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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > ITALY: Chianti

Winner Details

Italy: Chianti

2018 Gold 7       Silver 5                Bronze 2             Commended 7
2017 Gold 5       Silver 4                Bronze 3             Commended 9

We probably all need to rethink our attitude towards Chianti – and to get customers to rethink it, too. While there’s still plenty of cheap generic Chianti out there, not much of it is worth bothering with. We had only two Chianti medals – and an awful lot of wines were kicked out.

But when it came to Classicos – and particularly the Riservas and Gran Seleziones – it was a different story entirely, with wines of class and elegance. Prices may have gone up, but quality definitely went up with it and our tasters really appreciated the difference.

And while the Gran Seleziones tended to be above £20 – firmly in upper-end restaurant territory – there were still flashes of value to be found in the Riservas, not least the Uggiano, which, at less than £9 a bottle, was a stunningly good, textbook version of what Chianti can be about. Stepping up from Silver last year, it fully deserved its Food Match and Critics’ Choice awards.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Some of the Chianti Classicos were a bit tight, but the Gran Seleziones showed really nice elegance. Chianti is definitely back.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘We generally go for lighter, less tannic reds, but there was a good variety and expression of Sangiovese here. You definitely need to decant them to go with food.’ Alex Pitt, Typing Room

‘Not the most exciting flight of straight Chiantis, then with the Riservas came more oak influence but different styles as well: beautifully elegant and fresh styles, then much more modern, bold, oak-driven, riper styles. There’s a place for both.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘The younger, heavily oaked styles will need three or four hours of decanting. The quality on the Riservas was very good, they’ve massively improved in the past six years.’ Robert Mason, Cheese at Leadenhall

Award winners

Found 21 wines

Italy: Chianti

Uggiano, Fagiano, Chianti Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume was impressed with this Gold winner’s ‘classic nose of floral notes, meaty hints and spices with figs, very fresh tannins and good concentration on the palate’, while for team leader Laura Rhys MS there was ‘dark, bitter cherry, plum and cherry stone aromas, black stone minerality and good oak integration on the palate but bold tannins’. Its ‘dark fruit, cedar, dried mushroom and roasted notes’ made this, according to team leader Laurent Richet MS, ideal for a barbecued rib of beef.

£8.98 Boutinot

Castello Vicchiomaggio, San Jacopo, Chianti Classico 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Alex Pitt of Typing Room loved this Gold Lister’s ‘inviting aromas of vine tomatoes and wild strawberry’, followed by a ‘silky and elegant palate with nice balance of fruit and savoury notes’, and The Don’s Carlos Ferreira noted ‘tobacco leaves and black olives with black cherry fruit, great balance and level of tannin, and spicy black fruits on the finish’. ‘Voluptuous and complex, with dark spices and round tannins,’ concluded team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£12.70 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Agostino Petri, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS was drawn to this exceptional Gold winner’s ‘bold and juicy dark fruits on the nose, spice and weight on the palate’, finding it a ‘modern style with prominent but well-integrated oak’. ‘Beautifully balanced, with lovely volume in the mouth, with some black fruit compote and a spicy finish,’ added Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club found further complex notes of ‘olive, tobacco leaf and leather’.

£17.00 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

On encountering this Gold winner, Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia was lured in by an ‘enticing nose of dark berry compote and toffee apple, leading to an opulent and silky-smooth palate’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira highlighted ‘dried cherry and plum with liquorice and tomato leaf on the nose, textured, spicy black fruit on the palate with a finish that’s really fresh and very well balanced’. ‘Rich, luscious and beautiful,’ was how The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones summed it up.

£33.15 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Felice, Poggio Rosso, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Turning judges’ heads and simultaneously taking home the Gold, this Gran Selezione drew praise from Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia for its ‘concentrated, dried dark fruits, sandalwood spice and cherry blossom notes, and a grippy but quite giving palate’. ‘Warm floral notes of violet, with a palate of plum and some peppery spice,’ added team leader Tom Forrest. ‘Rich, elegant and balanced, with good dark fruit,’ concluded Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche.

