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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.


Chianti Classico Grosso Sanese 2005
Has a charry, smoky bacon fat nose, with ripe, rich fruit that still has that savoury, slightly schisty, mineral sense. There's a lot of tannin here, and masses of spice but maybe the fruit is a little flattened here. Owner Alessandro Sderci (right) says that come good with time, but for now, 89/100. See all stockists on

Chianti Classico Grosso Sanese 1991
Tiny hint of turpentine, and something herbal. There is sweetness on the palate, with a little bit of plum and cherry and pleasant fruit. Dies away quite quickly, and the fading quality, along with the slightly odd nose leaves a doubt in my mind over this just being past its best. 87/100.

Chianti Classico La Pieve 2005
Much deeper, bloodier, plump and sweet fruit. Lots of earthiness. The palate has a little more smooth, rich flavour and texture. There is bite and a leathery tannic grip, but the freshness pulls this through very nicely. 91/100. See all stockists on

Chianti Classico Argenina 2006
Aged in big vats for 14 months, there's a touch of schisty dryness again, with dry vinous character but perhaps just lacking a little fruit. The palate has a lovely texture and deep, serious, sinewy quality. For me it again lacks a touch of flesh and plumpness that I think would lift it. It does have persistance and spicy length. 89/100. See all stockists on

Stagi 2004 IGT
100% Colorino. Vinous, with some cherry fruit and a dry, slightly inky quality. On the palate that hint of sweet ripe fruit soon dries away, and the charry oak carries through. 87/100.

Bertinga 2005 IGT
60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Petit Verdot. Quite a lot of pepper and spice here, with fairly muted fruit. The bloody quality of the cabernet comes through nicely on the palate, with a fleshy, thick blackcurrant quality. The tannins and acidity are soft, and give this a certain spicy plushness good balance. 90/100.

La Casina Girasole 2006 IGT
Slightly sulphury nose, with some soft strawberry fruitiness and a touch of spice. Palate is fairly crisp and fresh, though lacking a little fruit. 86/100. See all stockists on

UK Agent: Justerini & Brooks carries the Chianti Classico wines.

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