Renzo Marinai Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2010
Roast red meats, braised meats, ripened cheese.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The San Martino a Cecione estate was bought because the hamlet included and old bakery. Furthermore, Iori Marinai owned an old steam threshing machine, which had been left idle for decades. These are the starting-points from which Renzo Marinai, having embraced his father's line of thought, ventured to start sowing wheat to make bread, real bread, like in the good old days. And, after the wheat fields, came the vineyards.
Renzo Marinai's farming estate is set against one of the most charming backdrops in the Chianti area, stretching over a hill overlooking the surrounding valleys and fields. The Cecione estate takes its name from the ancient Church of San Martino a Cecione, close to the Castle of Panzano, which dates back to the year 1600. Renzo Marinai has managed the estate since 1996, supported by two collaborators, the oenologist Giovanni Cappelli and the agronomist Fabrizio Balò, with whom he has undertaken a complete restyling of the place, introducing new organic farming systems.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.