£27.28 Boutinot

Rocca di Castagnoli, Poggio a'Frati, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Bold, with red fruit on the nose, purple floral and herbaceous notes, elegant tannins and lovely freshness,’ praised team leader Laura Rhys MS as this Chianti Classico Riserva effortlessly took the Gold, with Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason finding it ‘earthy and slightly rustic, with notes of chocolate, smoke and juicy fruit’. ‘Violet and velvety,’ thought The Connaught’s Aurel Istrate, with added complexity from ‘tomato leaves, smoky tobacco and coffee’.

£15.10 Eurowines

Ruffino, Riserva Ducale, Oro, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Clearly a Gold List wine, this combined ‘floral notes of violets and rose petals with hazelnut on the nose, a soft palate of ripe cherries, pepper and vanilla’, according to team leader Tom Forrest, with Typing Room’s Alex Pitt picking up ‘nice cherry fruit with some slightly cured meat characters, but well-balanced acidity and structure on the palate’. For consultant Chantal Serrano it showed ‘good development, with dried fruit, cocoa and mint, all with good balance’.

£26.24 Matthew Clark

Rocca di Castagnoli, Stielle, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Definitely a food wine, stressed Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, noting its ‘subtle aromas of berry pudding with nuances of herbs and spices, and a soft but structured palate’, backed up by Typing Room’s Alex Pitt, who found ‘touches of mintiness and herbs on the nose, showing more fruit on the palate, quite earthy and mineral, too’.

£21.50 Eurowines

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume enjoyed this wine’s ‘cured meat spicy notes, lavender floral elements and intense, very well-balanced palate’, and Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason felt its ‘ripe, sun-dried tomato fruit, good silky body, smooth tannins and well-rounded depth make it very food-friendly, ideal with a beef ragu’.

£12.04 Boutinot

Castellare, Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Really concentrated,’ began Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume, who liked its ‘ripe blackberry and dark chocolate character with good structure to balance and a big hit of oak’, with Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason thinking it was ‘deep, dark, huge and rustic, young but has potential’.

£18.87 Bibendum

La Sala, Chianti Classico 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

For Typing Room’s Alex Pitt, this was all about ‘framboise and Morello cherry, lovely balance between acidity and tannin, and a silky fruit character’, while team leader Tom Forrest enjoyed its ‘lifted violet and leafy aromas’ and its ‘juicy cherry fruits with a slightly sour note washing the tannins away’.

£11.00 Howard Ripley

Trambusti, Celsus, Chianti 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

This was a ‘lighter, restrained style’, said team leader Laura Rhys MS, who was keen on its ‘bright red fruit, redcurrant and cherry with some weight on the palate and notes of spice’, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason picked up notes of ‘tomato leaf, sour cherry and some body and depth’.

£7.00 Matthew Clark

Uggiano, Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

With L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli highlighting this wine’s ‘spiced meat aromas, dried flowers and good structure’, team leader Laura Rhys MS found ‘juicy cherry, elegant spice with good weight and complexity on the palate, giving good value all-round’.

£7.98 Boutinot

Badia di Morrona, I Sodi del Paretaio, Chianti 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Slightly smoky with earthy aromas too,’ began Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, noting ‘dark and red fruit, ripe tannins on a deep, fairly complex palate’, concluding that it was ‘good value for money’.

£7.95 Eurowines

Uggiano, Roccialta, Chianti Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.58 Boutinot

San Felice, Chianti Classico 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.98 Boutinot

Tolaini, Montebello Sette, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£22.50 Eurowines

Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Vinexus, Grati, G, Chianti 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Ruffino, Riserva Ducale, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.09 Matthew Clark

Trambusti, Tenuta Poggio ai Mandorli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.22 Matthew Clark

 

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