Bindi Sergardi, Chianti Classico “La Ghirlanda”
Bindi Sergardi, Chianti Classico “La Ghirlanda”

Bindi Sergardi, Chianti Classico “La Ghirlanda”

Tuscany, Italy 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$32.00
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Bindi Sergardi, Chianti Classico “La Ghirlanda”

Because there are many Francophiles out there who, for comparison’s sake, like to put Italian wines in a French context, I say this: Chianti Classico, when made in the style of Bindi Sergardi’s “La Ghirlanda,” is Italy’s structured answer to red Burgundy. Strong cases can also be made for Sicilian reds of Mount Etna and highly perfumed Nebbiolo from Piedmont and the Valtellina, but in the end, I think Sangiovese is the most kindred variety to Pinot Noir.

Yes, Sangiovese is always going to show more mineral/underbrush character and a little less fruit than Pinot, but again, when it’s a Chianti like this one—100% Sangiovese and aged just a year in used oak casks—there’s no better French analog than Burgundy. If you really want to drill down, I’d say maybe Pommard, or Nuits-Saint-Georges, but what really matters is that “La Ghirlanda” drinks like something much more expensive and rarefied. It delivers a combination of glossy fruit and profound soil character that is hard to come by anywhere at this price. There is also something to be said for a $32 bottle of wine that draws on 23 generations—you read that right, 23 generations—of family experience in one special place. Maybe I don’t need to be lobbying so hard for Chianti Classico after all these years, but I can’t help myself. It’s that good!

There’s a noble lineage behind La Ghirlanda that dates to 1349, and what’s most fascinating about that is that it’s not so unusual in Chianti Classico. But it doesn’t make it any less epic: The Bindi and Sergardi families first came together in the mid-1500s, when Gerolamo Bindi married Calidonia Sergardi and the couple adopted her brother’s son—the beginning of the compound surname. 

Direct descendants still control the family’s properties, which extend over 1,000 hectares in the Tuscan province of Siena (about 100 of which are planted to vineyards). There are three separate estates at which the Bindi Sergardis produce wine: Tenuta I Colli and Tenuta Mocenni, two high-altitude perches outside of Castelnuovo Berardenga, at the southern end of the Chianti Classico DOCG; and Tenuta Marcianella, located further south near Montepulciano. 

“La Ghirlanda” hails from a single, high-elevation parcel on the Mocenni estate, and that elevation came in handy during the hot, drought-stricken 2017 vintage (even in these conditions, harvest didn’t begin until October). A wild-yeast fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks and included about two weeks of maceration on skins, after which the finished wine was aged in large, used oak casks. 

Proprietor Alessandra Casini Bindi Sergardi works with a winemaking team that includes veteran Tuscan enologists Federico Cerelli and Stefano Di Blasi, both of whom did stints with Antinori. And as with past offerings from Bindi Sergardi, they left this wine to rest for an extended period in bottle before releasing it, so it’s now at a moment where it has knit together beautifully: fruit and earth command the stage (oak is barely perceptible) and the wine is at once fleshy and fresh. 

In the glass, it’s a deep ruby-garnet moving to a pink rim, with textbook aromas of black cherry, woodland berries, violets, orange peel, leather, char, tobacco, and underbrush. It is medium-plus in body, boasting fine-grained tannins and mouth-watering acidity. There’s some hot-vintage power here but the overall impression is one of refreshment and lift. Decant it at least 15 minutes before serving in Burgundy stems at 60-65 degrees and see if you can think of a more perfect red from grilling. I chose a vegetarian option this time, but don’t rule out skirt steaks drizzled with balsamic. You’ve got options! Enjoy!

Bindi Sergardi, Chianti Classico “La Ghirlanda”


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.



The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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