10 Best Chianti Wines Under $20 (2021)

Best Chianti Under $20 Featured

What Are Chianti Wines?

Italian wines are popular all over the world, owing to their superior quality and taste. And one of such wines is Chianti. Pronounced as “kee-an-tee,” this is a red blend wine that has origins in Tuscany, Italy. It is primarily made using Sangiovese grapes, which give the Chianti its unique texture. The Chianti grape is cultivated in particular areas of Italy including Florence, Siena, Arezzo, and Pisa. Some Chianti wines also consist of varietals such as Colorino, Canaiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chianti wines are characterized by their savory taste, high acidity, and coarse tannins. It’s a typically dry wine and has a deep ruby red color, though some Chiantis may also display a tinge of bright burnt orange. Common tasting notes include red fruits, balsamic vinegar, smoke, game, and dried herbs. It is said that a glass of Chianti is as important to Italian cuisine as olive oil. Here are some of the top-rated Chianti under $20.


Best Chianti Wines Under $20

Best Overall Best Value Best Under $15 Vallone di Cecione Tenuta Il Palagio Castello Nipozzano Ruffino Villa Trasqua Tenuta di Arceno Vicchiomaggio
Bottle
Name Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva Fattoria di Rodano Chianti Classico Bonacchi Chianti Riserva Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico Tenuta Il Palagio When We Dance Chianti Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico
Color Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red
Country Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy Italy
Grapes Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera Sangiovese Sangiovese
Taste Raspberry, Cherry, Plum, Blackberry, Chocolate Plum, Cherry, Raspberry, Fennel, Tobacco Plum, Blackberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Oak Black Cherry, Blood Orange, Blackberry, Tobacco, Spice Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Licorice, Tobacco Strawberry, Cherry, Dark Fruit, Tobacco Cherry, Plum, Cinnamon, Spice, Coffee Cherry, Blueberry, Plum, Licorice, Mushroom Blackberry, Rhubarb, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Licorice Cherry, Plum, Raspberry, Tobacco, Oak
Food Pairing Mushroom Risotto, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, Bolognese, Peposo Mussel Cannelloni, Ribeye, Italian Spread, Mushroom Risotto, Pasta Carbonara Grilled Venison, Heavy Pasta, Lasagna, Roasted Boar Meat-Based Pasta, Roasted Boar, Ribeye Steak, Pizza Margherita Hearty Stew, Lasagna, Grilled Chicken, Filet Mignon Roasted Lamb, Tomato-Based Dishes, Roasted Duck, Meatball Pasta Tomato-Based Pasta, New York Steak, Lasagne, Roast Lamb Bolognese, Tuna Steak, Mediterranean Chicken, Boar Pappardelle Mushroom Pasta, Pesto Chicken, Stuffed Calamari, Pancetta Risotto Boar Ragu, Chianina Goulash, Spicy Pasta, Chicken Madeira
Alcohol Content 14.5% 14.5% 13.5% 14% 12% 13% 13.5% 14% 14% 13.5%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5) 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
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Best Overall

  • Name — Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva
  • Winery — Tenuta di Nozzole
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Cherry, Tobacco, Spice, Herbal Notes
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Raspberry, Cherry, Plum, Blackberry, Chocolate
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Mushroom Risotto, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, Bolognese, Peposo
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Well-Rounded
  • Very Smooth
  • Lovely Mineral Finish
Negatives
  • Tad Too Watery

Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva has its origins in the village of Greve, situated at the heart of the Chianti Classico region. The grapes are produced at the Nozzole estate that spans 1000 acres at an elevation of 300 meters. The estate is owned by the Folonari family, who have been producing Chianti wines since the 1700s.

The grapes that are cultivated at the estate have a low yield, which helps retain the concentration and complexity in the wines. The fermentation process begins with the skin of the grapes in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, followed by maceration to extract the grapes’ colors and tannins. The wine is then aged in oak barrels for 16 months and then for three months in bottles. The wine has vibrant and fresh acidity and is shaped by its elegant tannins. Undertones of ripe red berries, cherries, and earthy notes are quite prominent in this wine. It has bold aromas of macerated cherries combined with fresh fruit and has a lingering finish.


Best Value

  • Name — Fattoria di Rodano Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Fattoria di Rodano
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Prunes, Cherry, Plum, Mushrooms, Smoky Notes
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Plum, Cherry, Raspberry, Fennel, Tobacco
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Mussel Cannelloni, Ribeye, Italian Spread, Mushroom Risotto, Pasta Carbonara
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Full Body
  • Very Smooth
  • Full Of Fruits
Negatives
  • Bit Too Earthy

The Fattoria di Rodano Chianti Classico is listed among the best value Chianti under $20. This wine is produced in the vineyards of Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany. While the estate that produces this wine dates back to the sixteenth century, it only began producing wines from 1967 onwards. Since then, the estate has belonged to the Pozzesi family.

