Earlier in the week I chronicled our time with Andrea Cecchi and our evening with the Butcher of Panzano. As I mentioned, we spent several hours with Andrea and part of that time was devoted to touring his winery and learning more about a wine that is fast becoming one of my favorites, Coevo.
This photo essay shows us Coevo, from the inside out.
Coevo means “contemporary” in Italian. The name given to the wine in order to capture the individual spirit of each vintage. Each year the wine is produced, the blend changes slightly depending upon the characteristics of the grapes. Coevo is a super tuscan blend comprised of grapes grown on Cecchi’s Villa Cerna estate in Castellina in Chianti and his Val del Rose estate in Maremma.
|~ Villa Cerna sits high atop a hill in Chianti. The vines on the slopes give Sangiovese & Cabernet for Coevo ~|
Adjacent to the Villa Cerna estate lies the Cecchi winery; a state of the art facility that is pristinely maintained. When Coevo was created, it was conceived in a sense as an “Uber Tuscan” – no expense was spared from fruit selection to equipment to the aging cellars. It is the dream of Andrea and his brother Cesare.
There have only been 3 vintages of Coevo released to the market thus far: 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 which is not yet available in the United States. 2006 and 2010 received the Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso while 2007 and 2009 received Due Bicchieri. The wine is made in only the best vintages.
Typically a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the former two grapes are sourced from the Villa Cerna estate while the latter are grown in Maremma and transported to Castellina in Chianti. Blending, bottling and aging take place in Castellina.
|~ Fermentation of Coevo takes place in stainless steel while the barrel aging regimen varies by varietal. The wine is aged in a combination of tonneaux and barrique ~|
The wood aging regimen for Coevo is monitored carefully. French oak is used, but as Andrea is quick to mention, the wood is only partially new. Aging in wood lasts for only 12 months. “Giovanni, we select only the best grapes for our Coevo, so we want them to maintain their sense of place – they come from Maremma and Chianti and we want that overall vintage expression to be vibrant – to represent the whole of Toscana. We are very careful because we don’t want to make any mistakes.”
|~ The Cecchi winery is a vast operation. These tanks will hold Sangiovese come harvest. When we visited, they were sparkling clean ~|
|~ Vineyards adjacent to the Cecchi winery in Castellina ~|
A new buiding was completed adjacent to the winery shortly before the first vintage of Coevo was completed. The upper floors house the family offices, conference rooms, reception area and ancient china collection. Andrea’s mother is an avid collector and has moved dozens of pieces from the family home to the offices so that more people can share them. Below the offices lie more aging cellars that were designed specifically with Coevo in mind.
|~ Barrique & Tonneaux hold future vintages of Coevo ~|
|~ The Coevo Room: Dedicated to bottle aging Coevo prior to release & maintaining stocks of library wines, the room is carefully monitored for all environmental factors. With Cinzia & Andrea providing context, note the size of the doors ~|
Recently we fondly reminisced and opened a bottle of the 2007 Coevo.
The 2007 Coevo is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet. In the glass, the wine is a dark, blackish red. It’s nearly opaque. Aromas are redolent of cherries, leather, pipe tobacco and “soft” smoke. On the palate, the wine exhibits a deep core of ripe wild cherry fruit with fresh herbs, leather and minerals in a supporting role. The Sangiovese appears to be dominating the blend at the moment, but I sense, texturally a large assertion from the Merlot. This is smooth and perfectly balanced with acidity and silky tannins. Showing more personality than the first time I tried this just over a year ago. Has tons of life left. 92 points. About $50 in the US.
|~ The label of Coevo is designed with embossed words that mimic an hourglass allowing time to progress, but never pass. The quote is from St. Augustine ~|
Cesare expressed the idea of Coevo eloquently. “Coevo makes no compromises. It is the result of slow and hard work that my brother and I have been pursuing with passion and pride for many years with the aim of creating a wine that speaks of the region and that somehow expresses the ‘wisdom’ of the contemporaneous agricultural time. For us, time is circular.”
And so it goes……
July 31, 2014