Understanding Chianti Classico’s Now-Official Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive or “UGAs”, with Buyer’s Guide of Current Releases

By John Szabo MS

Chianti Classico is enjoying a surge in popularity in North America, especially wines in the premium Riserva and Gran Selezione categories. Sales across the board are up 17% year over year by value, which aligns with the Chianti Classico Consorzio’s master plan to add value to the denomination. The sales of Gran Selezione alone, a category introduced a decade ago to take top spot on the Chianti Classico price and quality pyramid, were up 30% in the last year. Success is credited in large part to significant investments into the fine tuning of quality production, the result of years of research into plant material, grape growing, and winemaking techniques that maximize the natural vocation of this historic region to make great wine.

Jump straight to the buyer’s guide by UGA.

And now, the appellation has a new tool in its toolbox to communicate and highlight the vast differences encountered in this large, 75,000 hectare swath of the central Tuscan countryside, adding more value along the way: Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive (“added geographic units” or “UGAs” to insiders). No doubt these new label mentions will generate much discussion, at least in the trade, as wine professionals seek to tease out and understand the many variations on the theme of sangiovese found in Chianti Classico.

It’s Official
UGAs: the latest Key to Chianti Classico

In the footsteps of other Italian regions such as Barolo and Barbaresco, the historic territory of Chianti Classico now has its own Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive, which divide up the region’s circa 7000 hectares of vineyards into 11 distinct zones, named in most, but not all, cases after the commune they cover. Clockwise from the northwest corner of the denomination, these are: San Casciano, Greve, Montefiorale, Lamole, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Valgliagli, and San Donato in Poggio.

The 11 Chianti Classico UGAs

It was hardly a case of keeping up with the neighbours, however, but rather, “the fruit of 30 years’ worth of discussion”, says Caterina Mori of the Consorzio, referring to the debates among producers that have been on-going for years. Everyone agrees that the denomination is vast and varied, yielding sangiovese in a technicolour rainbow of styles, yet drawing up the precise boundaries is always a matter of some contention. But with the help of Alessandro Masnaghetti, aka “Map Man Masnaghetti”, the lines were finally drawn and agreed upon, and Chianti Classico has taken the first important step in communicating the significant differences in climate, geology, topography and culture within its borders and connecting these nuances to wines.

Buy Alessandro Masnaghetti’s Chianti Classico Atlas.

The General Assembly of the Consorzio Chianti Classico voted to approve the use of the UGAs in 2021, but it took the pen stroke on the decree of the Italian ministry of Agriculture in July of 2023 to make it official. The additional geographic mentions on labels are effective immediately for most of the UGAs, and will be appearing on Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wines, the top quality category, as of the next shipments worldwide. Just three of the 11 UGAs, Montefioralle, Lamole and Valgliagli, will have to wait three years, until 2027, to appear on labels.

It’s important to note that the UGAs are simple geographic distinctions with no implication of quality. No hierarchy has been imposed, and the production regulations remain unchanged, meaning that a Gran Selezione with a UGA mentioned on the label can be produced in precisely the same way as one without a UGA, with the same yield and ageing requirements, and varietal composition. Thus, technically speaking, the UGAs are not “sub-zones”, a distinction in Italian wine law that implies a different, usually more restrictive set of production regulations.

And although in practice one would expect the additional geographic specificity of a wine to coincide with a more ambitious product, since Gran Selezione is already at the top of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid, with many also declaring single vineyards (Vigna or Vigneto), in this case it will almost certainly be just an additional piece of information on the label, and one shouldn’t expect to pay more for Gran Selezione with UGA than one without.

Discussions are ongoing in the region to permit UGA declarations on wines in the annata and riserva categories, but for the time being these additional geographic units can only appear on Gran Selezione.

Another amendment that will take effect in 5 years is that the varietal composition of Gran Selezione will move from a minimum of 80% sangiovese up to 90%, with the remaining 10% composed exclusively of autochthonous Tuscan red varieties such as colorino, canaiaolo, ciliegiolo, mammolo, fogliatonda, and pugnitello. So, no more merlot or cabernet in GS. It’s a subtle change, one which in reality reflects what the majority of producers were already doing, so it won’t really alter the nature of the category very much.

What is the importance of the UGAs to wine lovers?

“As a wine drinker, as an Italian, it means a lot”, says Alessandro Masnaghetti, the man who mapped out the UGAs. “The UGAs have a social side, an historical side that is very important. It’s a way to increase the knowledge about the history of Chianti Classico, of Tuscany, and Italy in general. We have to open our eyes and view wine in a different, in a deeper way. We need to always be linked to our tradition. It’s a way for local people to become proud of their history, traditions and culture”, he continues, making it clear that the UGAs are not simply an exercise in defining physical factors, but that there is also an important social dimension reflected in wine styles.

According to Masnaghetti, the UGAs are critical in creating a community. The Tuscan mentality, he says, is based on individualism. “The only thing that matters is your own estate; what happens beyond the border is not relevant. But if you are a part of a community, you start to share knowledge with your neighbor. We think that the particular taste of a region or sub-region is based on things like soil, aspect, elevation, etc., but we always forget that this kind of taste comes also from the human side. The only way to have a more uniform style inside a region, subregion, an AOC, DOC, MGA or UGA or whatever, comes through the sharing of knowledge between properties.”

“The tradition, history and shared knowledge are just as important as the natural factors”, continues Caterina Mori of the Consorzio. “And the UGAs are the very embodiment of this concept, of this philosophy, of this way of looking at wine.”

The UGA areas are thus not mapped out exclusively according to geology or elevation or micro-climate, even if these elements are of course taken into consideration. But the real boundaries were drawn up along cultural and historical lines, defining areas of broadly shared historical heritage and winemaking philosophy.

Coming to Terms with Tuscan Geology

Nonetheless, geology, and the soils derived from underlying rocks, formed an important basis for Masnaghetti’s work. He started with the official geological survey of the region commissioned by the region of Tuscany, but then simplified the radical diversity from dozens of “cartographic units” down to a manageable eleven basic units that give rise to soils of a similar composition. As he reminds us, grapes grow on soil, not subsoils, and although soils are derived from their parent geologies, other human factors can alter the growing medium. He calls it a geo-viticultural map, more relevant for wine style than a standard geological map.

These eleven units can be further simplified into two main groups: marine units, the more varied of the two containing eight cartographic units, and continental units, composed of three sub-units. Some brief definitions will help understand the terminology used in the region.

Simplified geological map of Chianti Classico

Marine Units

Marine units are derived from sedimentary rocks deposited during the era when a sea covered most of Italy, Tuscany included, creating various sandstones and marly limestones. Macigno is the local name for a type of non-calcareous sandstone, found mainly along the mountain range of Monti del Chianti in the east of the appellation (light brown on the map above), especially prevalent in the Lamole UGA. According to Masnaghetti, sangiovese grown on macigno gives, “wine with lighter colour, lighter structure, and normally lower acidity”.

