Piccini Chianti Classico Riserva 2008
It is ideal with succulent grilled or roasted meats.
The Piccini family is rooted in the heart of Chianti and profoundly linked to the region’s rich winemaking culture. Their story began in 1882, when Angiolo Piccini bought 7 hectares (17 acres) of vineyards and began producing wines under the motto: "It's not how much wine we make, but how much passion we put in our work." Under the guidance of Mario Piccini, the fourth generation of the family, Piccini is today one of the most distinctive, dynamic and innovative Italian estates represented among the top 25 largest Italian producers. The Chianti Orange Label is the iconic wine, and reflects the family’s ambition to rediscover Chianti as a contemporary wine. The wines are grounded in tradition yet have an innovative, charming and fun personality, providing a bold and exciting choice for wine lovers around the world.
Tenute Piccini is among the most prominent wine producers in Tuscany, playing a leading role in the production of Chianti, Chianti Classico and Montalcino wines. The family has five other stand-alone properties in top Tuscan wine regions as well as the two “volcanic estates” on the Etna and Vulture mountains, a parallel project to the successful Piccini brand. The family’s philosophy behind the boutique estates is very classical: producing wines that reflect the region, focusing on expressiveness of the grapes variety in relation to the area of origin.
The family estates have been converted to organic farming. These practices, together with a selection of drought-tolerant rootstocks, lower density trellising systems, indigenous grape varieties replacing some of the less suitable international ones, aim at a holistic approach towards sustainable vine growing.
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.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties 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
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
Tasting Notes for Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a dry , red wine with a medium body and qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Perfect Food Pairings for Sangiovese
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Sommelier Secrets for Sangiovese
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.