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Cecchi Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva 1998

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    The wine is never aged for less than two years and Villa Cerna only produces its Riserva in the very best years. Of a very intense ruby red colour, this wine has a good viscosity and an elegant bouquet, reminiscent of ripe fruit mixed with a pleasant hint of roasting, which can also be discerned on the palate. As this wine is made with the classic Chianti vines, it is well suited to ageing if kept correctly. It should be served at a temperature of 18 °C.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Cecchi

    Cecchi

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    Cecchi, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    Image of winery
    In 1893, after several years of experience as an assistant in the cellars of the most famous commercial vineyards in the area, Luigi Cecchi set up his own business as a wine taster and broker. His efforts were soon rewarded with success, extending beyond the region of Siena. Over the years, Luigi's other three sons, Mariano, Natale and Francesco started working with their father, and from 1919 onwards rapidly established their reputation in almost every region of Italy. In 1948, his son Luigi entered the company, due to his father's premature death. Since 1953 he has run the company himself.

    In the 1970s, Cecchi moved to the borough of Castellina in Chianti, an area which has traditionally produced Chianti Classico. In its cellar, equipped with the latest technology, the final part of the production cycle is carried out. The fermentation operations are carried out at the four commercial vineyards distributed in famous DOC zones in Tuscany and Umbria: Villa Cerna in the Chianti Classico region, Castello di Montauto at San Gimignano, Val delle Rose near Grosseto, and Tenuta Alzatura at Montefalco, in Umbria. Since 2004, following the death of Luigi, his sons Cesare and Andrea, along with their mother Anita, have run the company with enthusiasm and passion.

    Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

    Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    HOR77600_1998 Item# 46589