ChiantiChianti is a dry red wine from Tuscany made from the grapes: Sangiovese (80 to 100%), Canaiolo Nero (0 to 10%) and Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot (0 to 15%). In the past Chianti was not considered to be a particular good wine. But in the last years the work done by many good wineries has greatly improved the quality of Chianti which resulted in a much better status of the wine. Today Chianti (and especially Chianti Classico) is a well respected wine which earned its place amongst the greater wines of Italy.
Chianti has many varieties from which Chianti Classico is the most famous (and usually best) one. Other varieties are Rùfina, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Montalbano, Chianti Superiore and of course Chianti. These varieties are usually not as good as the Classico but it is definitely possible to find excellent wines in them. The Chianti Classico Riserva needs to age for 24 months with a minimum of 3 months in bottle and 21 on wood before it can be sold.
Young Chianti wines have a fresh fruity somewhat sharp drink while older Riserva wines become more full bodied and soft. A Chianti Classico Riserva can age for quite a bit longer than a normal Classico, but be aware that the aging process can remove part of the fruity taste when the bottle is kept too long.
Chianti en Chianti Classico both have the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, the highest in Italy.
Good wineries:Badia a Coltibuono
Badia a Passignano
Castello di Brolio
Castello di Monastero
Isole e Olena