This year was the 30th edition of the Chianti Classico Collection which saw the participation of 206 Chianti Classico producers. There were 750 Chianti Classico wine labels to taste of which 34 were tank samples of the 2022 vintage, 161 were Chianti Classico Riserva, and 136 were Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. The rest were Chianti Classico Annata. The attendance of national and international wine professionals was back to the levels of pre-pandemic. Fattoria di Montemaggio was present with the vintages Chianti Classico Annata 2019, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015, and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015.
This was the second year that the wine tasting was structured according to the Additional Geographic Units (UGA) that were instituted in 2021. It makes it easier to understand the wineries by having them categorized in their respective subzones – UGAs – and it also facilitates following the differences in terroir. During both days of the Chianti Classico Collection, the cartographer par excellence – Alessandro Masnaghetti – was holding seminars about the 11 different subzones and their specific terroir. Masnaghetti is actually nicknamed the Mapman.
The Legend of the Black Rooster
A bit of a different happening at this year’s Chianti Classico Collection was the ‘world premiere’ of the film La Leggenda del Gallo Nero (The Legend of the Black Rooster) produced by the consortium. It is a short film that was commissioned by the consortium and created by the local media agency Swolly. The story of how the crowing of the black rooster early one morning in the Middle Ages helped the Florentine knight to ride further than the knight from Siena, is by now a generally known legend. It helped to draw the border between the two city-states Florence and Siena just where the Fonterutoli estate is located today. Of course, it is a legend and there is not much truth to it. However, it is a beautiful legend to support the brand of the Gallo Nero.
The film was shown on a big screen in the theatre of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, i.e. the opera house.
Watch the official trailer below:
The Growth of the Chianti Classico Brand
We have finally (hopefully) put the pandemic years behind us and it shows in the continuous growth of the Black Rooster brand, especially in the international markets. The brand value and sales have had a constant increase during the last three years with 17% in 2022 compared to 2021, and 46% compared to 2020. The premium-level wines – Chianti Classico Riserva and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – are the ones increasing the most in sales. The Chianti Classico consortium stresses that the interest is focused a lot on Chianti Classico Gran Selezione which helps strengthen the brand internationally.
The US is still the biggest market for Chianti Classico wines with 37% of its production having been sold there in 2022 compared to 33% in 2021. The domestic market continues to take home second place where 19% of the total production of Chianti Classico wines is sold. Canada comes in third place (10%) followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. In the coming future, a lot of attention will be given to expanding in markets such as France, Sweden and the rest of the Scandinavian countries, and Germany. Giovanni Manetti, the president of the Chianti Classico consortium says that they are “very satisfied with the success of Chianti Classico on the international markets”.
What are Ilaria’s and Francesco’s impressions of this year’s Chianti Classico Collection?
Let’s find out…
Ilaria Anichini, Estate Director at Fattoria di Montemaggio
I think it was a great Chianti Classico Collection, people were really enthusiastic about the event. We got very very positive feedback overall, wonderful feedback for us. Many of the wine professionals who had been tasting our wines in the tasting room with sommelier service then came to our stand saying that they liked the wines very much. People seemed to be satisfied with the vintages we presented.
Chianti Classico Annata 2019 is ready and very pleasant as a wine even if it is very young still. As you might know, we generally prefer to mature the wines a bit longer before we release them to the market.
Chianti Classico Riserva and Gran Selezione 2015 – well they were obviously fantastic vintages. We are happy that people appreciated them.
The premiere of the short film The Legend of the Black Rooster was a bit of a surprise for me, but fun. Even though some might argue it could have been done differently, better, worse, or whatever, I think that it is a great idea and initiative taken by the Chianti Classico consortium. I believe one could invest more along these lines in something even more interesting than this film.
Francesco Garuglieri, Wine Tour Manager at Fattoria di Montemaggio
Francesco considers the Chianti Classico Collection an event of vital importance both for the consortium and the producers to build community, exchange opinions and experiences, and showcase themselves in an effective manner. He says that the general opinion was that there this year seemed to be a sort of “awakening” among buyers and other wine professionals compared to the last three years.
Francesco furthermore noted that there was a big interest in the 2021 vintage but even more in the 2019 vintage which is considered a vintage full of surprises and expressiveness. This is true for Fattoria di Montemaggio’s Chianti Classico 2019 but also for others, according to Francesco.
On the other hand, Francesco continues to mention that he heard those who were disappointed with the 2020 presented at this year’s event, just as Andrea Gori wrote in his article in Intravino that 2020 can be “defined as a 2019 that did not make it”. Francesco does not agree with this opinion though because he argues that we in a couple of years will change our opinion about these wines, as they will surely evolve a lot over time. He thinks it is too early to make such a harsh judgment about a vintage.
This said, Francesco, is of the belief that the 2019s that he tasted were indeed more ready, and for some reason, he saw a greater detachment stylistically speaking not only between the different UGAs but also between the individual producers.
Looking at Fattoria di Montemaggio’s wines, Francesco considers the Montemaggio Chianti Classico Annata 2019 a direct, sharp, and elegant wine. He thinks that it was a vintage at Montemaggio that gave honest wines that are easy to communicate. Montemaggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 is a more austere wine with a lot of “muscles”. Last but not least, Montemaggio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 made with grapes from the vineyard with a bush vine training system, is a more mineral and elegant wine. Francesco underlines that it is a wine that has the typical nobility that represents this top-tier level wine.
Written by Katarina Andersson.