I was tasting some 2003 Chianti Classicos today, and I started to think how confusing the appellation really is. You can’t tell what you have in the bottle, from a cheap red with little or no character to a superstar pure Sangiovese with the class and aging potential of any great Italian red. That’s why I buy very little Chianti, or Chianti Classico. And it’s why the appellation is in a bit of a crisis.
It’s also why some producers don’t use the appellation anymore for their wines. For example, Giampaolo Motta’s top red, La Massa Giorgio Primo, no longer carries a Chianti Classico designation after the 2003 vintage. I had lunch with him the other day, and he told me that it was too much of a negative using the appellation. His back label shows the logo of the Chianti Classico growers association, Gall Nero or Black Rooster, on a barbeque spit!
I see his point. If his wine is $100 on a wine list, and the rest of the Chianti Classicos on the list are half that price, it must be hard to sell. Same goes for wine shops!
However, I don’t see many Chianti Classicos on serious wine lists in America these days. And even wine shops seem to be selling less.
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — June 7, 2006 3:54pm ET
Yaron Zakai Or — Israel — June 7, 2006 4:46pm ET
Bryan Hassin — Houston, TX — June 7, 2006 5:41pm ET
Bryan Bucari — Baton Rouge, LA — June 7, 2006 6:00pm ET
Mark Bata — Canada — June 7, 2006 11:09pm ET
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — June 8, 2006 1:37am ET
James Suckling — — June 8, 2006 3:31am ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — June 8, 2006 3:43am ET
Reto Caviezel — Zurich, CH — June 8, 2006 8:09am ET
J E Shuey — Dallas, TX — June 8, 2006 9:36am ET
Michael Culley — June 8, 2006 10:53am ET
Mark Bata — Canada — June 8, 2006 12:04pm ET
Jay H Abrams — Boca Raton, FL — June 9, 2006 2:38pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions