With Chianti Classico being so popular in the USA and the world you probably familiar with the DOC and DOCG status, but now they have introduced a new designation above the DOCG known as Gran Selezione, meaning “grand selection”. The territory remains in the same Chianti Classico area in Tuscany as well as requiring at least 80% sangiovese, but there are different upgraded requirements in terms of the aging and the alcohol level. The grapes must be harvested from the producer's vineyards either single vineyards or from a selection of their best grapes. Currently the laws for Chianti Classico must be aged 1 year, where the Chianti Classico Riserva has requirements of 24 months with 3 months in the bottle. The new Gran Selezione will require 30 months aging with 3 months also in the bottle. In regards to alcohol levels, the Chianti Classico requires 12%, the Chianti Classico Riserva 12.5% and the new Gran Selezione will be 13%.
According to the Consorzio, 80% of Chianti Classico is exported from Italy. The sales of Chianti Classico sales had been increased by 10% in 2012 and 2013 is showing steady results as well with an increase of 30 euro per liter. The Gran Selezione designation will make up about 8-9% of the Chianti Classico production. As Americans, we make up the lions share of the market importing 30% of Chianti Classico.
This law goes into effect immediately and was ruled in by the European Commission earlier this month. It's times like these that I wish I was still living in Firenze, “Florence”, because over the last week they celebrated this new announcement there with vintners showcasing their wines for tasting and meet and greets. Wines that are eligible for this new designation will be the 2011's that can be showcased as early as July of this year.
With this new designation Italy is raising the bar in terms of quality production and their commitment to continue to produce some of the top quality wines of Italy and the world.