Just to the north of the city of Siena at the start of the Chianti Classico region lies the initial Tuscan property of the Cecchi family, Villa Cerna. Started in the wine business in 1893 by Luigi Cecchi, today the Cecchi family owns five estates located in Tuscany and one in Umbria (learn more here). Their headquarters are in Castellina in Chianti near Villa Cerna where Cesare and Andrea Cecchi oversee 385 hectares of vineyards that produce 8.5 million bottles per year. The Cecchi estates are environmentally conscious in their operation exemplified by their installation of the first water treatment plant at a Tuscan winery.
My friends who handle PR for the winery suggested that I taste Cecchi’s flagship Gli Scudi line of Chiantis, a suggestion I gladly followed when the Cecchis sent this wine to me. As is my custom, I tasted these along with my wife’s excellent cuisine. Here are the results:Cecchi considers their Storia di Famiglia their “protagonist” wine, by which they mean that it best defines their Chianti wines and their philosophy in these wines. By volume alone (900,000 bottles/year) it is at least the leader in sales. Thus we began with a 2017 Chianti Classico DOCG Storia di Famiglia, a 13.5% alcohol blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% other red grapes grown on the estate. Fermentation and maceration were accomplished at 26°C for 18 days followed by a minimum of two months aging in the bottle. We tasted the Storia di Famiglia with fried breaded melanzana accompanied by bucatini in a homemade tomato sauce and Swiss chard. The wine was ruby in color with a very light nose. It started at mid palate and finished smooth and short. It was a very nice medium red wine that was perfect for the melanzana. I rated this wine a 90.
The second wine was a 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG Riserva di Famiglia, a 14% alcohol blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% other red grapes from the estate. The Riserva di Famiglia was vinified at controlled temperature on the skins. Its fermentation and maceration took 15 days followed by 12 months aging in barriques and tonneaux with a further three months in the bottle. We tasted the Riserva di Famiglia with my wife’s homemade lasagna. The wine was a dark ruby in color with a light fruit nose. It also started at mid palate but finished medium long and extremely smooth. The Riserva di Famiglia was an elegant wine that was very easy to drink and I rated it a 93/94.
Our last wine was a 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Valore di Famiglia, a 13.5% alcohol 100% Sangiovese offering of which only 13,000 bottles were produced. The Valore di Famiglia was vinified at controlled temperature on the skins. Fermentation occurred at 25-28°C for six days with maceration on the skins for 20 days. Aging was for 15 months in tonneaux, 3 months in cement tanks and a minimum of 12 months in the bottle. We tasted the Valore di Famiglia with bacon-wrapped beef filets along with oven roasted potatoes and a green salad. The wine was a light ruby in color with a light fruit nose. It finished medium long and extremely smooth. I really liked this elegant European style wine and rated it a 93/94.
The Cecchi flagship wines were indeed Chiantis that the Cecchi family can be proud of producing. None of these are unreasonably priced and I recommend them highly. My thanks go to the Cecchi family for giving us the opportunity to taste these wines and I look forward to perhaps tasting some of their other wines in the future.