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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: Chianti

Winner Details

Italy: Chianti

2017 Gold: 5 Silver: 4 Bronze: 3 Commended: 9
2016 Gold: 1 Silver: 6 Bronze: 5 Commended: 5

Chianti, like ever more of the country’s recognisable wine styles, appears to be undergoing a process of gentrification. Having made its name as the cheap (and often cheerless) stalwart of trattoria up and down the country, nowadays it’s increasingly found strutting around in an expensive suit and carrying a silver-topped cane.

There were some really good wines here: wines of balance, elegance and food-friendliness. But not many of them would make it on to a wine list under £40 (the Trambusti being an eye-poppingly cheap exception).

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, just that it pays to keep abreast of the fashions. That boy from the back streets with the accent? He’s grown up, and is wearing an expensive suit and carrying a silver-topped cane.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Chianti is definitely something you should have on your list. There’s so much natural food friendliness – though that means you wouldn’t want it without food.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘There was great typicity to these wines. You knew you were in Italy. I’m not sure how many people like this style any more, but they’re great food wines.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘The Classicos were a bit tricky at the lower end, but when you get to the Gran Selezione they hit their stride, with spice and weight and depth.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘There’s a real sense of terroir to the Chianti Classicos, and they’re very well suited to restaurants, with sour fruit, but a meatiness too, and some rosemary and thyme. They make you want to eat something,’ Damien Trinckquel, Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh

‘For customers, Chianti is one of the most recognisable wines. There was great quality here, and so much food-friendliness, which makes them particularly well suited to the on-trade.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘There were lovely wines here, with so much potential. They were elegant and fruity, with that leathery, meaty spice you’d expect. And all with really good value for money.’ Chantal Serrano, Tamarind of Mayfair

Award winners

Found 21 wines

Italy: Chianti

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Bringing spice, fruit, elegance and complexity, this wine was a clear candidate for Gold. Frédéric Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa enjoyed its ‘elegant, spicy nose with well-seasoned oak, fleshy, ripe black berry fruit with complex hints of leather, dark chocolate and tobacco’, also finding it ‘well-integrated on the finish with great balance of tannin, acidity and spice’. Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh also admired its ‘very precise style, freshness and structure, with sour red fruits and spice notes’. ‘Silky, smooth, meaty and savoury, with a complex finish,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London recommended it be paired with a veal chop, rosemary, thyme and garlic.

£32.41 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

This complex Chianti was heaped with praise, and a Gold medal, by our judges. Chantal Serrano of Tamarind of Mayfair enjoyed its ‘cherries and blackcurrant with hints of coffee on the nose, peppery palate with chewy tannins, dark olive notes and good length’, while Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall found it ‘elegant, with tomato, redcurrant and charcuterie notes, complex with finesse and definition’. Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski found ‘wild strawberry and yerba mate notes, with a touch of camomile, with some strawberry and hibiscus following on the palate – a match for pastas and salads, and black olives in particular, or even truffle and steak’.

£11.95 Boutinot

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin enjoyed this Gold Lister’s ‘juicy, plummy, violets and spice mix on the nose, then great intensity on the palate with juicy, fleshy, crunchy fruit and an invitingly rustic, savoury edge’. ‘Lovely wine, black fruit nose, intense yet very smooth attack, with dark cherry notes and a touch of oak,’ added Benoît Poulain of Adam’s Restaurant. One for beef bourguignon, said Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

£19.10 Boutinot

Trambusti, Celsus, Chianti 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Very delicate nose with gentle notes of fresh leather, then a juicy attack, darker touches of liquorice and spice for a great value option,’ said Benoît Poulain of Adam’s Restaurant in praise of this Gold winner, while Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin was impressed with its ‘dark plum intensity, freshness and upfront character, tight palate but fine oak usage with notes of bitter chocolate and mixed spices’. ‘Easy drinking, with savoury, spicy and farmyard notes, with some rounded tannins,’ concluded team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£6.62 Matthew Clark

Trambusti, Tenuta Poggio Ai Mandorli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Judges didn’t hold back in their praise of this Gold-winning Gran Selezione. ‘Complex and approachable, with blackberry, black cherry and chocolate notes, lovely meatiness and more cherry on the palate with nice earthy tannins in support,’ said Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh, with Benoît Poulain of Adam’s Restaurant noting ‘cigar smoke fragrance, dark fruit on the nose with hints of liquorice, a smooth attack with spiciness coming gently, juicy and jammy at the same time – brilliant’. A match for wild-boar stew, said team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£14.07 Matthew Clark

La Sala, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This is a really big wine,’ began Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don, continuing: ‘Still a little green, but shows lots of complexity, black fruits and spice, leathery tobacco and oak, and will continue to age very well. If you enjoy this type of wine, you can decant it now and have it with a big steak!’

£19.07 La Sala

Uggiano, Chianti Riserva 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Dusty, earthy, sweet spice nose with delicate tobacco and red fruits,’ began Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall, continuing: ‘Smooth and elegant on the palate, showing stewed tomatoes and savoury character, with fine ripe tannins. Very moreish.’ ‘Perfect with hard cheeses,’ added The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£8.89 Boutinot

Fontodi, Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Grippy tannins and juicy red fruit that is pure,’ began Andrés Ituarte of Coq d’Argent, also highlighting ‘lots of worn wood notes, tomato leaf and spice with great length – this is good value’. ‘Rich tannic structure, some herbal notes and good overall balance,’ added Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish.

£15.09 Liberty Wines

San Fabiano, Cellole, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Dark fruit, blackcurrant and plum with black cherry, well-integrated spice and oak on the palate, still feels very young but has good potential,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, while Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin found it ‘dense, tense and concentrated, with big structure, fleshy dark fruits, bitter chocolate notes and chunky tannins’.

£19.52 Enotria&Coe

Trambusti, Chianti Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Tobacco and wet leaves, black and red fruits on the nose with hints of mint and pine, a well-balanced palate with a beautiful finish,’ said The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, with Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall finding ‘elegant and charming, whiffs of meat and oak and lots of bright red fruits’.

£7.65 Matthew Clark

Filetta di Lamole, Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s judge Andrés Ituarte enjoyed this ‘lighter style of Chianti, refreshing and a touch floral, elegant while also showing a nice earthiness’, with Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish also noting ‘hints of gunpowder on the nose, and good mineral notes bringing nice balance’.

£16.04 Liberty Wines

Cecchi, Riserva di Famiglia, Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright cherry aromatics, lively cherry on the palate with grainy tannins, and will improve further with some age,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW. ‘Ripe, concentrated red fruits, well balanced with cedar, vanilla and other spices,’ added Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge.

£15.87 Enotria&Coe

Badia di Morrona, I Sodi del Paretaio, Chianti 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.60 Eurowines

Badia di Morrona, I Sodi dei Paretaio, Chianti Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.25 Eurowines

San Felice, Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.89 Boutinot

Castello della Paneretta, Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.00 VinumTerra

Castello della Paneretta, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.50 VinumTerra

Castellare di Castellina, Chianti 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.72 Bibendum

Castellare di Castellina, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.75 Bibendum

Cecchi, Villa Cerna, Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.48 Enotria&Coe

Cecchi, Storia di Famiglia, Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.47 Enotria&Coe

 

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