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The days of the straw-covered bottle are over, as the wine critic Eric Asimov reminded us in his article in the New York Times last June.
While in the Chianti we’re at the end of an exceptional grape harvest, with the 2019 vintage looking very promising, the Chianti Classico wine is crowned by Italian and international critics as one of Italy’s best wines, able to pleasantly surprise those who will have the patience to wait for its development in the bottle over the coming years.
We could certainly affirm that the Chianti wine is King, or better said “Grand Duke of Tuscany”, in homage to Cosimo III de’ Medici, who with incredible foresight already defined the production area of today’s Chianti Classico DOCG in 1716.
The three hundredth grape harvest in the Gallo Nero region, three years ago, was deservedly successful.
The Gambero Rosso Guide, which assigns Tre Bicchieri (three glasses) as maximum score, has awarded 24 Chianti Classico wines, a record in the history of this denomination.
This is also a record at regional level: the Black Rooster clearly stands out, rising above all the other Tuscan wines, and comes second in Italy in the guide’s 2020 edition. Barolo is first, with just one more wine awarded.
In the Gazzetta dello Sport columns the “Best Italian Wine Awards” honours one Gran Selezione wine from Castellina in Chianti, 2014 vintage.
This clearly demonstrates that, even in the more challenging years, the Chianti producers have committed to keep the quality of their wines high.
More than a third of the crowns assigned by the Touring Club Guide “Vinibuoni d’Italia” – specialised in native vines – go to the Chianti Classico (16 wines out of 45 awarded in Tuscany), highlighting the Chianti Classico’s strong link to its roots.
Daniele Cernilli, aka Doctor Wine, signs the guide “Guida Essenziale ai Vini d’Italia” (Essential Guide to Italian Wines), that includes the Barone Ricasoli as wine company of the year and many Chianti Classico wines with 95 to 98 points.
Even abroad, the 2016 Chianti Classico grape harvest has unanimously convinced the wine critics, who have lauded it as a vintage of great elegance and harmony; it is indeed identified as a benchmark by which to measure wine quality in the future (“A modern day benchmark”, Antonio Galloni).
Although the highest scores (equal to or above 95 points) have been mostly assigned to the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wines, some Riserva or Annata wines reach the top of the Antonio Galloni’s ranking on Vinous.com (10 wines with equal or higher scores to 95 points), Monica Larner of Wine Advocate (31 wines), James Suckling (31 wines) and Bruce Sanderson of Wine Spectator (11 wines).
American magazines usually indicate the best time to taste each wine, and the Chianti Classico is unanimously recognised as a wine capable of long ageing.
We can certainly affirm that the Chianti Classico is the most awarded denomination in the whole of Tuscany.