Examining The Different Types of Chianti

Chianti is an aromatic wine produced from grapes grown in the hot and hilly region of Italy. Get ready to explore the four types of Chianti and tips for picking the perfect bottles.

Also, read on to uncover the best online wine clubs for Chiantis.

Where is Chianti?

First defined for its viticulture in 1716, Chianti is located in central Tuscany. Just like Barolo and the best Champagnes, this region is popular for the eponymous wine it produces. Chianti wines derive their unique medium body from the scorching dry terroir that brings out different aromatic notes along with a tart and acidic flavor.

Sommeliers can identify different types of Chianti by the seven sub-regions highlighted below.

  • Montalbano is located in the western side of Florence
  • Rufina is situated in the eastern end of Florence
  • Colli Fiorentini is positioned in the southern area of Florence
  • Colli Aretini is positioned in the southeast region of Florence
  • Colli Senesi is the southern zone that includes Montepulciano and Montalcino
  • Montespertoli is placed around the southwest of Florence
  • Colli Pisane lies at the westernmost end of the Chianti zone

What Are The Types of Chianti

Read on to learn all about the composition and characteristics of the four unique types of Chianti wine.

Standard Chianti

This is a type of Chianti aged for a minimum of three months and composed of up to 70% of Sangiovese grapes. The remaining 30% is filled with Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah grapes.

Chianti Classico

Classico is produced in small batches from the Classico district situated between Siena and Florence. To be labeled as such, it must be aged for at least 10 months. It’s a medium-bodied wine filled with tannins owing to the presence of 80% Sangiovese and 20% of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The signature seal of Chianti Classico is the famous black rooster.

Chianti Riserva

Overall this type is the same as Standard Chianti except for the aging duration. Riserva demands up to 38 months in the cask to mellow the tannins. The drinkability of these wines stretches up to 15 years.

Chianti Superiore

When Chianti grapes are sourced from areas other than the Classico district, it’s labeled Superiore. These wines are aged for a minimum of 9 months and made from lower yields.

Picking The Best Chianti

The best way to pick an ideal Chianti for your palate is with horizontal tasting. You need to compare and contrast different Chiantis from several wineries to appreciate its nuances. Take a look at other defining characteristics to differentiate and select the best Chianti.

  • Classification: Chianti and Chianti Classico are classified DOCG, the highest tier of wine status according to Italian standards.
  • Grapes: You’ll find Chiantis with Cabernet, Syrah, and Merlot in addition to Sangiovese which leads to notes of bitter herbs, spice, balsamic vinegar, and red fruits.
  • Aging: Young Chiantis are typically purple-red, tart, and light while aged ones show up as burgundy red with savory flavors.
  • Food pairing: Pick your Chianti by food pairings such as pizza, salami, game meats, and sauces dominated by tomato.

The Best Chiantis From Wine Clubs

How do you find a Chianti that agrees with your taste buds? Let the experts help you decide. Here are four wine clubs with different types of sought-after Chiantis that can help you out:

Plonk Wine Club

A small-batch wine called Chianti Istine Classico 2014 is a blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Colorino. This cask-aged wine brings hints of cherry fruit and licorice that pairs with meatballs, penne pasta, and steaks.

Naked Wines

An award-winning wine, Villa Saletta La Rocca Chianti Riserva 2007 is known for its intense aroma and smooth notes of black fruits. This red wine pairs excellently with roasted red meats and juicy vegetables.

Laithwaites

The Tuscan-special Superstar Chianti Superiore from Poggio Tempesta is a medium bodied bottle that brings out cherry and mocha flavor. It complements dishes like aged cheeses, poultry, and red meats.

Gold Medal Wine Club

One of the exclusive blends from GMWC is the Classico Riserva titled Fontodi 2006 Chianti. This 95-point wine is a mix of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes aged for up to two years. Expect leathery notes of blackcurrant and cherry. Nothing brings out the flavors of this wine quite like lamb dishes.

Bottom Line

While it’s certainly a more pronounced flavor when compared to the best Champagnes online, a dry red Chianti is perfect owing to its four unique variations. This exotic Italian terroir packs a punch that pairs well with a range of different dishes and tasting preferences.

Sign up for a wine club today to start tasting the very best Chianti’s from the comfort of your home.