Pietraforte is another type of sandstone, but in this case calcareous, much harder than macigno, and thus often used for buildings in the region. It weathers into to clay soils, which yield wines with more colour, more structure, and more acidity than those grown on macigno.

Then there’s a “universe of marls”, that is, sedimentary soils containing a large percentage of calcium carbonate, of which the most important in terms of planted surface area in Chianti Classico is called alberese. It gives rise to highly calcareous soils with clay, and the wines grown on alberese, like pietraforte, have plenty of colour, deep tannic structure, and high acidity. But associated climate plays an important role in wine style, of course, and in the cooler, higher elevation central part of the region like northern Gaiole, parts of Radda, and Castellina, the fruit tends to be “crispy”, lighter, more red. In warmer areas with alberese such as southern Gaiole, and Castelnuovo Berardenga, the fruit tends to be much darker.

“Galestro” of marly-limestone

Then there’s what’s called the Formazione di Sillano, another type of marl, as well as clay-shales, which give rise to wines of style similar to those of alberese, with deep colour, firm structure, lots of tannins and dark fruit, as in the warmer, western side of Panzano, as Masnaghetti describes.

Continental Units

There are only three sub-units under the Continental heading, but they’re important in terms of area covered, including the entire western side of the appellation, from San Casciano down to Valgliagli. In San Casciano in the north, gravelly-alluvial soils predominate, featuring rounded pebbles of different sizes that are unique to this area.

The other main continental unit is lacustrine soils, essentially ancient lake sediments, high in clay content, typical of the western part of the Castellina UGA. Both the gravelly and the sandy lacustrine soils tend to produce wines of high fruit concentration, very ripe, more red in San Casciano and darker in Castellina, alongside moderate structure and softer texture, more open-knit and gentle overall.

And what of galestro? “It’s not a geological formation”, confirms Masnaghetti, in reference to this confusing term that anyone who has studied Chianti Classico will have come across. “It’s rather a particular texture of rock that can be found within most of the geological formations in Chianti Classico, wherever clay is present”, he says. Basically the term galestro refers to a state of degradation of rocks, composed of very thin layers that easily flake when exposed. Nevertheless, you will still come across producers who describe their soils as “galestro”, which is incomplete information. Now you know to ask the question: “galestro of what type of rock?”

Touring the UGAs Clockwise from the Northwest corner of the DOCG

San Casciano

Just south of Florence, practically in the city suburbs, the San Casciano UGA covers the commune of the same name. It has the second largest area under vine after Castellina UGA, with 1500ha, or 17% of the total in the appellation. Unique to San Casciano is the equal area of vineyards and olive groves, a reflection of the warmer climate – one of Chianti Classico’s warmest – and the cultural traditions of the commune.

Vineyards are concentrated between 200 and 300m above sea level, which means quite uniform alluvial-pebbly soils, and thus some of the most consistent styles of wine of all of the UGAs: “elegant, fruity, with round tannins, gentle structure, medium acids, easy-drinking even when young, though not to say the top examples are not capable of ageing”, says Masnaghetti, echoing my impressions of San Casciano Chianti Classico. Le Corti is a classic example.

The exceptions to this rule are the wines from the southern part of the UGA where you find alberese and formazione di Sillano, yielding more structured and darker wines, as with Antinori’s Tignanello estate.


The Greve UGA takes its name from the municipality of Greve, also the town and the River of the same name. The defining topographic features are the Greve River, which runs northwards from Radda towards Florence and has created a wide valley, with the Monti del Chianti forming the eastern border.

There are three smaller UGAs also within the communal boundaries that have been carved out of this large area: Lamole UGA is on the right bank (east side) of the valley at the southern end, Panzano is on the left bank at the southern end, and Montefioralle is a little further north on the left bank. These three UGAs will be covered separately. The Greve UGA itself, which covers the rest, is by far the largest, and encompasses a wide range of soils, elevations and aspects, making it more of a challenge to define a single wine style.

Two geological formations dominate: macigno sandstone to the east along the Monti del Chianti range, yielding generally more elegant, fruity wines, and Formazione di Sillano, heavier calcareous clay soils and shales on the west, especially towards the northwest where more structured, tannic wines are produced.

Lamole UGA

Lamole is the smallest and most homogenous of all of the UGAs thanks to its diminutive size. The total surface area is about a thousand hectares, though only about 100 are planted to vines, an area smaller than many single Chianti Classico estates. Soil is a defining feature, derived almost exclusively from macigno, which coupled with the highest elevations in Chianti Classico, ranging from about 500m up to nearly 700m at the limit of the Chianti Classico appellation, makes for the palest, lightest, most floral, elegant and fruity examples of Chianti Classico. Thanks to the steep slopes, vines are traditionally planted on terraces facing west across the Greve Valley. Eight wineries share the Lamole UGA, with notable ones including I Fabbri, Fattorie di Lamole, Castelinuzza and Lamole di Lamole.

Map excerpt from Masnaghetti’s Chianti Classico Atlas depicting vineyard ownership within Lamole section of the UGA

Montefioralle UGA

Named for the magnificent medieval walled town on the left bank of the Greve River, above the town of Greve itself, Montefioralle UGA covers 1500 hectares in total, of which 250 are planted to vines, 2% of the Chianti Classico DOCG. Here we’ve shifted geological formations from macigno (non-calcareous sandstone) to alberese (clay-marls) which underlies the vast majority of Montefioralle’s vineyards.  It’s a relatively warm, east-facing region, producing wines with,“fruity character, good freshness, but medium structure”, says Masnaghetti, “normally not so structured as the wines made on alberese in, say, the Monti area of the Gaiole UGA, nor as fresh as those produced in the Lecchi area of Gaiole UGA.” Producers of note include Verrazzano, Viticcio, Villa Calcinaia

Panzano UGA

Named after the village of Panzano, Panzano UGA lies at the southern edge of the Province of Firenze on the border with Siena, sits entirely within the Greve municipality, but only the eastern portion of the zone faces the Greve Valley itself. This is the cooler sector of the UGA, facing east towards Lamole and Monte San Michele, relative to the side that faces southwest. It’s this change in aspect that makes the greatest difference in terms of wine style, since, “from the point of view of geology and elevation the two sides of the UGA are very similar”, says Masnaghetti. “You have pietraforte, formazione di Sillano, and some shale. But if you taste the wines from the eastern side, they have much more fruit compared to those coming from the western side of the UGA.” Here, the Monti del Chianti range has a large influence on climate, making it much cooler than the western side, especially around the famed Conca d’Oro where fruit tends to shift to a much darker spectrum, even if soils, and the structure of the wines, are similar.

