|~ The Val delle Rose Estate ~
(image courtesy of Browsing Rome blog)
Since 1893, the Cecchi family has been synonymous with quality Chianti Classico produced in and around the village of Castellina in Chianti. Today, the estate is expertly guided by the brother team of Andrea and Cesare Cecchi with the latter focusing on strategic planning and Andrea guiding the winemaking.
The coastal Maremma region of Tuscany is the new winemaking frontier for Italian viticulture. Many producers from central Tuscany have expanded there. Recognizing the untapped potential of the region, the Cecchi’s acquired the Val delle Rose Estate in 1996. At the time, the estate was limited to 25 hectares in and around the town of Poggio La Mozza which lies in the heart of the Morellino di Scansano zone.
|~ Val delle Rose means “Valley of the Roses” ~|
After conducting extensive soil studies, the Cecchi’s quickly realized the estate held lots of untapped potential. Drawing on their own expertise and aided by the research done before them, they expanded the Val delle Rose estate to its current size of 100 hectares. Most of that acreage is devoted to Sangiovese for the production of Morellino di Scansano. However, Vermentino is also produced as well as Merlot and Petit Verdot to be included in Cecchi’s grand super Tuscan, Coevo.
While the Maremma may be known primarily for its Bordeaux cultivars, for the region around Scansano and six nearby communes located in the province of Grosseto, Sangiovese is king. The overall production area now stands at 1,500 hectares and as of 2007, has been promoted to DOCG. Scansano sits at 500 meters elevation and many of the zones vineyards face and slope down to the sea.
|~ Cantina at Val delle Rose ~|
In this unique microclimate, Sangiovese expresses its warmth and body but without denying its natural acidity. However, in recent years, the biggest challenge has been in regards to global warming. What once was effortless ripening of the past, today has become excessive heat which can damage the delicate balance of the grapes. In speaking with Andrea Cecchi about managing vineyard practices in order to mitigate this risk, he told me there are options within the vineyard to deal with this concern.
“Giovanni, it is fundamental to understand the interaction between the plants and the soil, the density of the planting and the management of the canopy. With the planting density we have chosen at Val delle Rose, 5,000-5,500 plants per hectare, the vines are offered a slower flowering phase and much greater air circulation which helps to ultimately preserve the freshness in the wines. Likewise, we pay careful attention to the canopy – in order so that the sun does not burn the grapes.”
Today we’re covering the mainstay of this wonderful coastal Tuscan estate. The 2010 Val delle Rose Morellino di Scansano Riserva is a wonderful wine. Deep ruby to cherry red – the clone of Sangiovese is called “Morellino” in Maremma because it’s color reminds of the Morellino Cherry – the wine fades to violet at the edge of the bowl. The aromatics from the wine are penetrating and feature lithe crushed cherry, Tuscan herbs and toasted spices.
On the palate, this young red is provocative. Round and fresh with a medium to full bodied core of ripe fruit, tobacco, seabed minerality and Tuscan underbrush this is juicy and persistent. The well integrated tannins are balanced well with fresh acidity. Long, soft, lingering finish and paired wonderfully with Bistecca Fiorentina. Delicious wine and an excellent value. $40 from a Manhattan wine list, about $20 retail. 93 points. Stock up!
|~ Beautiful, classy Sangiovese from the Tuscan Coastal province of Grosseto ~|
April 6, 2015