I was thrilled and honored to be invited to the Consorzio Chianti Seminar and Grand Tasting Event held at The Standard Highline in NYC on April 28th. Hosted by Giovanni Busi and the Consorzio Vino Chianti, it was a wonderful all day immersion into the up-and-coming, revitalised world of Chianti. The Grand Tasting followed the highly informative seminar and discussion and was held in a “walk around” format. Nearly 50 winemakers and estate owners converged to present their fantastic wines, sadly most of them needing US importers. All of these small, family estate wineries shared fascinating details with me; from vintage difference [yes, with an area as large as Chianti, each producer can have a vastly different vintage from his near neighbor] to their varietal blending methods and sustainable, environmentally friendly vineyard and winery practices. Each winemaker or owner I spoke with was warm, hospitable and very eager to tell me the story of his or her wines. I am greatly looking forward to visiting their estates in the future for an even more in depth experience.
Campo del Monte
Fattoria la Traiana
I had the pleasure of meeting Ettore Ciancico, who was presenting five wines from three estates. Established in the 1960’s in the heart of Tuscany, the three wineries banded together and have a combined 75 hectares of vineyards. La Salceta is certified organic, whilst the other two estates employ organic farming with an objective of working “together with Nature, create fertile soil, favour the development of a healthy environment with a great number of varieties, with absolutely no use of chemical products, herbicides or chemically synthesised pesticides”.
Chianti DOCG ‘Campo del Monte’ 2009
Chianti Superiore DOCG ‘La Traiana’ 2008
Colli dell’Etruria Centrale ‘Isei’ 2007
Chianti DOCG Riserva ‘Ruschiet’ 2006
Distinctly floral in both aroma and taste, with light cherry and earth notes complimented by silky smooth tannins.
Chianti DOCG Riserva ‘Campo del Monte’ 2009
Plush and friendly with concentrated black cherry and red currant notes supported by fine tannins and hints of oak.
Founded in 1960, the estate consists of 15 hectares of vineyards surrounded by 240 hectares of woods and indigenous plants and animals, which are portrayed on the traditional style labels. They also produce olive oil, grappa, brandy, herb liquor and honey, along with both Rosè and white wines.
Chianti DOCG 2012
Presented by Owner and winemaker Mrs. Tiziana Sani Bulleri, bright and light with layers of cherry, spice and a fresh acidity, wonderfully easy drinking.
Villa Travignoli is family estate that was founded in the 1920’s by Giampiero Busi when he transformed the company from just sharecropping to growing grapes and crafting their own wines. Today Giovanni Busi runs the estate, he follows in the path of his ancestors and believes that “tradition and innovation are the key ingredients to crafting superb wine”. They were awarded the “Italia 150” awarded by the Italian Chamber of commerce in recognition of their “success and longevity as one of the 150 most antique enterprises in Italy”.
Chianti Rùfina DOCG Riserva ‘Tegolaia’ 2009
Chianti Rùfina DOCG ‘Villa Travignoli’ 2012
Bright and fresh with a unique undercurrent of clean minerals that Giovanni explained are a result of the high elevation of the vineyards.
Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina DOC Riserva 2008
A blend of Trebbiano and Malvasia, the grapes were left to dry naturally and then aged for 5 years in small kegs. Candied fruit, anise and sweet honey flavours were backed by rich sandalwood notes.
Terre di San Gorgone
Terre di San Gorgone is a family farm headed by third generation winemaker Antonio Ciulli. The estate consists of 105 hectares, of which 13 hectares are vineyards and olive groves, and 50 remain forest. Proud of their traditions and practicing environmentally friendly farming methods, the family’s philosophy is “Like a grapevine we are tied to our land, and to that of our grandfathers and our family”.
Chianti DOCG ‘Il Bell’ Antonio’ 2013
The estate’s “everyday” wine, aged in stainless steel to preserve the bright fruit, refreshingly fruit forward with floral and herbaceous undertones backed by clean tannins.
Chianti DOCG Riserva ‘Cosimacco’ 2010
Rich and spicy, with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Foglia Tonda grapes. Aged in Slavonia and Allier barrels, the use of oak is restrained so as to highlight the grapes. Robust and plush, Sales Manager Fabrizio Ialini says this will age up to 10 years and recommends pairing it with heavy, savoury dishes.
Media event sponsored by Consorzio Vino Chianti