I had the pleasure of attending the Consorzio Vino Chianti ‘Chianti Lovers’ Tasting held at the Refectory Ballroom at The High Line Hotel in Manhattan on April 27, 2015. Established in 1927, the Consortium protects over 3600 producers, working more than 15,500 hectares of vineyards, producing in excess of 800,000 hectoliters of Chianti. From selection of grapes to vinification, from testing of the chemical and physical properties to bottling, the Consortium ensures that the wines meet DOC and DOCG standards. The Consortium is committed to preserving and advancing the culture and history of Chianti, along with expressing the high quality the wine has achieved. Chianti DOCG is produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena in Tuscany, central Italy.
Over 30 winemakers and estate owners gathered to present their wines, many of which are in need of US importers and distributors [which is why price information is not available]. Each winemaker or estate owner I spoke with was enthusiastic to tell me the story of his or her wines, sharing details such as varietal blending methods and sustainable, environmentally-friendly vineyard and winery practices, along with vintage particularities. With a region as large as Chianti, each producer can have a vastly different vintage from his near neighbor. From vibrant and fresh to subtle and elegant, a vast array of the styles and vintages of Chianti were presented.
Fabrizio Forconi Podere dell’Anselmo
A dynamic and vibrant man, Fabrizio Forconi will humbly call himself just a “country boy who loves his horses”. His family began growing grapes in Montespertoli at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, Fabrizio carries on the very same winemaking traditions. His vines are “strictly linked to the indigenous strains”, and the soil is a mix of clay and limestone. Although not certified, he practices organic viticulture and is passionate about biodynamic “ideas and methods”. He believes in taking his time and doing things the right way. His horses are depicted on his labels, and yes, he does utilize their manure to fertilise his vineyards.
Chianti Montespertoli DOCG 2011
100% Sangiovese with friendly fresh fruit, good acidity and a warm, sweet oak finish.
‘Ingannamatti’ Chianti Montespertoli DOCG Riserva 2008
Distinctively woodsy and spicy in nature, with a lovely undercurrent of cherry and strawberry. The lengthy, harmonizing dry finish of licorice and hints of chocolate keep you reaching for more.
Tenuta San Vito
Founded in 1960 by Roberto Drighi, Tenuta San Vito consists of 135 hectares, of which 35 are vineyards and 20 belong to olive groves. Today the estate is headed by Roberto’s nephew, Neri Gazulli, who passionately continues the work begun by is uncle. He is an enthusiastic believer in protecting the local environment along with organic viticulture, the estate being certified organic since 1985.
‘San Vito’ Chianti DOCG 2013
100% Sangiovese, time spent in steel and then in cement imparts an ethereal, light character. Fresh and simple fruit/earth/spice notes so indicative of Chianti, in fact Neri describes this as “typical Chianti’.
‘Darno’ Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG 2013
90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, aged for 6 months in big barrels. A unique flavour profile that immediately grabbed my attention, dense wild berries with abundant Mediterranean herbs along with a clean minerality. Neri believes its distinctive flavour is expressive of the “vineyard with the different clay soil” the grapes are grown in.
Tenuto Il Corno
Built by the ancient Del Corno family in the 12th century, Tenuto Il Corno is known as one of the most beautiful estates in Val di Pesa. Since the 14th century the estate has been engaged in wine production. In 1911 the estate was purchased by the Counts Frova Arroni di Arrone from the heirs of Grand Duke Leone Strozzi. Maria Giulia Frova now heads the family estate; she preserves the traditional agricultural activities of both wine and oil production with an emphasis on respect for the environment and traditional methods. Many of the vines are ”self rooted grapevines, over 300 years old”.
*Presented by Mrs. Verena Moser
Chianti DOCG 2013
Fermented in stainless steel tanks, and aged in concrete vats, this is straightforward, tart and refreshing. Mrs. Moser called it “a traditional Chianti, a perfect pizza wine”. Well balanced fruit and earth notes accompanied by a lively acidity definitely make this a bottle to reach for with all types of dishes.
‘Foss’A Spina’ Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG 2011
85% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and 5% Canaiolo. Aged for 4-5months in concrete, fresh and plush, with soft fruit supported by black tea tannins, finishing silky smooth and dry.
Media event hosted by Consorzio Vino Chianti