Panzano’s Conca d’Oro on the southwest side of the UGA

Panzano has historically been one of the most unified areas in Chianto Classico, having formed the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano in Chianti back in 1995 to share production information amongst members and collectively promote their wines. Also of note is the very high percentage of organic vineyards, over 95%. Representative producers include Fontodi, Monte Bernardi, Castello dei Rampolla, Molino di Grace, Le Fonti, Teneta Casenuove, Renzo Marinai, Le Cinciole, Carobbio.

Radda UGA

Moving to what can be considered the southern part of Chianti Classico and entering the province of Siena, Radda occupies the central heart of the appellation. “Normally, we described the wines from Radda as elegant, fresh wines” says Masnaghetti, and we explain this style of wine with the elevation. In my opinion, this is not completely correct.” Masnaghetti points out that the village of Radda is only 10 meters higher than the village of Panzano, and that it’s instead the proximity to the Monti del Chianti that makes the mesoclimate much cooler than Panzano’s, also the presence of significant forests. Though elevation is of course a factor, with 90% of vineyards ranging from 350-520 meters above sea level, with the most extreme site reaching 675m.

But there are several faces of Radda, such as in the east-west running Pesa River Valley in the northern part of the UGA, where on the right bank, facing south, properties like Volpaia and Castello di Albola lie largely on macigno – sandstone – soils and tend to produce the classic lighter, elegant, fresh style associated with the Radda UGA in general. But on the left bank, facing mostly north, soils change completely to much higher clay content, such as at Caparsa, where freshness of fruit is allied to much stronger tannic structure. And the southern part of the UGA, south of the village of Radda, also presents several  variations on the theme of fresher Chianti Classico thanks to minor variations in soil composition and exposure, taking for the example the fine-grained structure of Val delle Corti versus the more robust tannins of Colle Bereto.

Gaiole UGA

Gaiole UGA covers the commune of Gaiole, and like most UGAs, could be further subdivided along geological lines, in tbhis case quite easily. Everything to the east of the village of Gaiole is basically macigno, producing lighter more elegant styles as at Badia a Coltibuono. Soils to the west of the village are almost entirely alberese, yielding more structured and tannic wines as at Castello di Ama. The only exception is the far southern end of the UGA around San Giusto a Rentenanno where you’ll find marine sands very similar to those in the southern part of the Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA. But for Masnaghetti, it’s more useful to follow natural topographic boundaries when discussing wines form the UGA rather than geological distinctions. He cites the valleys of the River Arbia and the Masselone creek, which divide Gaiole UGA into three distinct areas: Lecchi to the west, Monti to the south, and Gaiole village to the east. Lecchi is almost pure alberese with vineyards at 400 to 500 meters, producing fruity, structured and briskly acidic wines as at Riecine or Istine, or Castello di Ama or Tenuta Perano.

Monti also sits mainly on Alberese with vineyards up to about 400 meters, so not much lower than Lecchi, but what changes is the view: “Monti is completely open to the south with no mountains in front. The only mountain is the Monte Amiata which is over 50 kilometers to the south”, says Masnaghetti. “The microclimate is thus warmer, and if you compare wines from Lecchi with those from Monti, you’ll see that the structure is similar, but the fruit of Lecchi is more crispy, while the fruit from Monti is darker and more ripe”. Prominent examples include Rocca di Montegrossi and and Castello di Brolio.

The area east of Gaiole, as noted above, lies right in the Monti del Chianti, at high elevations and surrounded by forests, which makes for a relatively cool climate. Coupled with the predominantly sandy macigno soils, the area yields brighter, fresher, fine-boned Chianti Classico.

Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA and Valgliagli UGA

The part of the Castelnuovo Berardenga commune that falls within the Chianti Classico denomination (part of the commune falls outside the appellation boundaries) is divided into two parts, most often described as the two wings of a butterfly due to their shape. The “east wing” covers the Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA, while the west wing covers the Valgliagli UGA, named for the village of the same name in the northern part of the UGA.

Town of Castelnuono Berardenga

The distribution of the geology is very clear in the east wing corresponding to the Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA: to the north, where there are practically no vineyards because of steep terrain and high elevation, is mainly macigno. A strip of alberese soils runs through the middle, from where wines bear a striking resemblance to those of the Monti area of the Gaiole UGA, that is, firm, structured with dark fruit, as at San Felice or Villa a Sesta, for example, or Felsina Berardenga.

The southern strip of the Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA is characterized by calcareous marine sandstones, quite different from the non-calcareous macigno sandstones found throughout the Monti del Chianti and especially in the Lamole UGA. And unlike wines from macigno, these calcareous sandstones give wines with considerable structure, perhaps not as much as from alberese, but firm, ageworthy wines nonetheless, which, coupled with lower elevations and a warmer microclimate overall, deliver ripe fruit alongside, as at Castel’in Villa.

The Valgliagli UGA is a bit more complex geologically, but nonetheless the northern sector is again dominated by macigno. Though tasted side by side with wines from, say Lamole, with the same soil type, the wines of Valgliagli, given the lower elevation around 400m, and latitude, which together make for a warmer microclimate, result in wines with similar elegance but riper, darker fruit and generally higher alcohol, as at Dievole or Fattoria della Aiola.

The southern sector of Valgliagli UGA is marked by a mix of Fomazione di Sillano and marine sands, the former exemplified by the deep, dark, structured wines of Tolaini, and, according to Masnaghetti, an unmistakeable “iron taste” on the finish that isn’t found in the wines of the Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA.

Castellina UGA

The Castellina UGA conveniently corresponds exactly with the communal boundaries of Castellina in Chianti. It is the most heavily planted of all of the UGAs representing 19% of the total surface area under vine of the Chianti Classico DOCG, or 1700 hectares. There is a significant shift in elevation across the area, from about 200 meters up to 500 meters for the highest elevation vineyards.

The Siena “skyline” from the Valgliagli UGA (Bindi Sergardi Tenuta Mocenni)

On the central-east side of the UGA, the majority of vines are planted in Formazione di Sillano and Pietraforte and can be compared stylistically to the wines of the Lecchi area of Gaiole UGA, with crispy red fruit and firm, fine structure as San Fabiano Calcianaia, Fonterutoli, and Pomona. The central-southern sector features predominantly lacustrine (lake deposited) soils of various compositions, which yield wines of balanced, elegant structure, if not quite as round as the wines from similar soils in San Casciano, and ripe but dark, fresh fruit, as at Lilliano and Rocca delle Macie.

