A good, rather than great year with a number of sound and reliable wines
In Tuscany a cool spring was followed by a hot summer with well distributed rainfall. Picking began in late September. The best results came from the DOCs in the south of the region. In Chianti the harvest was prolonged by October rain which created a certain amount of dilution. 1979 was the biggest vintage of the decade in Chianti Classico, with total production around 30% up on average.
Chianti was soft and mid-weight and mainly destined for early drinking. In Montepulciano and Montalcino more serious wines were made with good body and excellent bottle ageing potential. Brunello Riservas in particular had very good fruit and interesting depth.
In Chianti, specialist producers of Riserva like Monsanto, Monte Vertine and Capannelle made good wines, above the general level of the vintage. Boscarelli and Avignonesi, again with Riservas, were the pick of the wines from Montepulciano, while at Montalcino the best Brunello came from Barbi Colombini (red label Riserva), Altesino and Costanti.