Today’s libation is a Tuscan favorite… but hold on to your butts because this is not your Grandma’s Chianti Classico!

Serving note: As a general rule, you should give this wine about 45 minutes to breath (open the bottle and don’t recork). Or you can decant and enjoy right away. This will soften the acidity and tannins in the wine.

Fast Facts About Chianti Classico

  • Chianti Classico was established as a subregion of the greater Chianti DOC in the 1967 classification. In 1996, Chianti Classico DOCG became it’s own appellation, SEPARATE from Chainti DOCG.
  • The blend must be 80% Sangiovese with up to 20% of the supporting grape varieties. The wines are aged in small oak barrels or large casks to soften tannins and add notes of warm spices.
  • A black rooster (gallo nero) is the symbol of the region based on an old legend of how the Chianti region was annexed to the Republic of Florence during the Middle Ages.

Aging Requirements for Chianti Classico

  • Rosso or Annata – min. 1 year
  • Riserva – min. 2 years with 3 months in bottle
  • Gran Selezione* – 30 months with 3 months in bottle
  • *Term introduced in 2014. Grapes must be estate grown with stricter regulations.



Sangiovese (San-gee-oh-VAY-zeeh) is a thin skinned black grape variety grown throughout central Italy, but the most prestigious Sangiovese based wines can be found in Tuscany, where it accounts for 66% of production. Top Tuscan appellations for Sangiovese based wines include: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Typical structure: Moderate to full bodied, high acid, moderate to high tannin. May appear brickish in color or have an orange hue.

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