I’ve known Andrea Cecchi for years. With him at the helm, the Cecchi family of estates has increased quality dramatically. But with the right investment and proper financial backing, that’s not too difficult to do. What is difficult, is not only increasing quality, but increasing value at the same time. At Villa Rosa and Villa Cerna, that is exactly what’s happening.
A tale of two Chianti
Villa Cerna lies along the road which links Castellina to Monteriggioni. The estate dates at least to the year 1001 and boasts 83 hectares of vineyards which slope from the Villa down to the valley below. Villa Cerna produces only Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva. In addition to quality and value, consistency is also important. You’ll note that in my review of the 2015 Riserva.
The 2019 Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva is a deep ruby color. Loads of fresh flowers accent deep cherry aromas on the nose; backed by green tobacco leaf. A lovely Sangiovese aromatic profile. On the palate this is juicy with sapid herb notes backing a medium to full bodied core of crunchy berry fruit. This leans toward the savory side of Castellina – it’s restrained, elegant and balanced. Red licorice and hints of smoke emerge on the finish. Should do well in the cellar for 7-10 years. 93 points. Not yet released but Find this wine & Support Tuscan Vines.
In 2015, the Cecchi’s purchased the Villa Rosa estate from the Bandini family who had owned the property for over 70 years. Immediately they sought to renew the vineyards by analyzing exposures, drainage and soil composition. Five distinct vineyard plots were identified. One is reserved for Ribaldoni, the property’s Chianti Classico while the rest produce fruit for the Gran Selezione.
The 5 vineyards comprise only 30 hectares – the remainder of the estate is forest, olive groves and other agricultural products. At Villa Rosa, the aim from the start was to exalt Gran Selezione; to create a wine of stature, but one with impeccable elegance and balance. Cecchi is succeeding. The wine raises for 15 months in Tonneaux and at least 3 months in concrete before bottling. Once bottled, it ages at least 1 year before release.
The 2019 Villa Rosa Gran Selezione is a brilliant ruby to violet in color. Loads of bright cherry fruit on the nose with dried spices, cured meat and fresh floral notes are wonderful. Gorgeous on the palate with crushed berry, spicy pepper, mouthwatering sour cherry and flinty minerality. Persistent, juicy and fresh. Full body but impeccably woven tannins. Long life ahead but already showing so well. A must for lovers of Castellina. 95 points and may mature higher. Bravo!! 100% Sangiovese.
Which one should you buy? If that question were put to me I’d quickly say, both! That said, the Villa Rosa likely has the greater upside and longevity. Look for these when they are released.