Chianti Ups The Ante!!

Starting with the 2010 vintage, the Chianti region has introduced an additional quality designation – ‘Gran Selezione’.

Gran Selezione’ is a quality designation that sits above the existing Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva designations. Gran Selezione must be made exclusively from a winery’s own grapes grown in its finest vineyards according to strict regulations that make it a truly premium wine & a new point of reference for Chianti. It can only be sold only after a minimum 30-month maturation & an obligatory period of bottle ageing. Gran Seleziones have great structure that, thanks to grape selection and longer bottle ageing, display superior balance & harmony, enhanced depth of flavor & aromatic complexity.

Introduction of this new quality level is yet another of the dramatic changes in the regulations governing production of Chianti. Since 1996 the blend for chianti and Chianti Classico has been 75–100% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo and up to 20% of any other approved red grape variety such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

In 2006, the use of white grape varieties such as Malvasia & Trebbiano were prohibited. This resulted in Chianti’s suddenly exhibiting more fleshy fruit structure. Other rules require Chianti to have a minimum alcohol level of at least 12% and a minimum of 7 months aging in oak. Riserva’s must be aged at least 24 months. The harvest yields for Chianti’s are restricted to ensure that the wines exhibit vibrant fruit structure & are not diluted by high yield over production .

It is now very evident that modern Chiantis benefit significantly with the hand over  to the better educated and trained younger generation who no longer stick to the traditional winemaking methods “just like Mum and Dad did”. 

So for all the reasons stated above, the Chianti’s of today are dramatically better than ever. Gran Selezione sits up at the top – and they great! Watch out for the arrival  in Singapore of our ‘Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2010’

Wine Snobs Are Right: Glass Shape Does Affect Flavor

Scientists show glass geometry controls where and how vapor rises from wine, influencing taste.

Seeing is smelling for a camera system developed by scientists in Japan that images ethanol vapour escaping from a wine glass. And, perhaps most importantly, no wine is wasted in the process.

Kohji Mitsubayashi, at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and colleagues impregnated a mesh with the enzyme alcohol oxidase, which converts low molecular weight alcohols and oxygen into aldehydes and hydrogen peroxide. Horseradish peroxide and luminol were also immobilised on the mesh and together initiate a colour change in response to hydrogen peroxide. When this mesh is placed on top of a wine glass, colour images from a camera watching over the mesh on top of a glass of wine can be interpreted  to map the concentration distribution of ethanol leaving the glass.

Different glass shapes and temperatures can bring out completely different bouquets and finishes from the same wine. So Mitsubayashi’s team analysed different wines, in different glasses – including different shaped wine glasses, a martini glass and a straight glass – at different temperatures.

At 13°C, the alcohol concentration in the centre of the wine glass was lower than that around the rim. Wine served at a higher temperature, or from the martini or straight glass, did not exhibit a ring-shaped vapour pattern. ‘This ring phenomenon allows us to enjoy the wine aroma without interference of gaseous ethanol. Accordingly, wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine,’ explains Mitsubayashi.

Wine scientist Régis Gougeon, from the University of Burgundy, France, says the work is really interesting when considering its experimental setup, which allows for a rather straightforward and inexpensive detection of ethanol. ‘Bearing in mind the flavour enhancer properties of ethanol, this work provides an unprecedented image of the claimed impact of glass geometry on the overall complex wine flavour perception, thus validating the search for optimum adequation between a glass and a wine.’

In the future the system could help indicate the best wine glass and precise temperature to serve a certain wine.

This article was published in Scientific American and was written by Jennifer Newton and ChemistryWorld. Link to the article: HERE