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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > ITALY: Chianti

Winner Details

Italy: Chianti


2015: Gold 3 Silver 7 Bronze 2 Commended 4
2014: Gold 1 Silver 3 Bronze 2 Commended 3


As most customers’ go-to Italian wine DO, this is a crucial flight in the Sommelier Wine Awards. Not one of the biggest, necessarily, but certainly one of the most important. Our teams want wines that are food-friendly, but balanced, typical but not astringent, and fairly priced.

Interestingly, the latter has been the biggest problem over the past few years. To find wines that they liked, our tasters often had to head so far up the price scale that there was rarely room for more than one wine on the list. So to find two Golds and a record number of Silvers at prices that ought not to be out of the range of most venues was a good result this year. The days of the bargain basement Chianti might be long gone, but there was still plenty here to celebrate.

From the Tasting Teams


‘I was less keen on the wines with sweeter fruit and sweeter oak. There’s a risk in making wines that are for the customer rather than an expression of the land. I liked the grippy tannins though – and that was consistent throughout.’ Matteo Malquori, Hakkasan Hanway Place

‘The lower end was a bit of a struggle, but over the £12 mark it got really quite good. There was lovely varietal expression, acidity and nice tannic structure.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘Chianti has slightly fallen off the radar for us. The older clientele quite like it, but the younger guys don’t seem to be engaging with it so much.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

‘For Chianti, it’s better to list a good example or not at all.’ George Bergier, The Victorian Chop House Company

‘[The Ruffino Riserva Ducale] is a great example – good body and juiciness, plus spicy and complex. It really delivers for the price-point – the kind of bottle that should change people’s mind!’
Caroline Brangé, 28º-50º Mayfair

Award winners

Found 16 wines

Italy: Chianti

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Fabulously food friendly, this won friends from the start, earning itself a Critics' Choice gong along the way. ‘Long, meaty and muscular, with concentration and elegance,’ began Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place. ‘Crushed black olives with bright red plums and cherries, good for now,’ added Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, while Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa noted: 'Violets, liquorice, confit, cherries, with perfect acidity and balance and good oak ageing.' Food tips ranged from tomato-based pasta dishes through to roast duck or rabbit.

£29.03 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Ruffino, Riserva Ducale, Chianti Classico Riserva 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Noting its 'spicy, lively nose, medium body, great texture, plus juicy, generous tannins, and sage and herbal notes', Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair felt pigeon tagine was the match of choice for this wine. ‘Clean and bright, with red cherries and subtle oak,’ said Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, adding: ‘Dry, with fine tannins and lovely balance.' Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place concluded: ‘Elegant, with black tea leaf notes and dusty tannins.'

£15.03 Alivini, Matthew Clark

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Riserva 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Balanced, juicy and chewy, with good texture and spicy notes,' said George Bergier of The Victorian Chop House Company, illustrating how the Il Grigio won not only Gold, but also the Steak Food Match award. ‘Rich and ripe, dry and crunchy, with ripe tannins, some black berry fruit notes and a fresh finish,’ added Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, while Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place said: ‘Forward style with red fruit and floral notes.’

£11.00 Boutinot

Antinori, Pèppoli, Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place found this wine, with its savoury aromas of spicy cherries and good concentration of fruit, to be ‘complex and elegant’, highlighting: ‘Sour red fruits, grippy tannins and suggestions of tea leaf and violets.’

£10.61 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Berardenga, Chianti Classico 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels found a ‘stewed, jammy concentration of fruit’ on the nose, with ‘notes of dark berry and blackcurrant on the palate, secondary and tertiary notes of game, leather and silky tannins to follow’.

£14.75 Liberty Wines

Lamole di Lamole, Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Soft cherry fruit with a hint of maraschino and notes of spice,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with Studio Alto’s Neil Bruce adding: ‘Quite lean, lightly oaked style, bright, with sour notes and red cherries.’

£10.44 Alivini

Ruffino, Ruffino, Riserva Ducale Oro, Chianti Classico Riserva 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Some creamy oak with vanilla and ripe red cherry and sour cherry notes, followed by a juicy, refreshing finish,’ said team leader Tom Forrest. ‘Savoury, spicy, with red and black cherries, built for 3 to 5 years’ time,’ added Neil Bruce of Studio Alto.

£21.56 Alivini, Matthew Clark

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A muscular example, with chalky tannins and good concentration,’ said an impressed Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto adding: ‘Ripe and brooding with notes of black olives and smoky bacon, with grippy tannins.’

£17.00 Boutinot

Mazzei, Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

’Morello cherries and wild strawberries on the nose, bright and delicate with nice acidity on the palate, elegant oak,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, while George Bergier of The Victorian Chop House Company said: 'Rich and full, almost gamey, with good, balanced texture. Elegant, with good aftertastes, but too young. Nicely develops in the glass.'

£29.45 Enotria&Coe

Casaloste, Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Interesting, with sweet acacia, cedar and sawdust characters, and bright, red fruit,’ said Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross, with Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels adding: ‘Sour cherry, redcurrant and strawberry, savoury and fruit-driven palate, with refreshing acidity.’

£12.50 Laytons

Rocca di Castagnoli, Stielle, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean and polished, with crunchy red cherry and spiced fruit biscuits,’ began Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross, continuing: ‘Well balanced, not hot or over-acidic, a very enjoyable glass of wine.’ ‘Lovely structure, and definitely a fab food wine,’ added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£19.56 Eurowines

Tenuta di Capraia, Capraia, Chianti Classico Riserva 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Bolder, juicy fruit style. Black fruits and pleasant acidity and tannic structure, elegant and refined,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS. ‘Beautiful gamey, leather aromas, complemented by red berry and darker fruits,’ added Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£14.29 Eurowines

Castello San Sano, Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Borgo Scopeto, Chianti Classico 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Mazzei, Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico 2012, Tuscany , Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.83 Enotria&Coe

Casaloste, Don Vincenzo, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2009, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£28.12 Laytons

 

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