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Chianti Classico tasting notes

text and photographs © 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on The Wines of Chianti Classico.


I Sistri Chardonnay Toscana IGT 2006
Almost all older barriques are used for this Chardonnay, which have previously been used for one of the red wines. Attractive, Burgundian nose with a ripe melon and tropical fruit layered with cashew and crushed oatmeal. On the palate cool and composed, with a core of cool apple and lemony fruit, and a certain cool minerality to the acidity. Quite a rich texture without any overt oakiness. Good length too. 90/100. £18.95, see all stockists on

Chianti Classico Berardenga 2006
100% Sangiovese. A little bit reduced, but has a gamy quality and then a fresh cherry fruit comes through with airing. Bold, clean black cherry on the palate, with a big sour cherry core and lemon acidity. Very fresh.91/100. £17.49, see all stockists on

Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2005
Bold, pure and fresh fruit on the nose, with a sense of minerality a little like coal or charcoal, but the fruit fills in on the palate, the texture and sweetness building in the mouth, and the tannins quite chocolaty and rich, melding into good acidity and a coffeeish oak. 93/100. £34.95, see all stockists on

Fontalloro IGT Toscana 2005
100% Sangiovese. Deeper, more espresso and plummy fruit, with a bold, sweet fruit quality. On the palate quite plush, and svelte, but all tightly wound by the acidity and very fine tannins. Very racy. 93/100 £39.99, see all stockists on

Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
Nice quality of cedary oak comes through, with lovely cherry fruit and a lot of blackcurrant skin grip and savoury quality on the palate. The acidity is good, and the tannins and dry, elegant structure are lovely. 91/100. See all stockists on

Fontalloro IGT Toscana 2004
The fruit here is lovely - very plush and very rounded, but it also has juicy, refined, racy acidity and has a fine earthy quality. 92/100. See all stockists on

Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 1999
There's an earthy quality here, with a slightly leathery, very slightly dank note, but the whole picture is pleasing, as it adds to a sweet, ripe red fruit background. The palate is lovely, the earthy but sweet fruit and silky texture pushing through very ripe and sweet at the core of the wine, and the tannins are ripe and creamy, yet again the acidity is very, very powerful and precise. 91/100. See all stockists on

Fontalloro IGT Toscana 1990
Lovely maturity here, with a touch of damp undergrowth but also very fine, sweet cherry and bright, ripe raspberry fruit. The palate has beautifully resolved oak, with a touch of chocolate and dark, roasted coffee aromas, but the freshness again is hallmark stuff, with that sour cherry and lemon acidity adding length and freshening the finish. 95/100. See all stockists

UK Agent: Liberty Wines.

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