Why is this Wine so Yummy?
Once the crop was in the cellars, the grape bunches were destemmed and given a soft pressing. The must which was obtained went into stainless steel fermentation tanks, where it fermented for approximately a week. The period of maceration on the skins was carried out with delicate extraction methods in order to assure a full extraction which, at the same time, maintained the elegance and suppleness of the tannins and structure. After the malolactic fermentation, which took place spontaneously by the end of the year, the blended wine was aged for approximately a year in 60 gallons French and Hungarian oak barrels. A further twelve month period of bottle aging preceded commercial release.
The 2015 Vintage for Marchese Antinori
The climate of the 2015 vintage was an extremely regular one and respected, in its various phases and seasons, the typical weather of the Chianti Classico production zone. A cold and relatively dry winter preceded a spring characterized by damp weather in March and April and dry weather in May and June. In this period, temperatures were regular, guaranteeing a perfect growth of vegetation and an excellent phase of flowering and bud set for the grapes. The summer was a warm one, with peak temperatures in July, but also with highly positive temperature swings from daytime warmth to evening and nighttime coolness which assured a constant growth of the grape bunches free of stress. The month of August, warm as well, was characterized by occasional rainfall which favored a fine onset to the ripening of the crop. The picking took place between mid-September and early October in a climate of dry and breezy weather.
Sangiovese a red Italian wine grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter”. It can be extremely vigourous producing leaves the size of your head and bunches of similar size with large berries.
Where is it grown?
It’s grown throughout Tuscany in the sub-regions that make up the Chianti DOCG, where the Sangiovese Piccolo is the dominant version. Plantings in Montalcino making Brunello are typically of the Sangiovese Grosso version. We use the term version as there is some funky DNA floating around that doesn’t neatly fit into Variety or Clone. It’s a case of same same but different. You’ll find it in Sicily, Calbria and splashes around the world.
What does it taste like?
Generally lighter in colour, although as always there are exceptions.
There is an incredibly diverse array of flavours and aromas across the wines made from Sangiovese. This is true across both Chianti and Brunello wines. In Chianti this is influenced by blending with the native Canaiolo, and French varietes like Syrah and Merlot You’ll find fresh flavours like sour cherry, shifting to dark fruits, earthy characters, florals, rich chocolate, spices and beyond. The perceived density certainly differs across the wine. Like most varieties the styles that can be made are incredibly diverse.
You’ll typically find higher perceived acidity in good Sangiovese.
When blended with the likes of Syrah and Cabernet they tend to appear richer and more generous.
Where in the World do these Wines Come From?
Chianti is a sub-region of Tuscany. Other sub-regions include Montalcino and Montepuliciano. Like Montalcino, Chianti covers a large area and is relatively poorly defined in comparison to the likes of Barolo.
As is often the case with Italian wines there is confusion created by an ever changing general classification system. In this case we have wines two basic designation. The first, the Chianti Classico DOCG for which you see a black rooster on the label or neck tie which come from a defined area between Florence and Sienna. The Second Chianti DOCG or greater Chianti region that surrounds the Chianti Classico DOCG which in turn is broken up into seven sub-regions as seen in the second map below.
Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico – Is produced from the vineyards of the Tignallo estate: Tignanello, Badia a Passignano, and Pèppoli at Mercatale Val di Pesain all in the Chianti Classico DOCG.