Tuscany is renowned for its gentle hills, but it’s equally famous for its red wine. We’ve discussed Tuscan wine with xtraWinexperience. Today, I want to focus on the best Tuscan wines.
What are the most famous Tuscan wines?
The most famous Tuscan wines are:
Chianti Classico is the typical wine of Tuscany. In 1996, Chianti Classico separated from the Chianti world forever. Its production regulations require lower yields compared to Chianti, with a maximum yield of just 75 quintals per hectare.
It also excludes white grape varieties. The regulations allow the use of Sangiovese, with a minimum of 80%, along with other indigenous grape varieties such as Canaiolo, Colorino, and Malvasia Nera, or international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Sangiovese is the quintessential Tuscan grape variety.
The Chianti Classico territory covers nine municipalities between Florence and Siena, making it a vast area with 6,800 hectares producing 30 million bottles annually. This diversity in terroir results in a lack of uniformity in the wine’s characteristics.
The soil, characterized by limestone clay with galestro and alberese subsoil, imparts great sapidity and elegance to the Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico matures for one year before entering the market, while Chianti Classico Riserva ages for 24 months, and the Gran Selezione ages for 30 months.
Brunello of Montalcino
The production territory forms an almost circular area with a diameter of 16 kilometers. In this area, Sangiovese is known as Brunello, distinguished by its dark-colored berries compared to other Sangiovese biotypes.
Brunello is produced exclusively from Sangiovese grapes.
The soils in this region vary, including limestone, schist, galestro, alberese, and alluvial deposits.
Our production area is characterized by four unique slopes, each contributing to the distinctive flavors of our wines:
- Northern Slope: home to the rugged crests and Montosoli, this region experiences a continental climate with remarkable temperature variations, enhancing the complexity of our grapes
- Western Slope: gazing towards the sea, this slope basks in a warm climate, invigorated by refreshing maritime breezes, perfect for cultivating our exceptional grapes
- Eastern Slope: with the coolest climate among the slopes, grapes here undergo a slower and more deliberate maturation process, resulting in wines of unparalleled depth and character
- Southern Slope: extending towards the Val d’Orcia, this area is sheltered from strong winds, fostering higher temperatures and earlier grape ripening, giving our wines a unique and distinct personality
After a long aging period in the cellar, the wine enters the market.
Brunello has a ruby color with intense fruit jam aromas and spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is powerful with excellent softness.
The annual production is close to 10 million bottles.
Bolgheri is Italy’s answer to Bordeaux. In 1944, the Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta planted 1.5 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc within Tenuta San Guido, introducing barrique aging to Italy.
The Bolgheri production territory can be divided into three main areas:
- hills with older alluvial deposits
- intermediate area with pebbly alluvial soils rich in iron oxide
- the area closest to the sea with a mixture of river and marine deposits
The best vineyards are located at the foot of the hills and in the plain between Bolgheri and the southern area of Castagneto Carducci.
The current Bolgheri DOC regulations allow the use of single grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or Merlot) for Bolgheri Rosso and Rosato. Syrah and Sangiovese are also permitted (up to 50%), along with small percentages of Petit Verdot. Bolgheri Sassiccaia must contain at least 80% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bolgheri wine has a deep ruby color with blackberry aromas and a warm, soft palate with a dense tannic structure.
The total production of Bolgheri DOC is around 5 million bottles per year, with Bolgheri Sassiccaia alone exceeding 200,000 units.
Vino Nobile of Montepulciano
The production territory extends over 1,300 hectares, with vineyards situated at altitudes ranging from 250 to 600 meters above sea level.
The vineyards in the town of Montepulciano are mainly sandy and clay-sandy with pebbles and fossils.
To produce Vino Nobile, Sangiovese grapes, locally known as Prugnolo Gentile, must be used for a minimum of 70%.
The wine undergoes at least 2 years of aging in the cellar, with a 3-year period for Riserva.