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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 2006
With 10% Canaiolo in the blend, this has quite a smoky, almost ashy note that might be a little post-bottling character, and vinous red fruits. Clean fresh palate with lots of lemony acidity that stays fresh and with a sour cherry bite. Very appetising red wine. 89/100. £13.99, Majestic, £11,99, Booths, Harrods.

Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
100% Sangiovese. Half aged in large botti, half in French barriques, 50% of which were new. A little earthiness, and a much deeper, black cherry and tobacco-edged black plum character. A little hint of blueberry and violet. Nice, plump, quite thick chocolaty fruit, though that dry, racy cherry-skin tannin and acid bite is there keeping this fresh and vital. 92/100. £24.95 Harrods, £30.32 Everywine.

Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 2003
Again an earthy, slightly iron oxide note, with that delicately fragrant nose of violet and cherry, and good, solid red fruits. The palate has excellent freshness too for the vintage, with ripe fruit that has a touch of cherry skin bitterness, and nice tannins that stay quite fresh. Just lacks the beguiling aromatics of the 2004. 91/100. See all stockists on

Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 1995
Just a little touch of something metallic or a touch leathery on the nose that suggest Brettanomyces? More notes of tobacco and cherry fruit, though all quite mellow and mature. The palate is fairly lean and acidic, with a big savoury lemon core, that pushes through with finish. This is perhaps a touch lean, but is fills in with tobacco and spice and a grippy tannic edge that gives it savoury bite and food-friendly character. 89/100. See all stockists on

Chianti Classico Riserva 1997
A little meaty with perhaps a touch of Brett again, that is giving a ferrous quality to quite sweet fruit. The palate is drying slightly, but there's a certain plumpness at the heart of this that adds juicy flavour and nice texture. 89/100. See all stockists on

Chianti Classico Riserva 2005
Sangiovese with 10% Canaiolo. Juicy cherry fruit with a touch of incense and burning embers, and a certain peach skin note. The acidity is very clean and fresh, with lots of cherry skin and lots of raciness with lemon zest and the oak just adding a hint of spice and woodsmoke. 91/100. See all stockists on

Vin Santo 2002
Trebbiano and Malvasia, dried for three to five months in the loft above the winery, then aged for five years in small barrels of chestnut. Very sweet but barely oxidised aromas, with a hint of walnut and sultana fruit. The palate has certain purity with nectarine. Juicy fruit and good length. Very fine length and the sweetness is pure and balanced. 92/100. See all stockists on

UK Agent: Vinum Wines.

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