San Donato in Poggio UGA

This UGA consists of small parts of the communes of Barberino Tavernelle and Poggibonsi, merged together to form the San Donato in Poggio UGA, named for the hilltop town of San Donato. It lies on the far western edge of the appellation and is neatly divided into two sectors along the Pesa River Valley. To the north is the sector known as Badia a Passignano, named for the famous abbey that lies among the vineyards and a name used by Antinori for one of the company’s Chianti Classicos. Soil and elevation are similar to the west side of Panzano, which explains the resemblance in wine styles to those of the Conca d’Oro and the vineyards around Rignana, as with Antinori’s Badia a Passignano, or Gagliole.

The hilltop directly south of the valley on which the village of San Donato is perched rests mainly on alberese, and with the presence of woodlands and higher elevations, yield wines of medium structure and crispy fruit, as at Montecchio.

The southern sector covers the area of Monsanto and is characterized by pietraforte and its classic, structured style of Chianti Classico as at Isole e Olena and Castello di Monsanto.

Just the Beginning

As is evident from Masnaghetti’s descriptions of the UGAs, Chianti Classico is a complex territory, influenced by a multitude of physical and cultural factors. Even if dominated by a single red variety – sangiovese – the diversity of wine styles is astounding. The introduction of the UGAs is only the beginning of a long journey to understanding all of the nuances and possibilities. Wine lovers now at least have a starting point.

John Szabo’s Chianti Classico Buyers’ Guide By the UGA:  Annata 2020 and Riserva 2019 & 2020

Annata 2020


92 Pomona 2020 Chianti Classico

Pretty, open, floral aromatics lead in a pleasantly oxidative style. I like the old wood spice, the cherry chutney, the dried flowers. The palate is well-balanced, sapid, succulent, firm but generous, with long finish. Solid wine best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

92 Squarcialupi Cosimo Bojola 2020 Chianti Classico

Pure sangiovese fermented and aged in amphora for 11 months, drained and pressed just before the following vintage, the only winery in Chianti Classico to make pure amphora sangiovese under the appellation. Ripe, blue fruited, herbal and spicy, clearly very ripe. It’s quite structured on the palate, though also still fresh and lively, a pure expression of sangiovese, chalky, stony. Needs time in bottle, another 2-3 years I’d say. Tasted February 2023.

91 Bibbiano 2020 Chianti Classico

Lightly dusty and old wood inflected, fruit shy for the moment, though the palate delivers a fine wash of juicy, succulent red fruit, light powdery tannins, and refined acids. I like the succulence and elegance on offer. Drinking well now but no rush, hold into the mid-late ’20s. Very tasty. Tasted February 2023.

91 Squarcialupi 2020 Chianti Classico

The ‘classic’ label of Squarcialupi, aged in large wood; part is given a extended maceration on the skins in tank to soften the texture. 5% colorino. Clean, open, ripe, gently herbal and spicy, with refined, texture, silky, delicate. Well composed fruit, neither over nor under ripe, a wine in balance with lots of finesse. I like the energy here, as well as the sophistication and elegance. Very good length. Tasted February 2023.

89 Al Limite 2020 Chianti Classico

A more open style, old wood-inflected, lifted, with sharp acids and green, astringent tannins, a tough wine far from prime. Try after 2025. But balance ultimately not ideal. Tasted February 2023.

Castellina Riserva 2019-2020

93 Castagnoli Terrazze 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Lots of flashy new wood noted off the top, a carpenter’s shop, but there’s plenty of fruit and extract, a highly ambitious wine to be sure. The palate is rich and thick, dense and concentrated, with excellent length. Give this another 2-3 years in bottle to settle in; will be a cracker. Tasted February 2023.

92 Casale dello Sparviero 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean and fragrant, classically-styled, fullish, juicy, well-balanced, with sleek tannins and juicy acids. The finish is long. This is well-made and well-balanced; great length. Fine stuff. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

92 Castello La Leccia 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Pretty, perfumed, with a nice mix of red fruit and wood spice, fresh and dried herbs, appealing and inviting. The palate is sleek and balanced, with juicy acids and supple tannins. Length and depth are very good. A widely appealing wine all in all, with genuine depth and substance. Tasted February 2023.

91 Ruffino Riserva Ducale 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

(Cask sample). Shockingly high quality considering the 1.2m bottle production; this 2020 is a little raw for now, with rough and tumble tannins, but the elements are in place. Drink from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

90 Banfi 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, correct, representative; the palate delivers substantial fruit and well balanced tannins, and some black pepper notes. Acids are juicy and overall this works well. Tasted February 2023.

90 Rocca delle Macìe 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, wooly-reductive, wood inflected. Tannins are a bit wooly, length is decent. Correct. Tasted February 2023.

89 Tenute Le Macìe Sergioveto 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Wooly-reductive with lots of wood noted. Tannins are quite hard and unyielding. Bit of a sweet-sour pull. Tasted February 2023.

89 Castellare di Castellina 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Loose and easy, juicy and succulent, with modest length and depth. Correct. Tasted February 2023.

Castelnuovo Berardenga    

91 Querciavalle 2020 Chianti Classico

A ripe and intensely flavoured wine, deeply fruity and spicy, with a wash of fruit on the palate. Very fine depth and concentration overall, with fine and refined tannins and long finish. A touch of earthy funk emerges on the finish. A good example, best from 2024 – quite juicy and accessible. Tasted February 2023.

91 Poggio Bonelli  2020 Chianti Classico

A ripe and forward, immediately attractive wine here from Poggio Bonelli, fleshy and full, lively and juicy, with loads of immediate fruit, ripe mostly red but slipping into black. I like the succulence and balance, the length and depth. Quality wine. Tasted February 2023.

90 Lecci e Brocchi 2020 Chianti Classico

Nice aromatics here, ripe red fruit, spiced cran chutney, balanced tannins and acids, solid palate substance. Good balance overall. A nice discovery. Tasted February 2023.

Castelnuovo Berardenga Riserva 2019-2020

94 Felsina Rancia 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Uniquely spicy, stemmy, like whole bunch pinot with a lifted, herbal twang, sandalwood and cedar, not from barrels but rather stems, and loads of fresh red fruit. I love the spicy succulence on the palate, the saliva inducing acids and salinity, a highly stony-mineral expression without any tannic stress. Fills the mouth with flavour and lingers impressively. Terrific wine, best from 2026 or so, or hold late into the next decade. Tasted February 2023.

93 San Felice Il Grigio 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, perfumed, complex and inviting, San Felice’s 2020 Riserva is an accomplished wine, silky-firm, concentrated, with superior length and depth, and complexity overall. I love the sapidity and the lingering finish. Quality wine. Tasted February 2023.


93 I Sodi 2020 Chianti Classico

Good depth and complexity here on the nose; fine mix of red fruit and savoury herbs, fresh earth and exotic spice. The palate is fullish and substantial, mouthfilling, great palate presence. Excellent balance and depth. A top notch 2020 annata to be sure. Drink or hold into the early-’30s.Tasted February 2023.

