Toscolo Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 - Tuscany, Italy
90/100 Antonio Galloni
91/100 James Suckling
James Suckling - "A linear and fresh red with berry and cherry character. Hints of lemon. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a bright finish. I like the texture here. Medium finish. Drink now."
Wine Spectator "Black cherry and violet flavours mark this fruity, straightforward red. Balanced and set for early enjoyment." (2014 vintage)
Wine Spectator "Bright cherry, blackberry, chocolate and spice flavours are fluid and backed by dusty tannins. Moderately long on the finish (2015 vintage)
The Winemaker - "Full ruby colour with garnet hues; ample, classic bouquet of berry fruit, violets, iris & vanilla; chewy, abundant fruit, silky texture, good body and balance."
95% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Toscolo was founded by international wine entrepreneurs, Neil and Maria Empson. The winery produces premium wine in the true Tuscan style. Winemaking is overseen by star Italian enologist Franco Bernabei with grapes sourced from the finest vineyards in the region.
The soil and microclimates of the Toscolo vineyards are intriguingly diverse – from compact, very fine-textured limestone at approx. 400-450 meters (1,310 to 1,480 feet) above sea level, to rocky, calcareous clay areas with similar altitudes; and even clayey/siliceous/ calcareous soil at 250-300 meters (820-984 feet) above sea level. Neil is thus able to handpick the best selections according to harvest conditions in the individual vineyards, maintaining consistent quality with each vintag
Tuscany is Italy's third most planted region (behind Sicily and Apulia) but it is eighth in terms of output, reflecting both the poor soil of Tuscany and deliberate efforts to limit yields and increase the quality in the wine. After Piedmont and the Veneto, Tuscany produces the third-highest volume of DOC/DOCG wines. More than 80% of the regions' production is in red wine, with the Sangiovese grape being Tuscany's' most prominent grape. Trebbiano is the leading white variety of the region.
The history of viticulture in Tuscany dates back to the Etruscans in the 8th century BC. From the fall of the Roman Empire and throughout the Middle Ages, monasteries were the main purveyors of wines in the region. As the aristocratic and merchant classes emerged, they inherited the share-cropping system of agriculture known as mezzadria. Many Tuscan landowners would turn their half of the grape harvest into wine that would be sold to merchants in Florence. Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Tuscany returned to the rule of the Habsburgs.
Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Super Tuscan are Tuscany’s best known wines.
The Chianti region is split between Chianti and Chianti Classico. Accordingly, two separate DOCG designations apply to wines from the Chianti region: the Chianti Classico DOCG for the heartland of Chianti, and Chianti DOCG for all other Chianti regions. (In 1984, the Chianti region was promoted from DOC to DOCG - Italy’s highest classification - and in 1996, Chianti Classico - the historic heartland of the region - DOCG was created, which gave autonomy to that region. In the last 20 years, a consortium of Chianti Classico producers have researched new Sangiovese clones, replanted vineyards, updated cellar practices and generally made Chianti Classico DOCG a world-class appellation. Chianti Classico must contain a minimum of 75% Sangiovese. In the 2014 edition of its annual compendium of wine ratings, Gambero Rosso noted that Chianti Classico DOCG wines were noteworthy for their “significant return to a more defined style, true to tradition.” The typical Chianti Classico wine is a ruby-red, Sangiovese-based wine with aromas of violets and cherries and a hint of earthy spice.
The Chianti DOCG designation covers wines from six Chianti sub-zones (Colli Pisane, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini, Montalbano and Rufina) as well as all other Chianti wines. The Chianti Classico DOCG is located in the very center of Tuscany, between Florence and Sienna.
Sangiovese (or Nielluccio in Corsica), a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. Virtually synonymous with the red wines of Tuscany, and all the romanticism that goes with the territory, Sangiovese is the core constituent in some of the great names in Italian wine. Italy's love affair with Sangiovese – and indeed the world's – is generations old, though recent grapevine research suggests the variety is not as ancient as once thought.