Chianti is one of the central regions in Tuscany. Chianti wines, formerly recognized by the squat bottles encased in a straw basket has now joined the rest of the region as one of the major producers of elegant water for the gods.
The Chianti recipe as we know it today, was created by Baron Bettino Ricasole. Taking a run down family property, he began analyzing grapes from various vines and discovered that each type of fruit resulted in a specialized palate. Today, all wines labelled as Chianti comprise 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 15% Malivasia Bianca. However, in 1992 white grapes were prohibited from use in a Chianti Classico. There are tens of thousands of small vineyards producing Chianti and the best way to find a good wine, is by tasting. Of course, Ricasole remains the larges producer but don’t limit yourself with some many other wines on the market. New organic wines are taking space on the shelves. My two faves (at the moment) from Chianti:
AMA 2010. Priced at about $27 Canadian and $17 Euros in Greve, this wine has flavourful bouquet that opens beautifully from the first sip. Here is a wine that can be enjoyed in its youth without breaking the bank. Founded in 1972, Castello di Ama provides a great product, thanks to dedication and hard work of founders Marco Pallanti and Lorenza Sebasti.
RENZO MARINAI. According to chef Costanza Belloni Filippi – and I concur – the Chianti Clasico from Renzo Marinai is a treat. This is a fantastic organic wine, with a taste of red fruit. It has a wonderful harmony and is paired perfectly with beef, medium aged cheese, or salami. We visit this vineyard on two of our tours and encourage you to join us for a tasting at this spectacular property. At Renzo Marinai, classical music is piped in to the rooms where grapes sit fermenting in barrels. It is believed that the soothing music helps them reach perfection. While we will never know how much the music perfects the wine, we do know that the wine is perfect!