92 Rocca Di Montegrossi 2020 Chianti Classico

Like most of Marco Ricasoli’s wines from his especially stony terroir in Monti (in Gaiole), this 2020 is expectedly backwards upon first opening, requiring some time in glass, or preferably carafing at this embryonic stage, before enjoying, yet surely better after another 2-4 years in the cellar. A fairly ‘normal’ season here has yielded a wine of solid structure and evident depth and density, concentration and fruit extract, though manages to avoid any hard or stressed edges. Fruit is characteristically at the darker end of the sangiovese spectrum (blended with a splash of canaiolo and colorino), while wood is, as usual, not a significant flavour factor. This is honest and genuine, carefully farmed and crafted wine from a top notch site whose main vocation is wines of longevity and structure. Best after 2025, or hold into the early ’30s; considering the price of premium Tuscan reds, this remains at the very sharp end of the value pyramid, held back only by the naturally backwards nature of the wines, misunderstood by many on release. Patience needed. Tasted January 2023.

91 Badia a Coltibuono 2020 Chianti Classico

An open, light and juicy vintage for Coltibuono classic Chianti Classico, with grippy-dusty tannins and firm, succulent acids. Length and depth are very good. Refined but firm, best from 2024 – needs some time in bottle to settle in. Tasted February 2023.

91 Marchesi Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano 2020 Chianti Classico

Juicy, dark, ripe but fresh with a gentle reductive edge, professionally made wine. Polished tannins and long finish. Quality wine, properly balanced. Tasted February 2023.

90 Casa al Vento Aria 2020 Chianti Classico

(Cask sample). A neat, slick, supple but fresh example, with vibrant, juicy acids and comfortable tannins, good to very good length. Solid wine, nice discovery. Tasted February 2023.

90 Colombaio di Cencio Monticello 2020 Chianti Classico

A ripe and forward, wood-inflected, also savoury wine, with resinous herbs and juicy acids, fine but firm tannins. Decent length. Solid, well made. Tasted February 2023.

89 Baruffo 2020 Chianti Classico

A savoury, old school style Chianti Classico, firm, even a touch hard and brittle, with mostly resinous herbs and wet wool leading. Wild and gruff, but not short on character, more of a intrepid drinker’s selection. Tasted February 2023.

88 Fietri 2020 Chianti Classico

Light melted butter, sharp red fruit, angular tannins. A bit wild and rustic, juicy, with moderate length and depth in the end.  Tasted February 2023.

Gaiole Riserva 2019-2020

95 San Giusto A Rentenanno Le Baròncole  020

Chianti Classico Riserva Cask sample. Lovely, deep nose; evident concentration and extract off the top, and complexity. The palate shows plenty of snappy, succulent red fruit, hugely powerful, with generous, palate-warming alcohol and tremendous length. Towers above the rest in terms of depth and concentration. Best from 2026, though this should cellar comfortably into the late-’30s. Tasted February 2023.

95 Castello di Ama Montebuoni 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Deep, saturated red, fully sapid and complex nose, pure red cherry fruit and refined herbal-spice. The palate delivers a wash of fruit, pure, succulent and savoury, with pitch-perfect balance and superb length. An essence of limestone translated through sangiovese. Best from 2025 – although refined and elegant, there’s substantial underlying depth and substance to take this through into the late ’30s. Tasted February 2023.

93 Riecine 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Sapid and savoury straight off the top, with open, honest appeal, pure and driving. The palate shows much of the same, with still rather raw texture, but all of the elements are in place to  see this through. Fine length. An excellent riserva, best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

92 Colombaio di Cencio Massi del Colombaio 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Dense and sapid, with loads of pure red cherry fruit, and notable purity – this is genuine wine.  Concentration is high, pure, honest, no artifice, no wood. Solid wine, perhaps not highly sophisticated but authentic. Tasted February 2023.

92 I Sodi 2019 Chianti Classico

A ripe and forward, wood-inflected, sleek and polished wine, with solid depth and length. This is a well-made, complete wine, with above average concentration, an integral expression. Tasted February 2023.

89 Brolio 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Deeply fruity, ripe, widely appealing style.

The palate is strangely loose however, with modest depth and concentration. Drink over the mid-near term. Tasted February 2023.

89 Capannelle 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, polished, ripe, gently creamy, with a wooly-wild herb and sweet black cherry palate. Length and depth are decent. Tasted February 2023.

87 Maurizio Alongi Vigna Barbischio 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Open, soft, modestly concentrated, a bit watery in the end. Tasted February 2023.


93 Querciabella 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean with a modern, lightly melted butter twist, and plenty of stemmy-herbal spice, Querciabella’s 2020 annata is a complex and engaging wine to eb sure. The palate is richly extracted in the 2020 context, with fine volume and very good to excellent length. Best from 2025 – this will be a fine example. Tasted February 2023.

90 Fattoria Santo Stefano 2020 Chianti Classico

Intriguing, herbal-spicy-fruity, like a red fruit chutney, showing good substance on the palate. Tannins are firm and dusty and length is good. A solid wine, best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

89 Montecalvi 2020 Chianti Classico

Palish garnet red, lightly volatile off the top (acetic), with dusty, drying palate. Rustic but still on the right side of the divide. A wine to drink over the near term. Tasted February 2023.

90 Terreno 2020 Chianti Classico

Good depth here, also lots of spice on the nose, and fleshy palate with evident substance and concentration. Tannins are velvety and thick. Length and depth are very good. A step above the mean. Tasted February 2023.

90 Terre di Prenzano 2020 Chianti Classico

Open and fruity, gentle and ready to go. Tannins are fine and dusty, acids are balanced, and overall this delivers a good deal of pleasure right up front. Solid. Tasted February 2023.

Greve Riserva 2019-2020

92 Castello Vicchiomaggio Agostino Petri 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Medium-deep red garnet. Lovely nose, open, complete, complex. Plenty of snappy red fruit and wild resinous herbs, black tea, in the classic style. The palate is sleek and well balanced with supple, silky tannins, round and substantial. Very good length and depth. Classy, ready to enjoy – lots of pleasure on offer, with an impression of sweetness from ripe fruit. Tasted February 2023.

91 Castello di Querceto 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, perfumed, attractive, still quite tightly wound and youthful. The palate shows plenty of minerality tightly knit tannins, firm and unyielding for now. Length and depth are very good. Cellar another 3-4 years for best expression. Tasted February 2023.

91 Carpineto 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Old school, furniture polish, old wood, dried herbs – aromatically complex to be sure, but has that wooly-reductive sangiovese character. Tannins are tough – need 2-3 years minimum to relax. Substance is good and depth genuine. Tasted February 2023.


