Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG

italian market only

Neil and Maria Empson created this label to pay tribute to all things Tuscan, honoring the extraordinary region even in its name, which means Tuscan boy in the local dialect. Franco Bernabei styles the wine, along with Neil, using grapes from the finest vineyards in the region. The soil and microclimates are intriguingly diverse – from compact, very fine-textured limestone at approx. 400-450 meters (1,310 to 1,480 feet) above sea level, to rocky, calcareous clay areas with similar altitudes; and even clayey/siliceous/ calcareous soil at 250-300 meters (820-984 feet) above sea level. Neil is thus able to handpick the best selections according to harvest conditions in the individual vineyards, maintaining consistent quality with each vintage.

The Riserva is exclusively issued in the best years, made from Sangiovese, with touches of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for added body, complexity and a velvety texture. The grapes are grown in the hilly vineyards of the region from ten to forty-year-old vines, which lend complexity and aroma. After a few weeks of maceration, the wine ages in oak for about twenty-four months and then six months in bottle. The result is a red-letter version of a traditional wine with lush aromas of cherry, plum, violet, iris, black pepper, coffee, vanilla and nutmeg confirmed on a full, luscious palate, with a lingering, clean finish.

Most recent awards

  • 2016 | James Suckling92/100
Grape Varieties:

90% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot

Fermentation container:

Stainless steel

Type of yeast:


Maceration technique:

Daily pumpovers

Length of maceration:

15-18 days

Malolactic fermentation:


Aging containers:


Container size:

225 L barrique

Type of oak:


Aging before bottling:

24 months

Aging in bottle:

6 months


Natural Cork

Vineyard location:

Choice locations within the Chianti Classico appellation

Soil composition:

Calcareous clay

Years planted:


Age of vines:

10-30 years old

Tasting notes:

Brilliant ruby color with garnet reflections; ample bouquet of black cherries, plums, violets and iris confirmed on a full, luscious palate; lingering, clean finish.

Serving temperature:

Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F); uncork the bottle an hour beforehand.

Food pairings:

A great match for structured, savory dishes, pasta with meat sauce, mushroom risotto, roasted red meat, poultry, rabbit and aged cheese.


Alcohol cont. by volume: 12.90%; total acidity (in tartaric acid): 5.80 g/l; free acidity (in acetic acid): 0.52 g/l; residual sugar: 2.75 g/l; total dry extract: 30.4 g/l; pH: 3.40


Franco Bernabei & Neil Empson