Top 5 Chianti Classicos?

For those lovers of Italian wines out there, I am curious to pick your brain on your top five Chianti Classico wines (riserva and non-riserva). Had a very tasty mid-level wine Classico tonight and thought I should maybe enlighten myself with some more Classico producers out there.

And let me preempt the flurry of response that include Francia as one of the top 5. Lets say excluding that wine.

a very appropriately times question. i be curious to follow this thread closely.

Predictably, at my top are Monsanto’s Il Poggio (which can need years to really shine, the '83 is still going strong) and Felsina’s Rancia. Fontodi’s Vigna del Sorbo can be excellent, but seems a slight step down in the vintages I’ve tried. I was wowed by the 2001 Castello di Fonterutoli Riserva, but it’s still young…

Didn’t see the Felsina remark. I’d probably add Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Bucerchiale Riserva. Only had it once, but the 1999 Podere il Palazzino Chianti Classico La Pieve was terrific.

i don’t drink a lot of Chianti wines. Depends upon the style one likes. I like
Monsanto - il Poggio/reserva (seductive style)
Ricasoli (traditional style)
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.
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Isole e Olena Cepparello (bigger style)
Felsina Rancia (bigger style)

I’d add Badia a Passignano Riserva.

Felsina, Fontodi, and Rocca di Montegrossi are my favorite producers.

Felsina’s Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is, of course, excellent, but so is their Riserva Fontalloro (IMO), their regular Chianti Classico and Riservas. Fontodi’s CC is very satisfying and the quality only gets better with their Flaccianello and Vigna del Sorbo. Rocca di Montegrossi’s Vigneto San Marcellino (formerly a Riserva) can be really quite good ('99 and '04, in my experience).

I’m a big fan of Felsina across the board. Also dig Fontodi usually.

Felsina, Fontodi, and Selvapiana are all tops in my cellar, along with Castello di Ama.

P Hickner

Felsina, no need to buy the Rancia, their Fontalloro, Fontodi, Querciabella, and Monsanto, which ages really well.

Felsina, Fontodi, Monsanto, Selvapiana, Rampolla…

Some good wines and definite contenders have been mentioned already, but I would like to interject that neither the Cepparello, Fontalloro, Flaccianello or Selvapiana are labelled Chianti Classico! Some of these even contain grapes from other sub-regions, or hail from outside CC altogether! Nate clearly wrote “Chianti Classico” -rather than Tuscan Sangiovese IGT’s/Supertuscans- so let’s stick to the original premise.

Other than the non-Rancia Felsina CC’s and Monsanto “Il Poggio”, I’d like to add the “Le Trame” and San Felice “Il Grigio”.

Three words : Castello di Ama!

(+1 on PeterH)

Ok, Selvapiana is Chianti Rufina, not Classico, but that seems like a technicality…

I just discovered that the San Felice “Poggio Rosso” is actually labeled as Chianti Classico Riserva, rather than IGT. So, I’d like to nominate that rather than the Il Grigio.

For affordable every day drinking- $15-25
Monsanto CCR, Felsina CC and CCR, Cinciole, Casaloste, Castell’in Villa, Fontodi CC, Fonterutoli, Rampolla, Riecine, Rocca di Montegrossi, San Giusto a Rentennano and Rocca di Castagnoli

in the $26-80 range-
Felsina Rancia, Querciabella, Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo, Monsanto ‘Il Poggio’, Antinori Badia a Passignano, Antinori Tenuta Marchese, Castello di Ama, Isole e Olena Cepparello, and for sure the Selvapiana Bucerchiale even though it is a Rufina and not Classico.

Most people drink these wines too young. They are definitely better with a few years of bottle age. The 2004s, 2006s, 2007s and 2008s are all drinking well now, even the entry level wines.

Byron

Nate clearly wrote “Chianti Classico”

You’re right of course and it was a good catch. I shouldn’t have put Fontalloro but they’re right on the border and I associate it with the Classico region. But it’s kind of interesting, now that I think of it, there are many producers besides those named, but while those others can be fine, I can’t think of one offhand that’s consistently at the same level as some of the top ones.

Castello di Ama is nice sometimes, usually lighter somehow, Volpaia isn’t as consistent, I was wowed by Castello d’Albola, went out and bought some, and liked it but wasn’t wowed again, Nittardi isn’t outstanding, Nozzole ditto, San Fabiano was really nice when I received a few bottles as a gift but I’m not as familiar with it.

Gabbiano sometimes is really good, surprising for the upbiquity of it and the low price, and if one were shopping in a supermarket and looking for something inexpensive to take home, they could do a lot worse than to pick up a bottle of it. I guess I’d put Querceto in the list but all in all I’d buy on price.

So we have to talk about Viticcio, esp their Riserva. It always gets lots of sloppy wet love from James Suckling, he’s rated it like 94 or 95 points in the past and it’s always in the solid 90s with him. Keep in mind that he doesn’t taste blind and he said he’s given a few extra points to his friends. Only reasons I can think of to rate that wine as highly as he does. Save for James, the wine is not near the top five. It’s decent enough and solidly in the 80s, but not at all a top producer IMHO. Mid-level at best and that’s pushing it.

And the wines from elsewhere these days aren’t really always outclassed by the Classico region either. Crognolo is kind of a bigger style but good, Ghizzano and Castello de Nippanzano Montesodi Riserve can be pretty good.

And to second what Byron said - there’s no reason to even open the 2004s yet. If people store them, they age wonderfully and at 20 years in, they start resembling nice aged Rioja.

Castello di Ama

Il Poggione,both normale and Riserva.

My top wine experience from Chianti has alway been Montevertine hands down. While I enjoy Felsina and Fontodi, I’m still waiting to be wowed by either of them. So far, Felsina and Fontodi have been 87-90pts top wines for me. The basic Selvapiana is the closest I’ve come to enjoying any Chianti as much as Montevertine and is a really good value for around $17.