92 Fontodi Filetta di Lamole 2020 Chianti Classico

Lovely, light, high toned and lifted in the Lamole style, Fontodi’s latest “Filetta” is a brisk and lively wine, finessed and filigree, with terrific balance and high sapidity. Length is excellent. Lovely, drinking now, but better in a year or two, or hold into the late ’20s – I want to capture this still on the delicate fruit. Tasted February 2023.

92 I Fabbri Lamole 2020 Chianti Classico

Lovely, lifted, perfumed in the Lamole-I Fabbri style, I love the red licorice spice, the bright, fresh-tart red fruit, the finessed and elegant tannins. Acids are typically succulent and juicy and drinkability is high from these high-elevation, sandstone-based vineyards. It’s not a vintage for long cellaring, but will provide immense pleasure over the short-mid-term. Tasted February 2023.

91 Castellinuzza 2020 Chianti Classico

Light and high toned in the Lamole style, also a touch of earth and leather. The palate is properly lean and transparent, juicy, with light, fine sandstone tannins. Love the refinement and elegance on offer, a delicate and juicy-fruit wine with tension and very good length. Tasted February 2023.

91 Castellinuzza e Piuca 2020 Chianti Classico

A juicy but tightly wound Lamole here, with stony-dusty tannins and crunchy acids. I like the tension and refinement, the leanness without being too thin or skinny. Lingering, perfumed finish. Best after 2024. Tasted February 2023.

Lamole Riserva 2019-2020

92 Podere Castellinuzza 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Pale-medium garnet red. Appealingly lifted and open, floral and spicy, tart red fruit-inflected. Tannins are fine and refined, a classic macigno (sandstone) expression, elegant and silky. Length and depth are very good. Lovely, fine, like raw silk. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

92 I Fabbri 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Fine, perfumed, open and lifted, clean, elegant in the Lamole/I Fabbri style. The palate is firm and grippy, dusty, sapid, with enticing salinity and length. It’s a touch more sturdy and concentrated than the mean for this for this estate often focused on elegance, and as a consequence will need a few more years in bottle to come around, 2-3 at least. Tasted February 2023.


92 Viticcio 2020 Chianti Classico

Quite a stolid and solid Montefioralle, with more stony character than the mean for the UGA from these thin, hillside vineyards. Balance and succulence here are fine. Length, too. Nice architecture, and depth. And length. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

91 Montefioralle 2020 Chianti Classico

Pleasantly open and forward-fragrant in the oxidative fashion, typical of lower-lying Montefioralle vineyards. Tannins are fine and powdery, with fine sapidity and succulence on the palate. Length, too is excellent. I like this very much, for early drinking. Tasted February 2023.

90 Castello di Verrazzano 2020 Chianti Classico

Properly old school with a touch of reductive funk, like large old botti, with tart red fruit and firm, dusty tannins. A wine to cellar another 2-3 years to polish up the rough edges and bring out the underlying perfume, though it’s not a wine for long term cellaring I feel. Tasted February 2023.

90 Terra di Melazzano ChiAndrè 2020 Chianti Classico

Lean and open with the forward “Right Bank” Montefioralle style, perfumed and spicy, more gentle, less stony. The palate is smooth and inviting, easy, with powdery tannins and good length. Lots of immediate appeal. Highly drinkable. Tasted February 2023.


93 Il Molino di Grace 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean, polished, modern style, tightly focused, with well-integrated, high quality oak spice influence, and bright and fresh red fruit. Lovely fruit wash on the palate, fine, refined tannins and very good length and depth. A top notch annata. Tasted February 2023.

93 Il Palagio di Panzano 2020 Chianti Classico

A bit of the wooly-stony, more severe style, with the internal fortitude and depth of Panzano, the high structure and high acid allied to high ripeness – distinctive to be sure.  There’s abundant, dark fruit on the palate, and excellent length and depth. Unlike most 2020s, this needs more time in bottle, another 2-3 years minimum I would say to come into form; tastes more like a Riserva. Tasted February 2023.

93 Fontodi 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean, ripe, polished, with balanced palate, substantial but not heavy. Reflects the immediacy and the drinkability of the vintage, such juicy and appealing wines even in youth. This should hold into the early ’30s, but there’s no necessity to wait that long. Succulent and balanced. Tasted February 2023.

92 Tenuta Casenuove 2020 Chianti Classico

Lots of intensity and spice off the top, an ambitious wine evidently. The palate is substantial, with high concentration, richly tannic, but with sufficient fruit to see this through. Long finish. Big wine, balanced. Tasted February 2023.

91 Felciano 2020 Chianti Classico

Forward, juicy-fruity, ripe and spicy, with light wet clay and underlying Panzano depth and power. The palate shows substantial structure, still quite angular and tight, though there’s sufficient fruit I’d say to ensure future integration. Very good length. Try after 2024. Tasted February 2023.

90 Fattoria Rignana 2020 Chianti Classico

Exotic, spicy, cumin-curry-scented, sleek palate. Good length. Juicy acids, light tannins. Balanced. Drink now or hold short term. Tasted February 2023.

Panzano Riserva 2019-2020

94 Gagliole 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, polished, supple, round, immediately engaging, a sophisticated, highly refined style with elegance and depth. Tannins are pure silk, and acids lively and fresh; fruit too, is perfectly poised. Excellent length and depth. Top notch. Tasted February 2023.

94 Monte Bernardi 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Lifted, savoury and herbal off the top, earthy-wet-clay, mineral-driven. The palate offers refined and silky tannins, lovely sapidity and salinity, on a lean but deceptively powerful, frame with great length. Another fine wine from Monte Bernardi, best from 2025 for the more fully savoury experience. Tasted February 2023.


92 Livernano 2020 Chianti Classico

This has nice aromatic lift, fresh fruit and herbal spice, contained and complex, inviting. The palate is succulent and balanced, with lovely refined tannins and long finish. An elegant and sophisticated expression. Tasted February 2023.

93 Val delle Corti 2020 Chianti Classico

Just bottled. Properly lifted in the Radda style, with extreme stoniness, that lifted spiced cherry chutney fruit, an picture of a place. The palate is pure succulence, salinity, stoniness, while tannins are very fine, acids ripe and comfortable, properly lean. A style for wine lovers, one of the most balanced and drinkable 2020 annata, with terrific length. Serve lightly chilled; for near term ageing, this can be, and should be, enjoyed on the younger side in my view. Top notch. Tasted February 2023.

92 Caparsa 2020 Chianti Classico

Cask sample. Clean, open and natural but focused, not fuzzy, with a wash of fruit, concentrated, joyful and substantial. Long, lingering, fruity finish. Genuine depth here. Drink or hold into the late-’20s. Tasted February 2023.

