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Battle of the (Exceptional) Vintages: 2016 and 2021 Chianti Classico from Le Corti

Stylized image of Le Corti Chianti


2021 is one of the most exciting young vintages I have tasted in Chianti Classico...Chianti Classico remains one of the very best values in the world. Readers looking for wines to buy by the case that can be opened with minimal fanfare but that also deliver exceptional complexity and pedigree will find so much to admire in the 2021s.
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about Chianti Classico and its wines.
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous

What happens to Chianti Classico with a few years of age? Today's your day to find out! We have both the 2016 and 2021 vintages of the lovely, traditional Chianti Classico, Le Corti, from Principe Corsini.

Galloni called the '16s "The Magnificent 2016s" upon release, "a classic vintage in the making," with a unique personality "distinguished by their superb aromatic presence, silky tannins, layered fruit and fabulous sense of harmony." He's been no less rapturous in his praise of the 2021s for "their exceptional textural harmony and finesse" and their " exceptional complexity and pedigree."

Le Corti is exceptional in both vintages, embodying so many of Chianti Classico's special charms. The estate is in the appellation's north, only 30 minutes from Florence, and it has a classic mix of the sand, limestone and clay soils, with a smattering of river stones thrown in the mix. The Corsini family farms organically and they make the Le Corti without any oak (fermenting in steel and aging in concrete).

The wine that offers all of Chianti Classico's pleasures: beautiful Sangiovese fruit (cherry and even black raspberry); the excellent structure, which makes the wine such a classic pairing with steak (you'll know about this if you've ever visited the region or read Bill Buford's Heat); a balancing suaveness that brings elegance and gives the wine a sort of easygoing frame; that special type of complexity that is there for the taking, but never quite makes you feel bad for not paying it enough attention.

Tasting the wines side-by-side was fascinating not just for the differences, but also for the similarities. The 2021 was more structured, of course, and the nose more intensely spiced. The '16 had evolved enough that the suave element was much more obvious. But both wines were marked not just by a similar(ish) Sangiovese fruit profile, but also by a minerality or salinity that seemed to be much more of a terroir signature. And while exposure to air led them to develop differently, over time they also showed plenty of overlaps. Fascinating and delicious!

We bought as much of both vintages as we could, but unfortunately, this will be it for these two wines. So please don't wait to send us your requests now.

Le Corti, Chianti Classico DOCG, 2021 $26.99
"The 2021 Chianti Classico is a bold, fruity wine to drink on the young side. Bright acids lift a core of sweet red/purplish fruit, menthol, licorice, blood orange and spice. This sleek Chianti Classico is quite attractive."

Le Corti, Chianti Classico DOCG, 2016 $26.99
"The 2016 Chianti Classico from Principe Corsini is a soft, fruity wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. Sweet tobacco, cedar, mint and white pepper add brightness to a core of Sangiovese red berry fruit. This is very nicely done for its peer group."


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