Now in its second century of Tuscan winemaking, theCecchi family is modernizing its wines without losing its roots.
In 1893, Luigi Cecchi made the first Cecchi wines in Poggibonsi, a small town in the Chianti Classico zone. Today, his great-grandsons Andrea and Cesare Cecchi have expanded the business to four estates and a portfolio of wines spanning from traditional to modern styles.
Last month, Andrea Cecchi brought his newest wines to New York. At Manhattan’s highly-rated Del Posto restaurant, Cecchi introduced the Val delle Rose estate’s2010 Litorale white wine, with its label showing three brightly colored canvas beach chairs. Cecchi is telling you that this wine is for having fun.
The estate is along southern Tuscany’s coastal region, and its crisp lemony aroma and flavor is just what you want on a warm spring and summer day. It’s made from the vermentino grape, and following tradition, the wine never sees the inside of an oak barrel. Get your own vintage beach chair and sip this refreshing white wine under a sun-shielding umbrella. Or serve it as Del Posto did, with the classic Italian dish vitello tonnato.
Cecchi’s Villa Cerna 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva is a serious wine. Located in the charming village of Castellina in Chianti, the estate dates to February 4, 1001, when it was dedicated as a monastery.
Cecchi’s father purchased the property in the 1960s, and the vineyards were renewed 20 years later. The 2007 Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva is made with Tuscany’s two traditional red grapes, sangiovese and colorino, eschewing the recent movement to blend cabernet sauvignon, merlot or syrah with sangiovese.
Cecchi added the contemporary touch of aging the wine in new French oak barrels, the new normal in Tuscany. Some producers age the wines so long in new oak barrels that it’s impossible to identify the wines as Tuscan or even Italian. Cecchi has wisely decided to limit the oak aroma and flavor in the 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva. The ripe fruit is the focus.
There is a delightful aroma of cherries and roses, and savory red fruit flavor. The vanilla aspect of new oak barrels is kept in the background. Obviously, wines are made from fruit, yet fruit is not always obvious in some modern wines.
The 2007 Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva is a well-balanced wine. It has the 21st century’s clean fruit flavors, sangiovese’s natural acidity and Cecchi’s historical understanding of what makes a Chianti Classico riserva pure pleasure.
The 2010 Val delle Rose Litorale retails for approximately $16, and the 2007 Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva is about $29.