12 Top-Rated Chianti Bottles Under $40
There’s a 21st-century renaissance sweeping through the central Tuscan hills.
The winemakers of Chianti Classico are now producing polished, terroir-driven wines loaded with personality and finesse. Today’s Chianti Classicos are food friendly and elegant, and the top riservas offer cellaring potential as well as depth and complexity.
Overall, quality across Chianti Classico has never been higher than it is today. These recently rated selections reflect this revolution, and all under $40.
Castelli del Grevepesa 2010 Lamole Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $28, 94 points. Made from Sangiovese grown in high-altitude vineyards, this earthy wine features aromas of perfumed berry, leather, cake spice, blue flower and herb. The palate delivers juicy sour cherry, wild strawberry, white pepper, game, mint and orange peel alongside firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. A licorice note closes the lingering finish. It’s still youthfully austere and needs time. Drink 2018–2030. Votto Vines Importing. Cellar Selection.
Lamole di Lamole 2010 Vigneto di Campolungo Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $40, 94 points. Crushed black cherry, leather, tobacco, anise, underbrush and grilled herb are just some of the aromas and flavors offered by this concentrated, vibrant wine. Firm acidity and chewy tannins provide the structure, while a licorice note marks the lingering finish.
Casa Emma 2010 Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $38, 92 points. Aromas of crushed violet, iris, baking spice, leather and vineyard dust take center stage. The vibrant palate offers layers of crunchy red cherry, juicy raspberry, licorice and thyme alongside a firm backbone of noble tannins and fresh acidity. Hold for complexity. Drink 2016–2025. A.I. Selections. Editors’ Choice.
Castello La Leccia 2010 Bruciagna Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $40, 92 points. Aromas of Mediterranean herb, balsam, eucalyptus and dark berry lead the nose. The firm, elegant palate delivers juicy black cherry, dried blackberry, black pepper, clove, thyme, orange peel and anisette alongside youthfully austere but fine-grained tannins. Let this wine develop. Drink 2017–2022. Ideal Wine and Spirits.
Tenuta di Lilliano 2010 Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $40, 91 points. Woodland berry, forest floor, leather, toast and eucalyptus are just some of the aromas offered by this vibrant wine. The firm palate doles out juicy black cherry and plum while notes of espresso, mocha, licorice and tobacco provide backup. It’s balanced with assertive tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2015–2022. Premium Brands.
Castello di Gabbiano 2010 Bellezza Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico); $38, 90 points. Made with 100% Sangiovese, this conveys aromas of violet, vanilla, pressed powder and perfumed berry. The vibrant, structured palate delivers juicy wild cherry, licorice, black pepper and toast alongside firm tannins and fresh acidity. It finishes on a mocha note. Drink 2015–2022. Treasury Wine Estates.
Rocca delle Macìe 2011 Riserva di Fizzano Gran Selezione Single Vineyard (Chianti Classico); $35, 93 points. Structured and polished, this opens with aromas that recall dark berry, leather, blue flowers, toasted oak, mint and spice. The firm palate offers ripe black cherry, espresso, cedar, menthol and licorice alongside assertive but refined tannins. Drink 2016–2021.
Canonica a Cerreto 2010 Chianti Classico; $29, 90 points. Made with 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, this opens with aromas of forest floor, blue flower, black fruit, graphite and a balsamic note. The juicy palate delivers crushed black cherry, white pepper, clove and licorice alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2018. Empson USA Ltd.
Cecchi 2012 Chianti Classico; $18, 90 points. Aromas of underbrush, wild flower, leather and ripe berry lead the nose. The juicy palate offers black cherry, cinnamon, anise and a hint of game alongside fresh acidity and velvety tannins. Drink through 2017. Editors’ Choice.
Riecine 2012 Chianti Classico; $28, 89 points. Here’s a vibrant wine that opens with pretty aromas of blue flower, rose and berry. The savory palate doles out juicy red cherry, mint, thyme and clove alongside fresh acidity and supple tannins. It finishes on a succulent note. Drink through 2018. Soilair Selection.
Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi 2011 Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Riserva (Chianti Rufina); $31, 92 points. Aromas of dark-skinned berry, exotic spice and wildflower lead the nose on this concentrated but refined wine. The intense palate offers layers of ripe black cherry, juicy raspberry, licorice, clove and tobacco alongside firm, velvety tannins. It’s a compelling expression of Chianti Rùfina. Drink 2016–2021. Folio Fine Wine Partners.
Fattoria di Grignano 2006 Poggio Gualtieri Riserva (Chianti Rufina); $18, 89 points. Made with Sangiovese and 5% Merlot, this opens with aromas of toasted oak, dried berry, sage and exotic spice. The palate offers fleshy wild cherry, cassis, coffee and savory herb alongside polished tannins. It’s already accessible and can be enjoyed now. Drink through 2018. Montcalm Wine Importers.
- 1Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
- 2Chianti Classico