I liked colleagues Melanie and Giuseppe right away. I had booked a premier tasting at the Casa Chianti Classico in Radda to learn more about the structure of Chianti Classico. We connected quickly over a conversation about Canadian fish and chips, wine, and cars.
Melanie put the stake in the ground by emphasizing this was to be ‘conviviale’ – a conversation about wine where the wine should be dry, but not the conversation. That suited me well.
Two Anantas started us off. The 100% Sangiovese, Podere Le Cinciole, Chianti Classico DOCG, 2018 was a pretty raspberry, red currant, and amarena cherry laden wine, with bitter almond, sweet tobacco, and black pepper shaker tucked into dry, sandpapery tannins. The Sangiovese and 2% Canaiolo by Fattoria Pomona, Chianti Classico DOCG, 2019 was a perfect garnet, subtly touched by pomegranate, raspberry, dark plum, and garrigue.
The Riserva example was Azienda Agricola Casa Emma’s Chianti Classico DOCG, 2018 from Vignalparco, east of Radda – a delicious garnet wine with basalmic prune, cocoa nib, and an elegantly rounded leather structure.
The final wine was a supreme treat by the Azienda Agricola Castellinuzza e Piuca, Gran Selezione (only made in certain years approved by the Casa Chianti Classico DOCG). This 100% Sangiovese hails from a unique one hectare vineyard located adjacent to a cooling forest near Greve at 600m above sea level. Very few bottles of this single hectare wine were made – and this was the last one at the Casa Chianti Classico.
Translucent garnet with little bricking, the wine has a nose showing dusty roses and violets, white pepper, truffle, and smoked meat. Its dry palate has high acidity alongside plum, truffle, dried herb, salumi, and a drizzle of bittersweet castagno (chestnut) honey. A lengthy finish is complemented by velvety tannins and development remarkable for such a young sample. What might await a lucky drinker in 5, 8 or 10 years?
This special tasting was augmented by a delicious charcuterie featuring a Chianti Classico olive oil from corregiolo olives tasting of bitter green grass and ground black pepper.
The Casa is purpose-built for experiences such as this. In addition to holding tastings, press briefings, and WSET classes, the whole second floor is dedicated to understanding the ‘sensory path’ and the unique character of the ‘Gallo Nero’ wines of Chianti Classico. Truly conviviale, and highly recommended if you are in Chianti and want to delve deeply into the region’s wines.