~ Aerial Shot of Villa Cerna ~

It’s a shame that if I asked someone to name the top 5 or 10 producers of Chianti Classico, they’d likely not think of including Villa Cerna in the list.  Fortunately for you, the reader, you’ll be a leg up on many because the subject wine of today’s article is one you’re going to want to remember. 

The Villa Cerna estate was established sometime around the year 1000AD, as part of the “Abbey of the Holy Savior” near the town of Abbadia Isola.  Today the estate sits in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, in the commune of Castellina in Chianti.  The Cecchi family has owned the estate since the 1960’s and winemaker Andrea Cecchi drives the reins of production. 

~ Vines on the sloping hillside of Villa Cerna. Center top is the Estate surrounded by forestry ~

Today’s post is on the 2010 Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva.  Crafted from the best lots of grapes that the estate provides, the wine is vinified in stainless steel and then aged in a combination of large oak barrels, barrique and tonneaux.  Andrea Cecchi is cautious with the application of wood towards Sangiovese and it shows here. 

In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby with intermittent violet tones.  The aromas of the wine display the epitome of Chianti Classico.  Crushed red fruits, flowers, tobacco and mushroomey earth are noticeable and harmonious.  On the palate, the wine is lively and fresh with a medium to full bodied core of ripe berry fruit, accented by sweet pipe tobacco and a lovely dusty, mineral note.  This is just beautiful.  A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino, the wine is aged for 14 months in oak and an additional 18 months in bottle before release. The excellence of the 2010 vintage is captured in this bottle and while the tannins are not too intrusive now, this will age well for a decade at least.  Really great effort and an excellent value.  92 points, about $25.  

~ 2010 Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva ~

With this wine, I wanted a perfect pairing. I wanted to leave nothing to chance.   I grilled up some homemade sausages;  sweet fennel and slightly spicy stuffed with broccoli rabe.  I blanched and sauteed two bunches of broccoli rabe and sauteed them in lots of garlic and good extra virgin olive oil.  The match was perfect.  Crusty bread, and you have dinner! 

~ Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, & Cannellini ~


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