B-21 Top Recommendation
Located 10 miles northeast of Siena, Ricasoli's Castello di Brolio is unquestionably THE most important landmark in the greater Chianti region. Staggering in every since of the word, the country castle of Brolio – with its gardens and historic palace – stands as a reminder of this family's importance to Chianti, Tuscany and the myriad wines of this region. It was on this site – destroyed and rebuilt over the ages as wars raged between Siena and Florence – where Baron Bettino Ricasoli, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy, created the Chianti recipe. His blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia Bianca was updated by Bettino Ricasoli – the "Iron Baron" – who, at the age of 20, began the first great revival for his family's wines and the entire region. His work is widely defined as a Risorgimento in Italian winemaking; by 1867 Italy earned its first gold medal at the Paris Exposition – earned by the Brolio Chianti. And in 1872, Chianti – the zone – was officially born. Barone Ricasoli's Castello di Brolio Chianti established the zone, subsequently setting the Classico borders; today, it's the standard-bearer for the Gran Selezione classification. The 2013 stopped me in my tracks. You're gonna want that.