Above: Roberto Stucchi, one of Italy’s leading winemakers, among the first, historically, to bring “Californian” technology to Tuscany after studying at UC Davis (photo via B-21).
Our recent VinoWire coverage of the Chianti producers association decision to allow IGTs (read “Super Tuscans”) at the body’s annual vintage debut event and its subsequent sea change (retracting the option for participating winemakers), really touched a nerve.
Over in a thread on my Facebook, wine writers Robert Whitley and Kyle Phillips (who argued for the inclusion of IGTs) squared off with Italian wine taste-makers Charles Scicolone and Colum Sheehan in a gentlemans’s however testy exchange on this sensitive issue. (Click here to read the entire thread, which includes comments from a number of interesting wine folks.)
In the spirit of Italian par condicio, I wanted to share the comment below by leading Chianti Classico producer Roberto Stucchi, who reported his notes from the meeting where it was decided not to allow the IGTs:
- I was at the assemblea [assembly]. There was little discussion about the IGT wines at the Anteprima [the annual debut of the new Chianti Classico vintage, held in Florence each year in February] at all. A few criticized it, but that’s it. The main topic was the reorganization of the C[hianti] C[lassico] appellation, and the one thing that came out very strongly was the rejection of the proposal of a “light young C. Classico” to help in this difficult economic time. The majority (but there where no votes) spoke in favor of reviving the riservas, and re-qualifying [re-classifying] the whole appellation. Also a mostly favorable opinion on the idea of sub-appellations by comune [township], but with very differentiated ideas about how to do it.My opinion about IGT at the Anteprima: why not? Many are pure Sangiovese. And unfortunately some Chianti Classicos are Bordeaux-like.
Here at Do Bianchi, he noted:
- As a C[hianti] Classico producer that has always worked only with Sangiovese, I’m not scandalized by the proposal to present IGT’s at the Anteprima. After all many are entirely from Sangiovese grapes.
I find a lot more questionable that the rules have gradually increased the amount of non-traditional grapes allowed in the blend (now that’s a slippery slope to me).
The Chianti “Bordelais” lobby keeps pushing to increase this percentage, the last proposal was to allow up to 40%. (It failed for now.)
I need to make clear that I’m not at all against growing other varietals in Chianti; quite the opposite, I think that the Classico appellation should allow wines from other varietals to be called Chianti Classico, with a varietal appellation added.
It’s just that CC alone shouldn’t be fattened by Merlot or Cab. It would be nice if things were more transparent, with things clearly stated on the label.
I love CC from Sangiovese for its elegance, finesse, food friendliness, and for how the light penetrates it and gives it brilliance.
What really bugs me is when an overly concentrated and heavily oaked muscular wine pretends to be a Sangiovese.
Above: I found this photograph of Roberto (from the 1980s, I believe) on a Russian site.
If they were to have Super Tuscans at the tasting how could they tell the difference between them and the Chianti Classico Riserva. With so much Merlot and Cabernet in them and all of the extraction most of them are Super Tuscans. Roberto Stucchi is right- No Merlot and Cabernet or any other international grapes in Chianti