Tuscany is a beautiful part of the world and some years ago a friend and I rented a villa in the countryside so both our families had a base. Of course, we visited Montalcino and Montepulciano and admired their quaint beauty however tainted as it was by too many tourists. Yet look elsewhere to the smaller towns and you might find a quieter less tourist ravaged town. And the Pecorino cheese with so many varieties and at such reasonable prices! And fill er up water bottles so you could buy 1.5 litres of local wine for 2 Euros. We did have a great meal cooked by some local ladies outdoors and it was memorable but most of our meals were very simple with easy pasta sauces, bread, pecorino cheese, juicy sweet tomatoes and lots of cured ham. The easy life. Time to return.
And of course, Chianti! A smooth oft cherry infused wine great with our food. Dragging back these pleasant memories we try a Le Cavane Quercione 2019 Chianti. A solid nose of black cherry with a touch of barnyard and only a touch. On the palate a slight bit of tannin which for me is one the building blocks for ageing a wine. Again that black cherry with cola, raspberry and Florida strawberries which are not as sweet as our local berries in season but far better than the wooden California strawberries I have given up on.
I think that the tannins rather require some food be it some Pecorino cheese, olives and cured meats. Or for more than some nibbles a Steak Florentine or Tuscan wild boar stew over pasta would do quite nicely. The wine might smooth out over the next few years but the question is will the barnyard notes amp up. Brett is spoilage yeast and there is always the risk that as the wine matures and loses some of its fruit the Brett intensifies. But for now it is “charming”. Next year?
(Le Calvane Quercione DOCG Chianti 2019, Fattoria di Vicchio, Montespertoli, Italy, $17.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 454934, 750 mL, 13%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).
The next wine is a Guinzano San Gimignano Rosso DOC. It requires a minimum of 70% Sangiovese. San Gimignano is just north of Siena. A very solid aroma of red cherry dominates as is the case of most wines made with a high percentage of Sangiovese. There are also minor notes of raspberry and blackberry. On the palate the tannins are light and sweet red cherry dominates. A pleasant lightweight wine most cheerful and affable. You can drink now or hold until the end of 2025. A good wine for sipping or with some seared tuna.
(Guinzano San Gimignano Rosso DOC, Fattoria LaTorre, San Gimignano, Italy, $16.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 480665,750mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90/100).