Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is gaining momentum as Tuscany’s newest appellation denoting fine wine. I decided to do a blind tasting this summer with some of the best Gran Selezione versus the more established Chianti Classico Riserva, and the best wines indeed were Gran Selezione—though not by a long shot. The difference between Riserva and Gran Selezione: The latter must come from grapes exclusively under the management of the winery, the wine must be aged for 30 months in the barrel instead of 24, and the minimum alcohol content is 13 per cent alcohol instead of 12. A small selection of producers making outstanding Gran Selezione will participate in Great Wines of Italy at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong on December 2. The best Gran Seleziones I tasted this summer were Castello di Ama Vigneto La Casuccia 2011 (97 points), Castello di Ama San Lorenzo 2011 (96) and Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio 2011 (96).
Hong Kong Tatler and James Suckling present Great Wines of the World from November 4–6. Find out more at