Chianti Lovers: Chianti Colli Fiorentini

Duomo di Firenze

The denomination Chianti Colli Fiorentini Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) is one of the seven sub-zones of Chianti D.O.C.G. This production zone is located in and around Florence and the Arno river valleys. Like its other six cousins, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Colli Aretini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colline Pisane, Chianti Montalbano and Chianti Montespertoli, producers can chose to use the denomination or not. The area was defined in 1932. With DPR 290 of July 2, 1984, the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area was officially granted DOCG recognition; The Chianti Colli Fiorentini Consortium was founded on September 20, 1994.

The wines must be at least 70% Sangiovese. They can also contain Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in small quantities. I was introduced to the Chianti Colli Fiorentini in 2010 by their wonderful PR manager, Stefano. Despite living in Florence for many years, I didn’t know there was a specific denomination for the wines.

Some 18 communes can used this denomination including the following: Montelupo Fiorentino, Fiesole, Lastra a Signa, Scandicci, Impruneta, Bagno a Ripoli, Rignano sull’Arno and Pontassieve as well as Montespertoli, San Casciano Val di Pesa, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Certaldo, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Incisa, Figlini; Pelago, Reggello and Florence. Some 27 wineries are members of the Consortium.

The terroir in this area is mostly alluvial soils with good drainage. They also tend to have a high percentage of clay. Most of the vineyards are located on hills ranging from 150 to 400 meters above sea level. The exposition is quite varied. Some vineyards face southeast and southeast while others face north.

Generally, the wines from this region are well structured. While they have good tannins and acidity, they can be more approachable than some other Chianti wines. Some are more modern than you find in other areas, fruitier and easy to drink even when young. I tasted a number of them today again at the Chianti tasting in New York.

Malenchini

One producer who I have met numerous times throughout the years is Malenchini. I tried those wines again today and I liked both the wines and the winery owners. I tasted the 2013 and the 2012. The 2013 was recently bottled and was still in an early phase of its development while the 2012 was round and softer than I expected on the palate. It was a lovely wine and would be a great pairing with a Bistecca alla Fiorentina. I wish I had both here for dinner tonight.

I’m hard press to explain why these wines aren’t better known in the United States with their specific denomination. I think the theory is that Americans know Chianti Classico and Chianti only and that the rest confuses them. I disagree.

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3 Comments

Filed under Chianti, Tuscany

3 responses to “Chianti Lovers: Chianti Colli Fiorentini

  1. We were lucky enough to visit the Malenchini vineyard a few years ago. Diletta Malenchini gave us a fabulous tour of the grounds, and hosted a wine and oil tasting for us…very special memories when I saw their bottle on your post. Thanks for sharing such interesting information! Ciao.

  2. Reblogged this on avvinare and commented:

    Very excited for my first stop on the Italy trip, Villa Medicea di Lilliano. Not only do I get to see this beautiful Villa and grounds but I can do it while drinking these lovely wines from the Malenchini family. Looking really forward to it.

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