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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Chianti

Winner Details

Chianti

After some fairly up-and-down performances in the early years of SWA, Chianti has settled into a comfortable place. We can pretty much rely on it every year for somewhere between four and six places on the Gold List, usually with a good spread of prices.

Typically, we have a spread of sub-denominations in the Gold mix: Chiantis, Chianti Classicos, Riservas and the odd Gran Selezione. But this year, unusually, apart from the extraordinarily well-priced Grati Chianti, the Golds were all Riservas.

Perhaps that’s because it’s the style that offers a bit of trade-up quality without being over-expensive, and it’s where the wines still usually taste like Chianti, without too much oak influence. Though as taster after taster pointed out, there’s a wide spread of styles all the way through this category, so whatever the price and character you’re looking for you can certainly find it here.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The highlight here was seeing that there are different styles and different expressions, and that none are right or wrong. Some people really like that dirty, bretty style and some like them cleaner and fresher. Seeing them side by side was really good.’ Carolina W Siebel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine

‘I liked the Gran Selezione wines. They had good prices for their intensity.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘Overall, I appreciate a classic style of Chianti; something with violets – and quite tannic.’ Gaetano Giangaspero, City Social

‘The Riservas we really liked were the fresher styles with bright acidity and less heavy oak. At the cheaper end you’re better off looking at a simple Sangiovese.’ Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group

‘Older, more rustic wines are good with nice classic Italian food, but they wouldn’t attract young drinkers. Those characters aren’t something that young people look for.’ Erik Simonics, Annabel’s

‘Chianti Classico has those two different schools and that has to be explained when you are selling.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘I love Chianti. It seems to have gone out of fashion but it’s probably one of the best food wines you can get.’ Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House

‘At the top end there were some really well-made Riservas. You’re maybe looking at £30 a bottle, but the money was going into the product, not into what was being wrapped around it.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

Award winners

Found 24 wines

Italy: Chianti

Frescobaldi, Tenuta Perano, Chianti Classico Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Powerful blackberry notes on the nose, as well as a raisined, slightly pruney element and a hint of chocolate, with bright acidity and grippy tannins.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group. 'Sour red and black cherry notes together with warm baking spice notes of French oak. Some attractive freshness washes the tannins away for a lovely clean finish, with notes of tobacco and liquorice.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£35.00 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Vinexus, Grati, G, Chianti 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Red fruit, violets and sweet spices on the nose, leading to a fruit-driven palate with silky tannins and a fresh aftertaste.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C. 'Very approachable for the price, with some pleasant cherry and spice notes.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'With redcurrants, mocha and sandalwood, this is balanced, with a touch of complexity. Great by the glass for a casual outlet.' Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£6.37 Majestic Commercial

Famiglia Losi, Querciavalle, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Big but elegant, this is a fresh wine with plenty of acidity and tannins that integrate well with sour cherry notes, as well as a slightly smoky quality.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'Textbook Chianti, with confident, elegant fruit and spice.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House. 'Dark plum fruit with olive and dry herb nuances, as well as fine tannins and good length.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£16.64 Jascots Wine Merchants

Uggiano, Prestige, Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Intense aromas with both floral and red fruit notes, leading to a soft palate with ripe tannins complementing the finish.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Red cherries and spicy oak notes, along with some attractive tannins, and a juicy finish.' Tom Forrest, team leader. 'Notes of blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, stewed plum and dark chocolate.' Romain de Courcy, The Ritz Paris.

£8.85 Boutinot

Felsina, Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A ripe and velvety wine with delicious tannins.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Notes of red and black cherries and berries, with some French oak baking spice too, and brisk tannins, with nice depth of flavour, and some additional tobacco and liquorice notes.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£36.20 Liberty Wines

Querciabella, Chianti Classico 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Notes of raspberry and toast on both nose and palate, and slightly peppery too, with a persistent finish.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Really pleasant aromas leading to a refreshing palate with real structure, and great tannins.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche.

£16.40 Armit Wines

Villa La Pagliaia, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Some barrel notes with red berries and dark fruit, this has complexity and endurance, with some drying tannins, and some liquorice on the finish.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'Classic, well-made Chianti with some developing aromas, firm tannins and a long finish.' Erik Simonics, Annabel’s.

£16.00 Boutinot

Frescobaldi, Castello Nipozzano, Vecchie Viti, Chianti Rúfina Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Good concentration here, with lots of fruit to match the acidity, a touch of spice and toast and some high tannins.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'A modern style with crunchy black fruit in the spotlight, and some sweet spices and savoury notes there too.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£22.92 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Fattoria di Basciano, Chianti Rufina Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Dried herbs and a nice bouquet of flowers, with some spicy notes, black fruit, charcoal and leather, and integrated tannins and acidity.' Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery. 'Spicy, traditional Chianti with some sour cherry notes and a detectable presence of oak.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned.

£15.78 Bibendum

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Powerful yet elegant, this has some spicy berry, vanilla and a leather note, as well as some medicinal and rosemary character, and a nice structure overall.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'With great fruit quality and oak integration, this is elegant and complex, with a very long finish and some polished tannins.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel.

£34.03 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Villa Saletta, Chianti 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Rustic and old-school, with a gamey character of soft red fruits and grippy tannins, with some worn woody notes too. Clean and delicious.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Herbaceous, with red fruit, and a hit of minerality on the nose, with the palate showing good fruit and lively tannins.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£12.20 Top Selection

Castellare di Castellina, Chianti Classico Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Opulent, rich, raisined and concentrated, with deep, dark purple fruit.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group. 'Sweet spicy nutmeg and cinnamon notes, with a lovely chocolate flavour, and some lovely concentration of red fruit.' Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery. 'Good concentration with ripe fruit and firm tannins, and a soft, long finish.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel.

£21.24 Bibendum

Felsina, Berardenga, Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'With sour cherries and some smooth tannins, this is showing typicity, with some nice persistence on the palate.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London. 'Sour cherry fruits with baking spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, and some dried cherry and freshness on the finish.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£24.87 Liberty Wines

Villa Cerna, Chianti Classico Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Big flavours of cherry, with vanilla and blackberry in support, and cloves and pepper adding to the earthy style of the wine. Leather and smoky notes lead into a long finish.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'This is salty, with tar and spice, and some floral notes too - soft, supple, fresh and juicy.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£25.28 Vinexus Ltd

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Castellare di Castellina, Chianti Classico 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.14 Bibendum

Gabbiano, Cavaliere d'Oro, Chianti Classico 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.73 Molson Coors

San Felice, Il Grigio, Chianti Classico Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.10 Boutinot

Fattoria di Basciano, Chianti Rufina 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.81 Bibendum

Tolaini, Montebello Sette, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£23.50 Eurowines

Fattoria Casaloste, Chianti Classico 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.20 Jeroboams

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Le Bolle, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Uggiano, Fagiano, Chianti Riserva 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Boutinot

Uggiano, Colli Fiorentini, Chianti 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.85 Boutinot

 

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