Chianti Classico & other super Tuscan wine: label reads the difference
wines of Tuscany
Tuscan is a region that is known for producing third highest volume of superior-quality DOC and DOCG wines, immediately after the two regions Piedmont and Veneto. Along with many local varieties of Sangiovese, grape like Cabernet Sauvignon also plays a major role in the making of different super Tuscan wine brands.
This category of wines is not included into general classification system of Italian wines. The credit behind the origination of this separate yet noteworthy brand goes to Sassicaia, who by planting Cabernet Sauvignon at his estate had brought forth a revolution that led to creation of several brands of white and red wine, separated from the rest of the Chianti zone.
Upon feeling restricted by the previous DOC regulations of this zone and having been suffering from a poor reputation because of the degradation in the quality, many winemakers got inspired by Sassicaia and followed into his footsteps. They brought forth a unique revolution in the arena of Italian winemaking and produced blends that soon started to gain laudation and profitability.
This trend of producing high-quality non-DOC wines spread through other regions of Chianti and followed by a modification made to previous Chianti DOC regulation, many of these products are now accredited with the DOC/G Chianti designation.
Situated in the central Tuscany region this area is split between two DOCG winemaking regions, Chianti classico and greater Chianti zone.
The classico region covers around 100 square/mile areas and the difference in its terroir is evident significantly from one commune to another depending on the altitude of vineyards and soil composition. The wines of this zone are of premium-quality and medium-bodied with strong tannins and lively acidity with a bouquet of floral, cherry and light nutty aromas, evident more on the mid-palate and finish.
The Classico wines are permitted to use Gallo Nero or the picture of well-known black rooster on the labels, but are restricted from using the designation Chianti Superiore that can only be used for the wines produced in the provinces of Florence and Siena, outside of the Classico zone.
The bottles that contain labels reading Classico are not allowed to include white grapes and an alcohol level of 12.5% or more.
The labels Classico Riserva notify longer aging of two years plus three months of bottle aging.
The sub-regions of this area are not included into the Chianti Classico zone. Many refined-quality DOCG wines, exported from this area, are produced in the sub-region of Rufina that is located in the Arno valley, near Pontassieve. This area witnesses cooler climate with vineyards of high-altitude (900 meters) and chalky and marled soils. Wines from this region present multi-layered complexity and elegance.
The Colli Fiorentini, another sub-region, produces wines of strong character and fruity notes following the newest technology of winemaking, as it experienced influx of Florentine businesspersons and winemakers from abroad.
Colli Senesi, another important winemaking area, having been situated in the Siena hills includes popular DOCG areas like Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Wines from Brunello di Montalcino, made from Sangiovese grapes, are robust and tannic in nature and require about four years of aging before being released and about a decade of time to soften the strong tannins. The Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is an example of this enchanting delicacy with inviting aromas.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are filled with oceanic components having been located near the sea. The 80% composition of the wines from this area is made with the Prugnolo Gentile, a variety of Sangiovese, and another 20% is a blend of Canaiolo and Mammolo or Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With two to three years of aging and inclusion of oak barrels these wines are intense and full-bodied.
In the end, it is worthwhile to note that apart from the two Chianti zones, there is another noteworthy winemaking area, located in Maremma of southern Tuscany that enjoys own IGT designation, Maremma Toscana. This area nestles an array of exalting-quality winemakers, among which Poggio Argentiera winery will definitely chair a praising position for crafting intensely perfumed and dry Sangiovese-based wine known as Morellino di Scansano.