Chianti is a red wine named after the Chianti region of central Tuscany, in Italy, in which it was traditionally produced. In the past, Chianti was bottled in squat bottles wrapped in baskets of straw, although now most producers just use regular wine bottles. Wines labelled Chianti Classico come from the biggest area of the region, including the heartland, and these are the only such wines allowed to carry the black rooster seal on the neck of the bottle. All wines labelled Chianti must be made of at least 80% Sangionvese grapes.
Chianti and Variability
Chianti has been called "the Bordeaux of Italy" because the red wines produced there are highly variable. In general, the lighter-bodied wines have some white grapes in the mix, while the wines produced with only red grapes will be fuller, richer, and darker. When young, Chianti wines have a floral and cinnamon bouquet, with medium acidity and medium tannins. This wine is very flexible in terms of pairings, and goes well with most Italian cuisine. The most well-made examples age in the bottle from 6-20 years, but most are at their peak between 3-6 from bottling.
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