja Alavesa and Alta to the north and Rioja Baja or Oriental to the south. Soils are different in each subzone, they are mostly clay, and limestone in the north and clay and alluvial in the south. The climate varies too, being much cooler in the north where the influence of the Atlantic Ocean is felt, while in the south (Rioja Baja) is warmer, almost Mediterranean and with less rain. Altitude plays a very important role here, with most of the vineyards planted between 300-600 m or up to almost 2,000 feet. I strongly believe that this special combination of limestone soils, altitude and the Atlantic influence is what gives Rioja wines their unbelievable elegance.

Something very particular of Rioja is that it was inspired and founded by the Bordelais that flew from France after oidium and phylloxera devastated the French vineyards. The Bordeaux influence is easy to see, since most Rioja wines are blends like in Bordeaux. In the case of reds, these are mostly made from Tempranillo (the most important grape of Spain) with small percentages of Mazuelo, Graciano, Maturana and Garnacha (Grenache). Some wineries are also allowed the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon to their blends, resulting in more structured reds, such as the Marqués de Riscal Baron de Chirel.
The whites are mostly blends of Viura with Malvasía, but other white varieties are also allowed: Tempranillo Blanco, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Garnacha Blanca, Chardonnay and Torrontes. Rioja also produces very affordable and juicy Rosados (rosés), which are made mostly of Garnacha or Tempranillo.

Yet, the core of Rioja is their great quality reds. The other important Bordelais influence is the aging that each wine undergoes by law. Riojas have been traditionally aged, since the very beginning, when Manuel Quintano in 1780 began maturing all wines in oak. On those days, the aging happened in large oak casks but later producers switched to small bordelais barriques (225L). The difference is that in Rioja, wines are usually aged for longer periods of time, as we may see below, while in Bordeaux most wines are aged for an average of 2-3 years before release.

According to their aging, wines can be divided as follows:
Joven (without any oak aging), most of these are consumed domestically (in Spain) not much is imported to the U.S. These are juicy reds made with carbonic maceration.
Crianza: for reds the minimum aging is 2 years, 1 of which is spent in oak and 1 year in the bottle, while whites are aged for a year, with 6 months minimum in oak.
Reserva: the reds are aged for 3 years, 1 of which must be in oak. Whites are aged for 2 years, with 6 months in oak.
and Gran Reserva: the reds are aged for 2 years in oak and 3 years in a bottle, while whites are aged for a total of 4 years, with a minimum of 6 months in oak.  

These periods of aging are just the minimum by law, in fact most wineries age their wines for much longer, making Rioja wines, the longest aged wines before release produced in the world. I strongly recommend you to try old Gran Reservas and to compare the same wine with recent releases, to see the difference. You will see how the wine evolves, the longer it stays on the bottle, developing earthy, savory notes of dry tobacco, leather, ink and forest floor.
Once upon a time, Rioja producers' favorite oak was American, the typical coconut notes of this oak matched beautifully with the red fruits provided by Tempranillo and was a given clue when tasting these wines blind, but in the last 20 years or so more and more Rioja is aged in Slovakian and French oak. It's not unusual to see cooperies in the wineries, since many Rioja producers buy their own oak but make and toast the barrels themselves, another great example of their dedication and craft.

Stylistically, the Joven and Crianza wines are everyday reds, easy to drink, full of fruit (dark cherry, plum come to mind) and balanced tannins. Reservas are what I call “a happy medium”, made usually with fruit from better plots and with a longer aging, they will have more body than any Crianza, more complexity and a delicious spiciness (vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, etc). Finally you have the Gran Reservas, the bigger and better of all 3, made only in the best vintages, with fruit from the best plots, all the extra aging both in oak and bottle, will add layers of aromas and flavors that come for reductive aging.
In 2018, and following the example of Burgundy, Rioja started to classify their vineyards according to their location. The wines can be now divided into Vino de Zona, (zone wines produced in all Rioja), Vino de Municipio (wines produced in certain villages) and Viñedo Singular (or single vineyards, these wines are also produced from old vines: 35 years + old). In 1991, Rioja was the first appellation in Spain to receive the "calificada" denomination, meaning the quality of their wines are above any other produced in Spain. It is very similar to the Italian DOCG. In Spain, only two regions have received this honor: Rioja and Priorat.

As you may see, it's easy to find something for everyone in Rioja, plus Rioja wines are really affordable, most Riojas Reservas start at $20, Gran Reservas at $35 and up, if you do just Crianza, considered the entry level, you can find something at $14 and up. The quality of the wines is something out of this world! Mostly because Tempranillo is such a versatile grape, it can give lighter to medium body reds that are easy to drink and refreshing, but also beefy reds that will blow your mind. Plus, these wines can age and most of this aging happens at the winery, so when you buy a bottle, the wine is ready to be enjoyed, there’s no need for you to wait/ cellar your wine, like you do with Barolo or any Napa Cab. All this extra aging develops aromas and flavors that are so enticing! Magic indeed happens inside the bottles. So, are you ready to taste some Riojas?

