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Hit ’em with the one-two… Having tried the Chianti DOCG new releases on Sunday, Monday it was the Gallo Nero’s turn. Chianti Classico unveiled its Anteprima vintages at the old train station, now a congress center, Stazione Leopolda in Florence.

Not hard to notice the old train station structure, a tad too minimalist for my taste, more prison than station!

This was Chianti Classico, from the Alpha to the Omega, A to Z, Antinori to Zingarelli.

Long stretches of tasting tables, lined with bottles, were divided by geographic subzone. Radda, Gaiole, Castellina, but also Castelnuovo Berardenga, Greve, San Casciano, and even Poggibonsi, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Tavarnelle… don’t those names just make your mouth water? Over 180 estates participated, displaying their wares. I found it a bit daunting.

The quieter and practically empty tasting room was for VIPs only

Not only Chianti Classico: at a number of stands alongside the standard just-out-of-the-barrel offering were some new entries, the most common being Malvasia Nera. A varietal that is more typical of southern climes (most often Puglia), the proliferation of Tuscan wines made from 100% Malvasia Nera makes me think there is a quest on for the answer to Pinot Noir.

One of the themes of the day was ‘Gallo Nero and Friends’ which featured a variety of IGP and DOP food products – you know, products whose geographic origin is guaranteed, or whose denomination is protected. This was also a good way to cleanse the palate and line your stomach. Maybe I was all Chianti-ed out, but I found the friends area engaging and interesting.

Now this is a man who loves his job: tastings of balsamic vinegar

Some serious salumi: prosciutto and of course, a Tuscan unicum: finocchiona, featuring fennel seeds that give it a distinctive flavor. There’s just no comparison for when these are freshly sliced before your eyes.

And it wasn’t limited to Tuscany: here we sampled some authentic Mozzarella di Bufala from Campania.



Even these super-sized green olives, the DOP Oliva da mensa La Bella della Daunia, were tastily displayed. Yum!



To end the day, a silky Chianti from Terra di Seta (literally, land of silk) in the Castelnuovo Berardenga area. Not only is this wine organic, it’s Kosher! Here you have it, a Kosher Chianti Classico, weighing in at 14.5% in the 2014 vintage. L’chaim!

One suggestion for the future: if the organizers want to give participants a useful gadget, a portable toothbrush and some super whitening toothpaste would be a great idea!

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