Le Corti Don Tommaso Chianti Classico 2008
Blend: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Le Corti’s estate is owned by the Corsini family, one of the oldest and most noble families of Tuscany. The family acquired the spectacular Renaissance Villa Le Corti and its property in 1427. In 1992, Prince Duccio Corsini took over the property with the simple goal of making great wine and olive oil. Corsini put oenologist Carlo Ferrini in charge of the agronomic and oenological aspects of the estate. Both the vineyards and winery have undergone significant improvements and Le Corti is now producing world-class wines.
At the estate of Le Corti, approximately 49 hectares are dedicated to producing Chianti Classico and 73 hectares to the production of olive oil. Sangiovese, the finest vine used to produce Chianti Classico DOCG, is the main varietal at Le Corti, but Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, and Colorino are also grown. In 1995, Duccio Corsini planted 10 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot at Tenuta Marsiliana, the Corsini family’s estate in Maremma, the coastal region of Tuscany and one of Italy’s most dynamic wine regions. It has resulted in wines of power, robust with good structure and longevity.
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.