Chianti Classico could give the go-ahead to the use of screwcaps for its wines inside the next two years, according to Giovanni Manetti, vice president of the region’s consorzio.
Currently, all wines carrying the Chianti Classico DOCG authorisation must be closed with cork. But Manetti, who is also the head of the Fontodi winery, can see that changing surprisingly quickly.
Speaking to Imbibe, he said, ‘It has been forbidden [in the DO], but now the Ministry of Agriculture has opened the matter up, so we can have a discussion. We are thinking that in the future screwcaps could be used for young wines.’
Manetti estimates that the region is currently split ‘50/50’ on the issue but that it ‘could happen in two years.’
‘It’s only a question of prejudice,’ he said. ‘That’s still there; it’s just a question of time – of reducing the prejudice.’
Despite its love of tradition, Chianti Classico’s rules are not set in stone. Last year the denominazione introduced a third quality tier – Gran Selezione – above straight Chianti Classico and Riserva wines.
Though only 5% of total production, Gran Selezione wines – typically 50% more expensive than Riservas, and made entirely from estate-grown fruit - are expected to have the same ‘halo’ role as Grand Cru does in Burgundy.
‘Our aim is that they play a big role in enhancing the image of the region,’ said Fabrizio Nencioni, sales and marketing director of Agricola San Felice. ‘When we started there were 30 producers doing them. Now there are 90.’
This year, Castello Vicchiomaggio La Prima Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 (£29, Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines) became the first Gran Selezione wine to win a Gold in the Sommelier Wine Awards, also picking up a coveted Critics Choice award.