It was quite enjoyable and informative, focusing on wines from seven producers scattered about the Chianti Classico area. The event was to highlight the diversity and quality of the region and hopefully score distribution for a few of the wines. There was a good amount of diversity, just due to the type of soil and altitudes of vineyards in Chianti Classico. Then there can be the winemaking including the use of oak in the aging that makes the wines more tannic and structured. Chianti is a generally recognizable taste – the cherry and plum aromas, raspberry and bitter cherry fruit notes, telltale earthiness, sharp acidity and discernible tannins. But, the wines bearing the Chianti name can accompany a range of styles even within the three broad types of Chianti Classico.
At the top, in terms of price and serious is the Gran Selezione, introduced a few years ago, that is meant to showcase the best of the Chianti. From a single prized vineyard, these wines are aged 30 months before release. These can be terrific wines. The middle tier is the Riserva aged 24 months and the base, the Annata, that is aged a year. You might not know ‘Annata,’ that name is rarely, if ever on the label, but Annata is Chianti that does not have the Riserva or Gran Selezione designation. This is typically my favorite type of Chianti when it is done with a relative lightness that is paired with ample, pleasing fruit balanced with pleasing acidity and tannins that are minimal and fairly well integrated. And it's a wine that is not too high in alcohol, though with are warming planet, it might be tough to find a well-made version for under 13% alcohol these days.
That is how I would generally describe my favorite wine at the event, the Chianti Classico Lamole 2015 from I Fabbri in Creve in Chianti. I found it delicious, and it would likely be even more enjoyable with some food. And, I imagine that it complements a wide array of preparations as a good Annata Chianti does. For me, a Riserva Chianti needs something like a steak to properly enjoy and is usually less enjoyable on their own. “Perfect for a daily consumption, very easy to drink” is how the Lamole was described. I heartily agree. It is the type of wine I would enjoy drinking just about every evening. I Fabbri was looking for a distributor during the event. Based on my impression of it, I can’t imagine that they did not.