My Recommended Wines: Thankfully, Riojas are very easy to find at your wine store, here are some samples that I received lately, many thanks to importers and wineries for these beauties!

Calma Crianza 2014, $20
La Antigua Clásico Crianza 2012, $21
Marqués de Cáceres Reserva 2015, $29.99
Beronia Reserva 2016, $19.99
La Rioja Alta  Viña Alberdi Reserva 2016, $22
La Rioja Alta Reserva Viña Ardanza 2012, $37
Torre de Oña Reserva Finca Martelo 2014, $35
Baron de Ley Reserva 2015, $19.99
Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 2013, $32.99
La Rioja Alta Viña Arana Gran Reserva 2013,$32.99
La Antigua Gran Reserva 2010, $55 
Macán Clásico 2016, $60



Cheers! Salud! Silvina.

Remember to subscribe to keep receiving Thoughts of La Wina in your inbox and to follow me on Instagram @: Silvinalawina.
#thoughtsoflawina #Rioja #Tempranillo #Spanishwine #Spanishred

Maps, courtesy of DOCa Rioja.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Hola! Let's Learn About Wines From Spain

Today we are going to visit a very familiar and dear country to me: Spain. Those that know me, know that I worked for many years at the Spanish Embassy and 5 of which, I spent at Wines from Spain. 

Spain is truly like a second home to me, it's true that in my home country: Argentina, I was exposed to Malbec by my father from an early age, but Spain was the country where I really had the opportunity to learn about wine and from there, off went La Wina to expand her horizons and to continue learning about the competition, basically the rest of the wine producing countries in the world.

So, what is so special about Spain? The first thing that comes to mind, is that Spain has more hectares dedicated to vine growing than any other country in the world, to be exact 967,000 and this translates into a huge variety of wines. Spain is a source of great quality wines, at every price, with an impressive selection at the value level. Spain is also extremely diverse, it produces all styles of wines: reds, whites, sparkling or Cava , fortified or Sherry you name it! click on the links on the words highlighted in blue on this post, so you can re-read older posts that I wrote about different Spanish regions and grapes.

Spain has in my opinion, a few problems though, for example brand names that are very difficult to pronounce by English speakers, yet their true challenge for those that are not familiar with Spain, is that most of their wines are made from native varieties, and that requires, all of you, to study, research and learn the different styles and familiarize yourself, not only with new regions but also new grapes. But hey! You did it with Italy, you did it with Portugal, why not Spain? I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Following European law, Spain has a similar set of regulations regarding viticulture, vinification and geographical origin like those found in other European countries, such as France, Italy or Portugal. This means, it will be kind of difficult to find the name of the grape on the label (with a few exceptions), instead producers list the name of the appellations/regions. In an effort to make things easier for you, I created a chart (see below) that matches grapes with regions and wine styles, hoping it will provide a bit of clarity. 

Regarding quality, the top tier and best wines are the D.O.C., that means Denominación de Origen Calificada, this is similar to the Italian DOCG, followed by the D.O. wines, or in other words the Denominación de Origen, which is similar to the French AOC. Then we have the V.T. or Vinos de Tierra, which equals to the French Vin de Pays and lastly the Vinos de Mesa or table wines (which are at the very bottom of quality and not really imported to the US). Above all these categories, we have the Pagos Calificados appellations, Pagos Calificados mean single vineyards in Spanish, or Grand Cru in French, these are just a handful of appellations granted to what is considered the very best vineyards in Spain.

There are about 70 D.Os in Spain. Below, I will give you a brief intro to the most important appellations and grapes. Don't be afraid to give them a try! as I say to my students we should always make an effort to drink other things besides Napa or Bordeaux.

The most important Spanish red variety is Tempranillo (also known as Tinta de País, Tinta del Toro, Cencibel, Ul de Llebre and Tinta Roriz as it is known in Portugal) followed by Garnacha. Other important red native varieties are Monastrell (known elsewhere as Mourvèdre), Bobal and Mencía. There are also many plantings of international varieties and some producers make very good wines from those too, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir. For the whites, my two favorites are Verdejo and Albariño, but we can find also Viura, Godello, Moscatel and Airén, which by the way is the most planted variety in Spain. It's normally used to make brandy and light neutral table whites.  Spain makes great whites from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and other French varieties. Most of the French varieties are planted in appellations such as the Penedès, Somontano and Navarra.

