Italian wine expert Ian d'Agata explains how the best Chianti Classico wines age, during a masterclass of Gran Selezione wines at Vinexpo Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong.

Ask Decanter: Ageing Chianti Classico

How possible is it to age Chianti Classico wines? There is a common perception that the wines don’t age as well as those from other regions, such as top Cabernet Sauvignon wines, for example.

Ian d’Agata, Decanter’s Italian wine expert, tells a Decanter-hosted masterclass on Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wines at Vinexpo in Hong Kong

‘A lot of people think that top Chianti doesn’t age – partly because the wines don’t have the same depth of colour as Bordeaux.

‘Instead, the Sangiovese grape variety from Chianti is more red in colour and less opaque, compared to claret.’

‘But there’s a good reason for this because two of its pigments break down very easily, which explains why the wines become more garnet and orange in colour quite quickly.

‘This often happens from three to four years after the vintage. Of course, that does not mean that the wines are not capable of ageing.

‘The best Gran Selezione wines can age for 30 years providing they are well kept.’

Reporting on d’Agata’s comments by John Stimpfig in in Hong Kong.

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  • In this instance does ageing mean it evolves like a Bordeaux or just does not deteriorate as much as some wines?