The grapes in the vineyard are cultivated on limestone soils and are harvested by hand. Indigenous yeast is used to ferment the wine, which is then aged for 28 months in large Slovenian bottles. The Fattoria di Rodano Chianti Classico wine is known for its bright and fresh acidity. Notes of tobacco, wild cherry, cedar, smoke, and earthen aromas give a unique and distinctive taste to the wine. Subtle earthy tones with wild cherry and a smoky hue make this wine very layered and complex.


Best Under $15

  • Name — Bonacchi Chianti Riserva
  • Winery — Bonacchi
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Plum, Cherry, Strawberry, Tobacco, Oak
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Plum, Blackberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Venison, Heavy Pasta, Lasagna, Roasted Boar
Overall Rating: 4.1

Positives
  • Well-Balanced
  • Velvety
  • Very Easy To Drink
Negatives
  • Slightly Too Acidic

The Cantine Bonacchi Chianti Riserva is produced in Cantina Bonacchi’s winery in Quarrata, a charming town in Italy’s Montalbano Hills. The winery is spread over 148 acres of land and is owned by Cantine and Andrea Bonacchi. Made of 100 percent Sangiovese grapes, this is a premium wine produced by the winery. It is also among the best mid-priced Chianti in the world.

The production process involves aging the wine for two years in oak barrels, followed by another three months in bottles, and has an alcohol content of at least 12 percent. The fermentation process takes place in stainless steel tanks, which includes skin maceration for eight days and malolactic fermentation for the next nine days. Cantine Bonacchi Chianti Riserva is characterized by a dry and velvety palate with an intense bouquet and a long finish. This is a traditional Chianti that contains notes of leather and red cherries. You can either pair this drink with a steak, roast meat, or game dishes or just enjoy a glass on its own.


Best of the Rest

Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico

  • Name — Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Vallone di Cecione
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Dark Fruit, Plum, Jam, Spice
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Black Cherry, Blood Orange, Blackberry, Tobacco, Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Meat-Based Pasta, Roasted Boar, Ribeye Steak, Pizza Margherita
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Very Classy
  • Delicate, Yet Complex
  • Easy To Drink
Negatives
  • A Tad Too Fruity

Produced by the family-owned Vallone di Cecione wineries in Panzano in Italy, the Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico is a red wine that is primarily made from Sangiovese grapes. The wine is made by employing state-of-the-art cultivation and fermentation techniques. Organic practices are used at the vineyard, and most of the wines, including the Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico, are brewed by using grapes such as the Sangiovese and Canaiolo.

The Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico is characterized by flavors of fresh cherry, strawberries, and red plums. Aromas of black pepper, violet petals, raspberries, and sour cherries are prominent in this wine. This wine is also known for its versatility as it can be paired with a wide range of dishes, and it is highly acidic.


Tenuta Il Palagio When We Dance Chianti

  • Name — Tenuta Il Palagio When We Dance Chianti
  • Winery — Tenuta Il Palagio
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Strawberry, Fig, Cinnamon, Vanilla
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Licorice, Tobacco
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Hearty Stew, Lasagna, Grilled Chicken, Filet Mignon
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Fresh
  • Easy To Drink
  • Nicely Balanced
Negatives
  • Could Be More Complex

The Tenuta Il Palagio “When We Dance” Chianti is produced in Chianti, one of the best wine-producing regions in Italy. The region’s warm Mediterranean climate provides the perfect conditions for cultivating wine grapes. The wineries of Chianti are located in Tuscany and are famed for producing simple, fruit-forward wines. These wines are majorly produced using Sangiovese grapes along with local varieties such as Canaiolo, Colorino, and Mammolo.

Sometimes, international varieties like the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot are also used in the production of wines, as long as they grow in the same zone as the local grapes. When We Dance Chianti is a full-bodied wine with medium acidity. It is known for its subtle tannins and notes of herbs, tobacco, and balsamic. On the nose, you get aromas of blackberries, figs, and cherry. Overall, this wine makes a great addition to a simple dinner.


Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva

  • Name — Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva
  • Winery — Castello Nipozzano
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Chocolate, Raspberry, Lavender, Apricot
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Strawberry, Cherry, Dark Fruit, Tobacco
  • Alcohol Content — 13%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roasted Lamb, Tomato-Based Dishes, Roasted Duck, Meatball Pasta
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Easy To Drink
  • Very Subtle
  • Smooth Complexity
Negatives
  • Slightly Too Spicy

Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva is an emblematic wine from Castello Nipozzano, a well-known wine estate not far from Florence. It is made of 90 percent Sangiovese grapes and 10 percent other grape varieties, including Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malvasia Nera. The wine is aged for 24 months in barriques, followed by another three months in bottles.

Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva is characterized by perfectly balanced acidity, medium body, and a smooth and silky texture. The sweet and chewy tannins combined with a lingering finish make this a good Chianti under $20. The palate has flavors of tart cherry, black olives, leather, wild herbs, menthol, tobacco, vanilla, black tea, and smoked meat. You can pair this wine with a wide range of Italian dishes.


Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico

  • Name — Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Ruffino
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Cherry, Raisin, Red Fruits, Dark Fruits, Vanilla
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Cherry, Plum, Cinnamon, Spice, Coffee
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Tomato-Based Pasta, New York Steak, Lasagne, Roast Lamb
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Very Round
  • Easy To Drink
  • Surprisingly Smooth
Negatives
  • A Bit Overwhelming Cherry Taste

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico is a young Riserva wine from Tuscany, first released in 1927. The name Ducale stands for “duke” in Russian as the wine honors the Duke of Aosta who endured a journey over the Alps to have a taste of the famous Ruffino wines.

This wine is aged for 24 months in oak, stainless steel, and concrete vats, after which it is aged in bottles. Ducale Chianti Classico is famed for using modern winemaking techniques and is usually acknowledged as the benchmark for the Chianti Classico Riserva. This wine has a well-balanced palate with cherry and violet notes and subtle hints of tobacco, white pepper, and lint. It has earthy aromas that resemble porcini mushrooms and a high concentration of cherry fruit. The wine has velvety tannins, high acidity, and a long-lasting finish of rosemary. It is structured in such a way that it can age well for 2-5 years after being opened.


Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico

  • Name — Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Villa Trasqua
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Vanilla, Blackcurrant, Cocoa, Hints of Smoke
  • Grapes — Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera
  • Taste — Cherry, Blueberry, Plum, Licorice, Mushroom
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Bolognese, Tuna Steak, Mediterranean Chicken, Boar Pappardelle
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Mature Profile
  • Soft Tannins
  • Lovely Acidity
Negatives
  • Slightly Too Thin

Widely considered to be a sustainable wine by the diverse biodiversity of the Villa Trasqua, Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico is prepared using the principles of organic cultivation. The vinification process involves the wine being aged in stainless steel vats at temperatures ranging from 78.8 ℉ (26 ℃) to 82.4 ℉ (28 ℃). The aging process and maceration take place for up to a month. All in all, the entire process takes 12 months to be completed.

Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico can be best described as a medium-bodied red wine that has a delectable and pleasant taste. It is made of 80 percent Sangiovese, 10 percent Merlot, and 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The combination of these three grape varieties adds thickness and depth to the wine. As for the taste, it has notes of violet, ripe cherry, blood orange, and raspberry. On the nose, sweet spices, oak, vanilla, and licorice are complemented by fresh tannins.


Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico

  • Name — Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Tenuta di Arceno
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Cola, Plum, Oak
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Blackberry, Rhubarb, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Licorice
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Mushroom Pasta, Pesto Chicken, Stuffed Calamari, Pancetta Risotto
Overall Rating: 4.4

Positives
  • Lovely Fruity Finish
  • Well Balanced
  • Good Acidity
Negatives
  • A Tad Too Dry

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico is a wine produced by the Tenuta di Arceno estate in Tuscany. The estate is located at the southernmost edge of the Chianti Classico and is commonly referred to as “the most Senese Chianti Classico.” The Tenuta di Arceno estate is famous for producing three types of wines, all of which use the Sangiovese grape as their main component.

The Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico wine has depth, concentration, and power that is rarely seen among Chianti wines. Its palate is plump and full, combined with supple tannins, medium acidity, and a long finish. There are subtle undertones of ripe fruit, violet, roses, cypress, and cedar on the nose. Its flavors include notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, black tea, honeysuckle, cherry, and plum.


Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico

  • Name — Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico
  • Winery — Vicchiomaggio
  • Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti
  • Type — Italian Chianti
  • Aroma — Dark Cherry, Plum, Blackberry, Spice, Herbal Hints
  • Grapes — Sangiovese
  • Taste — Cherry, Plum, Raspberry, Tobacco, Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Boar Ragu, Chianina Goulash, Spicy Pasta, Chicken Madeira
Overall Rating: 4.2

Positives
  • Easy To Drink
  • Lovely Fruity Undertones
  • Very Smooth
Negatives
  • Complexity Is A Bit Lacking

Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico is a great Chianti under $20. This wine is produced in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, in an area known as “Galestro” that is rich in clay and large-sized stones. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.

The process is spread over 8-10 days to extract the desired color, flavor, and finesse. This is followed by maturing the wines for approximately six months in large oak barrels, after which the wines are released between 12 and 24 months post the vintage. Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Chianti Classico has a crisp palate with well-integrated tannins and a medium body. It is intense, well-balanced, and has a lingering finish with earthy and fruit-like elements. Some of the key flavors of this wine include orange juice, herbs, cherry, plum, tar, iris, cinnamon, and rosemary.

Conclusion

You can enjoy a glass of Chianti with a variety of Italian dishes, owing to its acidity and coarse tannins that help cut through foods with heavy tomato sauces and high-fat content. Now that you are aware of some of the top Chianti under $20, go ahead and pair it with your favorite dish, or pour that glass of Chianti to enjoy by itself.

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