Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
No expense has been spared to outdo the most state-of-the-art criteria: from the underground winery itself (1,000 square meters - nearly 10,800 square feet - of shock-proof ceramic tiles, to the subterranean barrique cellar, built in the year 2000 - 40 meters long (over 130 feet), 3 meters (almost 10 feet) below ground level, dug into the natural rock.
Yet for all these futuristic aspects, the Capannelle building itself is a characteristic chiantigiana stonehouse villa on one of the appellation's gentle hilltops, overlooking Gaiole on one side, vines and woodland on the other. In other words: classic and timeless. The range itself, styled by oenologist Simone Monciatti, is fortunately as rooted in this 17th-century terrain and millenary tradition as in the most modern quality standards. Its hallmark is elegance: the concentration and extract of low-crop noble varieties are complemented by a nose of great finesse and complexity.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.