92 Castello di Radda 2020 Chianti Classico

Nicely lifted, fresh red fruit-scented, stony-mineral in the Radda style; complex. I love the tension and minerality on offer, the succulence and sapidity. Fine length and depth overall. Well done, well-made. Best 2024-2030 – I want to see some more development here. Tasted February 2023.

91 Salcetino 2020 Chianti Classico

Nice aromatics off the top, with a mix of red fruit and spice, herbs and dust. The palate shows good balance and juiciness, elegant tannins, sapidity is high. Superior example, lively, mineral, fresh. Tasted February 2023.

91 Colle Bereto 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean for Colle Bereto! Though still old school, old wood, resinous herbs, tart red fruit but with substance and concentration. The palate likewise shows good depth and intensity, and length. Give it a year in bottle to settle in. Tasted February 2023.

91 Podere Capaccia 2020 Chianti Classico

Fine, pure fresh fruit, gently candied cinnamon hearts and red cherry. Nicely stony on the palate, mentholated and pleasantly medicinal – there’s good terroir here at work I’d say, very free draining and stony in any case. Best from 2024.  Tasted February 2023.

91 Tenuta di Carleone 2020 Chianti Classico

Light and lifted in the Radda style, with just a touch of acetic-volatile. Juicy acids, lively fruit with a mix of herbs to add interest and complexity. Long, sapid finish. Engaging. Tasted February 2023.

90 Podere Terreno 2020 Chianti Classico

Ripe, sweet oak spice, juicy, fleshy, riper than the mean for Radda, generously proportioned. Tannins are ripe and balanced. Good length. Tasted February 2023.

89 Pruneto 2020 Chianti Classico A typically lean and stony, slightly stressed, tight example, with moderate depth and length. Has the angularity and stoniness of Radda but without much flesh to back up. Try after 2025 – this needs time. Tasted February 2023.

90 Tenute Selvolini 2020 Chianti Classico

Lifted, spicy, gently herbal and reductive, with succulent acids. A firmer, more tart but crunchy-stony style with merit. Lifted properly. Best 2024. Tasted February 2023.

89 Borgo la Stella 2020 Chianti Classico

Fresh and high toned, lean and stony, with relatively high acids; modest depth and length. Lacks a bit of stuffing. Short-mid term ageing potential max. Tasted February 2023.

Radda Riserva 2019-2020

93 Brancaia 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Deep, sustained red, thanks in part to the healthy dose (20%) of merlot. The nose is lifted, perfumed, with high intensity, and an attractive carnation, dried rose note, and fresh red cherry. The palate delivers a raft of fruit, with high flavour intensity and excellent length. Terrific density, balance and depth in the end. Best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

93 Castello di Volpaia 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, pure, sappy, snappy, spiced red fruit-inflected – I love the energy and the succulence on the palate. Tannins are very fine but firm and length is excellent. Cellar another 3-4 years before revisiting, or hold into the ’30s comfortably. An elegant, sophisticated wine. Tasted February 2023.

93 Castello Monterinaldi 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, open, perfumed, a light and elegant Radda style Riserva with a fine mix of perfectly ripe red fruit. I love the silky-supple texture, slippery, powdery, delicate but taut and firm, purely sapid and succulent, with terrific salinity and significant complexity. There’s a real sense of wet chalk-limestone, non-fruitiness in any case, also the refinement of this cooler sub-region. Length and depth are excellent. Top notch, best 2024-2034. Tasted February 2023.

92 Monteraponi Il Campitello 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

(Cask sample). Lovely nose here, lifted, savoury, perfumed, complex,  this seems like a finished wine, in a perfect state of oxi-reduction; tannins are firm, like raw silk. Length is very good to excellent. Highly promising. Tasted February 2023.

92 Arrillo in Terrabianca Poggio Croce 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, engagingly perfumed, properly herbal and red fruit-flavoured. The palate shows fine depth and sapidity, a fine saline quality. Dried resinous herbs meet tart cherry-currant fruit; wood is not a factor. Very good length. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

92 Castello di Albola 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean; wood dust noted; lots of juicy succulent red fruit on the palate with bright, sapid acids and very good to excellent length and depth. Solid, representative of Radda. Tasted February 2023.

91 Borgo Salcetino Lucarello 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Fine and lifted nose; fruity and herbal in the resinous fashion. The palate is succulent and juicy, with fine length and depth. Classy and sophisticated, well made. Drink or hold until the end of the decade. Tasted February 2023.

91 Fattorie Melini Vigneti La Selvanella 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

A very spicy-herbal, stemmy expression – I like the complexity on offer here. The palate is firm, tightly wound, puckering, but with succulence and depth. Solid length. Best after 2025. Tasted February 2023.

San Casciano      

90 Curva del Vescovo 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean, delicate aromatics, light red fruit, fresh herbs and dry earth. Juicy, sapid palate, balanced and refined, everything in place. A touch of wood influence could use another year or so in bottle to melt in. Nice discovery.  Tasted February 2023.

89 Fattoria di Montagnana Villa Montignana 2020 Chianti Classico

A fruity, forward, modern style, simple and juicy. All fruit, lightly raisined, but grippy tannins. Shows warm climate character. Decent. Tasted February 2023.

89 Fattoria San Michele a Torri Tenuta la Gabbiola 2020 Chianti Classico

Abundant fruit leads off the top, inviting. Fleshy, fullish palate also shows considerable oak, creamy chocolate-vanilla. Good length. Drink or hold mid-term. Tasted February 2023.

89 Poggio Torselli 2020 Chianti Classico

Gently lifted-acetic, old wood, sandalwood inflected. Tannins are firm and astringent, brittle. A little overdone in my view, even if fruit depth is good. Try after 2024. Tasted February 2023.

88 Belvedere Campòli 2020 Chianti Classico

Light, with moderate substance and length, watery in the end, simple though clean. Tasted February 2023.

88 Castello di Gabbiano 2020 Chianti Classico Creamy, ripe, chocolate-inflected, a classico more commercial in scope. Round and soft, easy. Correct. Drink or hold short term. Tasted February 2023.

San Casciano Riserva 2019-2020

93 Luiano 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

A touch of funk here, but it works in this fruit-rich environment, melding with savoury herbs and sapid-tart red fruit. I love the silky-firm tannins supported by ripe acids, and the exceptional length and depth. Classy, sophisticated wine. Best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

91 La Vigna di San Martino ad Argiano 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Attractively open and fruity, perfumed, with sleek tannins and succulent acids, solid palate presence and depth. Well-structured and solidly made, best after 2025 – there’s plenty to go on here. Tasted February 2023.

