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San Giusto's Chianti Classico Perfectly Melds the Modern and the Ancient

Stylized image of San Giusto a Rentennano, Chianti Classico, 2021


“one of the top estates in the world today.”
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous

San Giusto a Rentennano is an estate that reminds us how, in Italy, a winery can seemingly exist in multiple different centuries and even millenia all at once.

The name itself dates back many thousands of years, as it has pre-Roman, Etruscan origins — the very first people to produce wine in this part of Italy. The winery is located in what was a monastery from a somewhat later period (still about a thousand years ago), complete with ruins of a fort built by the Florentines after signing a peace treaty with their mortal enemies in Siena.

Even today’s wine seems to live in multiple eras. Twenty-first century techniques are used here (there is extensive green harvesting), but the wines are firmly rooted in classical tradition. The aim is to produce something pure-fruited, elegant, age-worthy, and unmistakably Tuscan.

Their top bottling, the Percarlo, has become a highly collectable wine that is sought out around the world — thanks in part to its regular 100 point scores. Today’s wine, though, is an absolute treasure: far more affordable, and far more unique with its own special Tuscan magic.

San Giusto is one of the many top wineries located in the Chianti sub-region known as Gaiole. Here, high altitudes and limestone-rich soils combine to produce long-lived wines that burst with scrumptious acidities. The 2021 San Giusto Chianti Classico is phenomenal, combining serious bass notes with a mix of high-pitched red fruits and wild black cherries. This wine has real presence.

As delicious as it is now, this is also a serious Reasonable Cellar candidate. We love how when Vinous wrote up a recent vertical of San Giusto wines from the 1990s, they focused not on the Percarlo or even the winery’s excellent Riserva, but their entry-level Chianti Classicos — all of which had no problem delivering after 20 to 30 years of aging. This is a special Chianti indeed.

San Giusto a Rentennano, Chianti Classico, 2021 $52.99
“The 2021 Chianti Classico is superb. Bright and explosive, the 2021 possesses notable energy and tension to play off its natural richness. In most vintages, the San Giusto Chianti Classico is quite open. That is not at all the case with the 2021, where vibrancy acids and tannins dominate. Readers should plan on putting the 2021 away for a number of years. Sweet exotic floral notes lift the finish.” Antonio Galloni


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.