While most Chianti Classicos are released in the October following the vintage and are immediately accessible, riservas must be aged at least 24 months prior to leaving the winery. Typically, a winery’s most robust wines from top vintages enter the riserva program, where the extra aging helps smooth any rough edges. These are wines that can age well for up to 10 or 15 years, and sometimes longer.
Top Chianti Classicos
93 Fattoria Nittardi 2011 Casanuova di Nittardi. Floral and black fruit aromas are punctuated by spicy notes on the nose of this wine. The delicious palate delivers juicy black cherry, white pepper, mint and sage along with big but ripe tannins and edgy acidity. Louis Glunz.
abv: 14% Price: $35
93 Isole e Olena 2011. Alluring aromas of blue flowers, meat juices, woodland berries and spice jump out of the glass of this blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah. The juicy palate offers a core of dark cherry layered with savory black pepper alongside assertive but elegant tannins. Multiple U.S. importers.
abv: 14.5% Price: $27
92 Casina di Corina 2011. This delicious 100% Sangiovese opens with an intense fragrance of wild cherry accompanied by whiffs of Mediterranean herbs and meat juices. The succulent black-cherry flavors are accented by notes of white pepper, cinnamon and clove alongside polished tannins. Multiple U.S. importers.
abv: 14% Price: $22
91 Badia a Coltibuono 2009 Cultus Boni. This offers alluring aromas of blue flower, pressed powder, ripe red berry and exotic spices. The vibrant palate delivers a core of savory black cherry layered with notes of black pepper, cinnamon and espresso. Dalla Terra Winery Direct.
abv: 14.5% Price: $30
90 Castello di Volpaia 2011. Violet, iris, red berry and spice scents take center stage in this delicious blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot and Syrah. The bright, fruity palate delivers wild cherry, black pepper and cinnamon spice notes alongside assertive tannins and freshness. Wilson Daniels.
abv: 13.5% Price: $26
90 Istine 2011. Blue flower, Mediterranean herbs and bright berry lead the nose. The juicy palate offers vibrant black cherry accented with notes of white pepper, cinnamon and clove alongside young, bracing tannins that will soften over the next few years. Drink 2015–2021. Oliver McCrum Wines.
abv: 14% Price: $25
Top Chianti Classico Riservas
96 Monteraponi 2010 Baron’ Ugo. This gorgeous wine opens with leather, blue flower, berry and spice aromas. The palate delivers juicy black cherry, white pepper, cinnamon and mint alongside bracing but refined tannins. It has compelling depth, but it’s still young. Drink 2016–2030. A.I. Selections. Cellar Selection.
abv: 13.5% Price: $63
94 Castello di Monsanto 2007 Il Poggio. This beautiful wine opens with aromas of underbrush, mint, woodland berries and balsamic herbs. The palate offers marasca cherry and white pepper accented with Asian spices and sage that add depth. It will benefit with more bottle aging. Drink 2015–2022. Mionetto USA.
abv: 14% Price: $55
93 Castello di Verrazzano 2010. This structured wine opens with aromas of smoke, red berries, soil and leather. The palate delivers dark red cherry layered with mocha, black pepper, clove and licorice alongside austere tannins. Give it time to fully develop. Drink 2015–2025. Palm Bay International.
abv: 14% Price: $40
93 Castello di Ama 2009. This elegant blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia and Merlot offers an alluring fragrance of violet, rose and wild cherries. The palate offers a core of black cherry spiced up with white and black pepper alongside silky but firm tannins that carry through to the finish. The Sorting Table. Editors’ Choice.
abv: 13.5% Price: $40
91 Marchesi Antinori 2011 Villa Antinori. This delicious wine opens with aromas of violet, iris, underbrush, black fruit and cinnamon spice. The concentrated palate delivers a solid core of rich black cherry accented by notes of black pepper and Mediterranean herbs alongside firm tannins. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
abv: 14% Price: $35
90 Castello d’Albola 2009. Here’s a bright and lively selection that opens with aromas of red berry, blue flower, underbrush, black pepper and grilled herbs. The juicy palate delivers sour cherry and strawberry alongside cinnamon, white pepper and white mushroom. It’s fresh and delicious. Zonin USA.
abv: 13% Price: $28