90 Castelli di Grevepesa Clemente VII 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Dark-fruited, lightly wooly and herbal in the regional style, old wood and furniture polish-inflected. Sleek texture, easy tannins, brisk acids. Solid balance, decent length. Drink or hold mid-term. Tasted February 2023.

90 Castello di Gabbiano 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Creamy, wood-inflected in the widely appealing Gabbiano style, gently lactic, with soft tannins and comfortable acids. Length and depth are good. Solid value with wide appeal, as usual. Tasted February 2023.

90 Villa Montignana 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Open, creamy, ripe in the San Casciano style, with oxidative fruit. Not terribly complex but appealing nonetheless. Tasted February 2023.

89 Villa S.Andrea 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean. Fruity, fairly open, ripe, gently raisined fruit. Moderate depth and length. Correct. Tasted February 2023.

San Donato in Poggio

91 Podere La Cappella 2020 Chianti Classico

Ripe, open, with soft red fruit in the warm San Donato style, baking spice-inflected. Palate is relatively lean and linear, however, with a lick of acetic on the back end; flavours linger nicely. Tasty, drinking over the next 2-4 years. Tasted February 2023.

91 Torcilacqua 2020 Chianti Classico

Lovely nose here, succulent acids, juicy, sapid, firm but not unyielding. Genuine substance and depth. Needs another year or two. Tasted February 2023.

90 Isole e Olena 2020 Chianti Classico

Quite a ripe and forward vintage for Isole e Olena, with a touch of oak spice noted, unusually. Tannins are yet grippy and dusty, and length is good to very good. Admittedly, not the finest example from this estate, but of course, still very good. Best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

90 Ormanni 2020 Chianti Classico

Fairly open and fruity-herbal-spicy, inviting, good if not exceptional complexity, but there’s pleasure on offer. Fruit turns slightly raisined on the palate but overall this works quite well. Nice length, too. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

89 Castello della Paneretta 2020 Chianti Classico

Very ripe, Ribeena-style, lactic and woody, not my preference, overly creamy and chocolaty. Will appeal widely, however. Tasted February 2023.

89 Pasolini dall’Onda Pio 7 2020 Chianti Classico

Slightly raisined character off the top. Resinous hard palate, a bit stressed, but extract and fruit intensity are quite decent-should come around in a year or three. Tasted February 2023.

San Donato in Poggio Riserva 2019-2020

92 Fattoria Le Fonti 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Good fruit depth here, lots of dark red and black fruit, sapid and fullish, with genuine concentration and length. A fine discovery. Lots going on here. Best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

90 Villa Antinori 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, with a sheen of oak dust; fruit is ripe and soft, tannins are fine and supple. This is well made and engaging, widely appealing, ready to go. Length is decent. Tasted February 2023.

90 Guidi 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Nicely perfumed and herbal-fruity, with a broad range of aromatics, inviting and compelling. The palate delivers a vaguely sweet sensation, soft tannins and charred wood flavours. Good length and depth. A widely appealing style. Tasted February 2023.

89 Marchese Antinori 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Moderately aromatic, ripe, with more grip and higher acids than the Villa Antinori, more angular. Depth and intensity are modest, and length as well. Correct but not a detour. Tasted February 2023.


93 Bindi Sergardi La Ghirlanda 2020 Chianti Classico

Here’s a beautifully proportioned, stony and savoury, silky and elegant, ripe but firm Chianti Classico from the Mocenni Estate in southern Chianti Classico overlooking Siena. It’s developing marvelously, shifting now into that lovely fresh-dried fruit spectrum alongside wild herbs and warm earth. But it’s really the texture that beguiles, the silky-firm tannins supported by succulent acids, as well as the genuine depth and complexity on such a well-balanced frame. A very worthy successor to a string of memorable wines from this superb vineyard. Best 2025-2035. Tasted twice in February and May 2023.

92 Dievole Petrignano 2020 Chianti Classico

Refined and elegant nose, perfumed, featuring dried florals and red fruit, complex and inviting. The palate is taut and firm, dusty, well-structured, with lots of fruit and high sapidity. Excellent length and depth. Terrific wine all in all, best from 2024 to 2030. Tasted February 2023.

92 Vallepicciola 2020 Chianti Classico

A slightly creamier style, ripe in any case, broad and generous on the palate with loads of fruit and evident extract and concentration. Finish is long and satisfying. Kudos. Tasted February 2023.

91 Fattoria della Aiola 2020 Chianti Classico

A refined and juicy, light and fresh, refined wine from Aiola, lively and vibrant, well-balanced. I like the ease and the drinkability – not a wine of significant depth and concentration, but toute en finesse. Tasted February 2023.

91 San Giorgio a Lapi 2020 Chianti Classico

A deeply fruity and spicy Chianti Classico, with expansive nose, lots of spiced cherry fruit, integrated wood and just a touch of wood spice. Long, lingering finish. Solid wine, best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

89 Borgo Scopeto 2020 Chianti Classico

Open and fruity, with a touch of milk chocolate and pronounced tannins on the palate; decent length. A bit angular, but substance is decent. Best from 2024. Tasted February 2023.

89 Fattoria di Valiano Valiano 2020 Chianti Classico

Clean, moderate intensity aromatics; fruity, juicy, easy palate, round and gently creamy, good length. Well made, ready to go. Tasted February 2023.

Vagliagli Riserva 2019-2020

94 Bindi Sergardi Calidonia 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

Clean, penetrating perfume, stony-floral, with a well-pitched mix of elements, complex and complete. The palate is ripe, firm and sapid, with saliva-inducing salinity and excellent length. Another top notch effort from this reliable estate. Drink 2024-2034. Tasted February 2023.

93 Dievole Novecento 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva

Cask sample. Open, dusty, perfumed in the traditional style, clean, spicy and flowery. The palate is mid-weight, silky-firm, with terrific acids and fine-grained tannins. Excellent length. A juicy and refined 2020 Riserva, best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

89 Borgo Scopeto Vigna Misciano 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva

A ripe and fruity 2019 Riserva, fresh and ready to go, with a markedly herbal palate, and quite hard and astringent tannins. A bit austere and stressed in the end. Best from 2025. Tasted February 2023.

Unspecified UGA

89 Casanova di Nittardi 2020 Chianti Classico

Acetic-dill notes lead off the top, though juicy acids revive the palate and draw saliva. More fruit emerges than expected, and the depth and presence are very good. A solid Greve in the end. Tasted February 2023.

89 Lornano 2020 Chianti Classico

A forward and fruity, wood inflected wine with orange peel and medicinal character, hard fresh celery, tannins and moderate length with a touch of VA. Modest – not a top vintage. Tasted February 2023.

88 Nardi Viticoltori 2020 Chianti Classico

Modest aromatic intensity, modest depth. Hard tannins. Lacks flesh and substance, though clean. Tasted February 2023.

John Szabo, MS


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