Some notable producers in attendance at the Consorzio Vino Chianti tasting were Castello di Poppiano-Guicciardini (Chianti Colli Fiorentini), Fattoria Poggio Capponi (Chianti Montespertoli), La Querce (Chianti Colli Fiorentini), Podere Volpaio (nicely aged Chianti Riservas), and Villa Travignoli (Chianti Rufina), although it is difficult to just mention these few, as there are now many quality Chianti wine producers in the market.
Chianti is not just red wine, as the highly prized Vin Santo del Chianti dessert wines shine brightly, with their fragrant, nutty character, a perfect end to a meal. Made with Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes, dried on straw mats or in wooden boxes to concentrate the sugars, aged in small oak barrels for at least three years or more, the Vin Santo can vary in sweetness levels, from bone-dry (like a Fino Sherry) to extremely sweet, a liquid nectar of the gods. An example, Tenuta di Morzano makes a complex, aged Vin Santo, which is excellent, with lots of acidity in its Vin Santo del Chianti DOC “Piovano Arlotto” 1994. For a unique take on Vin Santo, Societa Agricola Venatoria Tacinaia produces a red Vin Santo, the Occhio di Pernice 2008 is a medium dry, very good dessert wine that will rock your palate.
Currently, some of these wines are not available in the US, as these smaller producers are in the market for an importer, who can bring them to your local wine shop. In the meantime, sample the new Chianti wines, and revel in the taste of Tuscany.