Wine Comparison – Tuscany Chianti vs Brunello

Updated on July 18th, 2021

Chianti Classification

In Tuscany, the most famous appellation is Chianti. There are there level of Chianti – Chianti, Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva. In order to improve the reputation of Chianti, a new level called Gran Selezione is recently introduce.

Difference between Gran Classico Riserva and Selezione are: Gran Selezione alcohol 13% or above, aged more than 30 months; Classico Riserva alcohol 12.5% or above, aged more than 24 months. But both does specify how they are aged.

Other than Chianti, a appellation called Brunello in the Montalcino, Tuscany region is also very good, most of time Brunello is better than Chianti.

Wine List

 In order to compare these three levels, I selected three wines, price is also divided into three levels:
  • Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2009, 29.99 CAD
  • Castello Di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011, 49.99 CAD
  • Casisano Tommasi Brunello di Montalcino 2011, 69.99 CAD

Tasting Notes

  • Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2009

    On the nose, A bright red fruit, red cherry, strawberry, and spice. Elegant oak aroma, medium body, high acidity, fine tannin. On the parler the wine is a bit thin, not as attracted as smells, sour cranberry. After tasting  OK.

  • Castello Di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011

    On the nose it is pretty similar to the Mazzei, a little more oak, less bright red fruit and more plum. On the parler it is more powerful and density than the Mazzei, strong oak aroma and fruit, chocolate and spice. Medium + body and medium + tannin. Long finish.

  • Casisano Tommasi Brunello di Montalcino 2011

    Lighter color due to the longer aging process. The wine is still closed and it takes time to aerate. Black Cherry, licorice. Less oak than the Gabbiano, less acidity than then Mazzei, quite balance. Long finish.


Out of the three wines I like Gabbiano the most. It is $20 more than the Mazzei of course, but it’s well worth of the money, I also think this wine can drink all by itself or just par with some cheeses. Mazzei is best served with Pizza or Italian food. Casisano is elegant, but I am not sure I would pay the extra $20 for that, Gabbiano will do just fine for me.

Have you tried any of these wines? Leave a comment and let me know how you think about it.