Except for the area of Galicia and el País Vasco (Basque Country) in the north,  where it is cool and wet; most of Spain enjoys plenty of sun and warm temperatures, so ripeness and alcohol levels are not difficult to obtain. However, the contrast, the style differences happen due to factors such as the proximity to the sea (Atlantic or Mediterranean) the proximity to rivers such as the Ebro, Guadalquivir and the Duero, but most of all, to the altitude of the vineyards. Spain is, after all, a big "meseta" or elevated plateau, with vineyards located at different altitudes some of which can reach above 3,000 feet. There are many mountain systems in Spain spread all over the country, such as the Iberic, Cantabrian, Sierra Morena and Central, which will provide different expositions, soils, and most importantly a marked diurnal temperature variation that will aid slow ripening. The south of Spain is very hot as well as the Mediterranean coast, which creates ideal spots for Syrah, Grenache or GarnachaMonastrell and Cariñena, all of these thrive in a hot climate, and some of them are usually blended with French varieties.

Regarding Tempranillo, it is Spain's flagship red, it is a super versatile grape that can produce light everyday reds like most Rioja Joven or Crianzas to big bodied reds like the powerful reds from ToroRioja produces in my opinion the most elegant Tempranillos of all. While, Ribera del Duero produces Tempranillo “on vitamins”, meaning they usually have bigger bodies than any Rioja and are so worthwhile. If you like Southern Rhone wines, then try a Priorat or Montsant, both regions produce big reds (Powerbombs) made of Garnacha and Syrah, which are the very best from Spain. 

Regarding whites, Albariños, are not only delicious, but also very affordable, and Ruedas (Verdejos) are some of the most flavorful whites from Spain, feel free to revise my posts about these two styles of whites written last year. The sparkling wines in Spain are known as Cava with most important producers based in the Penedès region, following the example of Champagne, these are wines made with a second fermentation in the bottle and aged on their lees (dead yeasts). They are made with their Spanish native varieties: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, though some may add Chardonnay or Pinot Noir to the blend. Spain is also a great source of wonderful rosados (rosé wines) usually made from Tempranillo or Garnacha, DO Navarra is very well known for this specialty, though DOC Rioja also produces some of these too. Prices are also very affordable, starting at $15 and up.

See below your cheat sheet table to the top regions in Spain:

D.O. or D.O.C.
Grapes
Type of Wines
DOC RiojaTempranilloMedium to big reds
DO Ribera del Duero Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo)Medium to big reds
DO  Toro Tinta del Toro (Tempranillo)Big reds
DOC Priorat & DO Montsant Garnacha and SyrahBig reds
DO PenedèsCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, etc.Medium to big reds according to the blend or grape
DO Jumilla & DO YeclaMonastrell, Bobal, SyrahMostly big reds
DO Rías BaixasAlbariñoLight to medium white
DO RuedaVerdejo, Sauvignon BlancLight white
DO CavaMacabeo, Parrellada and Xarel-loSparkling


Map courtesy of ICEX and Wines From Spain.

These are 4 great examples of Spanish wines! so do give them a try.


Lagar de Cervera Albariño 2020, $18.99

Marques de Caceres Crianza 2017, $14.99

Protos Crianza 2016, $24.99

El Cortijo Blanco 2017,$14.99

So, there you have it! a concise tour through Spain, stay tuned for future posts, where I plan to explore the wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero coming soon to your inboxes. Until then, Cheers! or as they say in Spain: Salud! Silvina. 

#thoughtsoflawina #Spanishgrapes #Spanishwines #WineWednesday

Remember to subscribe to keep receiving Thoughts of La Wina in your inbox and to follow me on Instagram @Silvinalawina.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Top Italian Appellations: Chianti Classico DOCG

Though wine is produced all over the Italian peninsula, the first wine that comes to mind when talking about classy Italian reds is Chianti Classico. Chianti Classico is made from Sangiovese, the most planted red variety in Italy, with the addition of native Canaiolo, Mammolo or Colorino and/or French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. 
Historically, the blend wasn’t always like this, past versions had a different formula that included white grapes such as Malvasia and Trebbiano. Unfortunately the abuse of adding so much white juice to the blend, ended up diluting the wines; which affected quality and decreased sales.  Luckily, starting in the 1970's a new movement led by star wine producer Marchesi Piero Antinori took the necessary steps to elevate and restore the reputation of the region. One of these measures was to include French varieties in the blend, something that was not actually allowed by law and a fact that helped create the Super Tuscans category. The second measure was to remove the white grapes from the formula for good. All of these practices became law officially in 2006.  At the same time, there was a wide spread modernization in the vineyards and wineries, which improved the overall quality of Chianti Classico and transformed it into the elegant and delicious wine that it is today.  

