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At 75 percent, the red Sangiovese grape is the number 1 choice for Chianti wine. The remaining cuvee is made up of 15 percent Canaiolo and 10 percent other grape varieties such as Malvasia or Trebbiano. So what does a typical Chianti wine taste like? Fruity flavours of cherry, brambleberry or prune, combined with an elegant acidity and a pleasantly fuzzy tannin compose the general description of a Chianti wine. Depending upon terroir and the variable percentage of different grape varieties, this Italian red wine can exhibit a multitude of aromas from coffee or leather and even tobacco. These all contribute to the multifaceted character of a Chianti wine with a spectrum that ranges from dry wines to the sweet dessert wines Vin Santo del Chianti Classico and Vin Santo del Chianti.
Origin and wine growing region of Chianti Red Wine
The area between Florence and Siena along the Via Chiantigiana is considered the original Chianti wine growing region and is characterised by its splendid, terraced vineyards, romantic villages and impressive castles. Over the course of the last few centuries, the Chianti wine growing region has been expanded. The currently valid region of origin is divided into 8 sub-regions: Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colline Lucchesi, Chianti Colline Pisane, Chianti Aretini, Chianti Montalbano, Chianti Rufina and Chianti Montespertoli.
Chianti Classico – the number one Chianti
Even though all of the products from this region are termed 'Chianti' and also have DOCG status, insiders still differentiate between the quality levels of Chianti wines. Only wines from the original growing region are permitted to bear the name Chianti Classico on their labels. The trademark of a 'Classico' is the black rooster (gallo nero) on the labels and stands for the very highest quality. As the very best of all Chianti wines, the Classico is subject to strict production regulations, is composed of the highest percentage of Sangiovese and is the only Chianti that is not permitted to be blended with a portion of white grapes. The Classico vintages from 2012, 2013 and 2014 are held in very high esteem. While the wines from 2012 were described as 'precise' with a fine fruitiness and meaty tannin structure, and the 2013s as well-balanced, the 2014 vintage displayed surprising expression and a lightly elevated acidity.
If a Chianti DOCG wine does not originate from the traditional region, then the name on the label must contain a geographic designation. This stipulation does not detract from the quality of these equally good Chianti wines. The sweet Vin Santo del Chianti Classico and Vin Santo del Chianti also have DOC appellation and round out the rich repertoire of Chianti wines.
Foodpairing with Chianti Red Wine
Simple Chiantis can be stored for up to three years. Because they do not develop further, however, they should be enjoyed young. The optimal serving temperature for a Chianti wine is 16 - 18 degrees Celsius. Additional decanting in a wine decanter improves its flavour. Steak tartare, pan-fried meats, pasta and tomato dishes all pair well with young Chianti wines. Classicos have a maturation potential of up to 10 years. They represent culinary pleasure, especially when served with beef goulash, lamb or crispy duck.
Buy Chianti wine online
Whether you indulge in your dry red wine on its own or in combination with light snacks or an opulent meal, we from the Vinello online wine shop guarantee you the fast and uncomplicated pleasure of Italian wines. With our extensive selection, cork guarantee, 30-day return policy, the opportunity to purchase on invoice – right from your first order – as well as our many other payment options, Vinello customers enjoy many benefits. And you can spend the time you save on the important things in life: Chianti wine and la dolce vita.
Things to know about Chianti
When to drink Chianti? Chianti red wine is first and foremost a popular accompaniment to Italian and especially Tuscan cuisine. Whether pasta, game or ripe cheeses - Chianti is best drunk with food.
What is Chianti? Chianti is a red wine cuvée from the vineyards between Florence and Siena. Chianti wine consists of about 75 % Sangiovese grapes, Canaiolo makes up another 15 % and various varieties such as Malvasia or Trebbiano round off the wine. The composition differs from one growing region to the next, which broadens the spectrum of Chianti wine.
What is Chianti Classico? A Chianti Classico comes from the original Chianti growing area and is considered by connoisseurs to be the best Chianti wine. A black rooster adorns the banderole of the bottle and guarantees the high quality of the Chianti Classico.
What is Chinati Riserva? This is a quality level of Chianti wine. For a Chianti Classico Riserva, an ageing period of at least 24 months is prescribed, 3 months of which are in the bottle.
What to eat with Chianti? A whole range of dishes lend themselves to Chianti, including Italian cuisine such as pasta and juicy tomato dishes, hearty dishes such as beef goulash or crispy duck, but also variations of mature cheeses.
Chianti which grape variety? The leading grape variety for Chianti wine is Sangiovese, which makes up about 75% of the wine. Canaiolo is represented by 10 %, while red and also white grape varieties such as Trebbiano, Malvasia del Chianti or Merlot round off the cuvée.
Which cheese with Chianti? Matured hard cheeses such as Parmigiano, Grana Padano, Gauda, Cheddar and mountain cheeses harmonise well with Chianti wine.
How long to store Chianti? Chianti red wine can be stored for up to 3 years, Chianti Classico even up to 10 years. Ideally, Chianti wine should be stored in a dark, temperature-resistant and cool place.
What does Chianti taste like? A typical Chianti expresses fruity hints of cherry, blackberry or prune. Furry tannins and elegant acidity are also characteristic of Chianti red wine.
Where does Chianti come from? The growing region for Chianti is in Tuscany, along the Monti del Chianti chain of hills.
Is a Chianti dry? Yes, Chianti is almost exclusively dry, unless it is a Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, a dessert wine from the Chianti wine region.
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