 

Chianti Classico is located in the heart of Tuscany in central Italy, expanding for 71,800 hectares and comprising the area between the cities of Florence in the north and Sienna in the south. It covers 4 important communes: Greve, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina.

It’s important that you don’t confuse Chianti Classico with generic Chianti or with any of the six Chiantis subzones (Rufina, Montespertoli, Montelbano, Colli Aretini, Colline Pisani or Colli Senesi), which are outside of the Chianti Classico region. These are a good source of inexpensive Sangiovese, though never reaching the high quality of Classico.


When in doubt about what Chianti you are about to purchase, always make sure that the bottle has the black rooster image (see left), which is the official symbol/logo of the Chianti Classico appellation. 


The most important geographic influence in Chianti Classico are the Apennines mountains that start in the NW, by Liguria and continue south across the peninsula ending in Calabria, located to the SW. The proximity to the mountains as well as the proximity to the Tyrrhenian sea will provide coolness to the vineyards that usually enjoy a very warm, Mediterranean climate during the day. The topography of Chianti Classico is indeed very hilly with most vineyards planted on undulating terrains or small mountains that face South or SW. There are two types of soils here, the most important is the Galestro which is a rocky, schistous and clayey soil and the second one is the Albarese, which is a rich limestone and marl soil. Both of these soils will help tame the vigor of Sangiovese that needs to be kept in check to produce high quality wines.


Maturation is determined by law and it can happen in botti (large casks made from Slovakian oak) or in small French barriques. The entry level (Chianti Classico) must spend a minimum of 12 months of aging, then a step up in quality are the Riserva wines which are aged for 24 months minimum, 3 which should happen in the bottle. The last and most important category are the Gran Selezione, these are superb wines that are aged for 30 months minimum and are made from fruit from single vineyard locations.

It’s important to note that though the law allows French varieties in the blend to up to 20%, most producers opt to make 100% Sangiovese wines, keeping the participation of the French varieties to a minimum (less than 5%), which allows Sangiovese’s elegant personality to shine through.


Stylistically, Chianti Classico is a dry, medium to medium plus body red, with high acidity and solid tannins. Chianti Classico displays a lovely character featuring sour cherries, red currants, plums, plus some herbaceous notes such as dry oregano or tomato leaf, an ideal match to all tomato sauce based dishes and classic Italian fair (pasta, pizza, beef bistecca, etc). With age, Chianti Classico displays meat, mushroom, espresso, smoke, exotic spices and leather notes. Bodywise, plain Chianti Classico is usually the lightest style, expect the wine to be bigger when you deal with Riserva and Gran Selezione wines.

Drink or keep samples of Chianti Classico and Riserva for up to 7 years. Best samples of Gran Selezione can last much longer, and up to 20 years.


My Wine Recommendations: 

After 15 months of zero in-person tastings due to Covid 19, my first return to the rodeo was an event coordinated in NY by the Chianti Classico Consorzio. Of course there was too much wine to taste in only two hours, and I couldn’t taste them all... However, I must admit  that the very best wines (for me) were those made from 100% Sangiovese or Sangiovese in combination with Merlot. I feel Cabernet Sauvignon tends to make Chianti beefer, so if this is what you like, be my guest, but I prefer Chianti Classicos that are lighter in body, yet juicy and fresh. Here are some of my favorites from this tasting:


Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2018, $27

Bibbiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018, $37

Brancaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, $43

Capraia Effe 55 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016, $33

Castello di Volpaia, Volpaia Chianti Classico 2019, $24

Castello di Volpaia Coltassala Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018, $77

Dievole Vigna di Sessina Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016, $58

Felsina Berardenga 2019, $24

Felsina Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2018, $58

Istine Levigne Chianti Classico Riserva 2017,$47

Istine Levigne Chianti Classico Riserva  2015, $47

Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, $27

Le Fonti Chianti Classico 2017, $22

Le Fonti Chianti Classico Riserva 2016, $30

Marchesi Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2019, $24

Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2018, $44

Marchesi Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018 $54

Riecine Chianti Classico 2019, $27

Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva 2018, $28

Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 $68

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 $28

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Strada Al Sasso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018, $41

 

 

As they say in Italy: Alla salute di tutti! Cheers, Silvina

Remember to subscribe to keep receiving Thoughts of La Wina in your inbox and to follow me in Linkedin and Instagram @Silvinalawina.


#chianticlassico #blackrooster #Italianwines #gallonero

 

Many thanks to the Chianti Classico Consorzio for allowing the use of the map and logo images, and also for the invitation!