I discovered Cecchi Family Estates while traveling in Tuscany last year. I visited their Val Delle Rose Winery in Maremma. Unbeknownst to me at the time; the Cecchi family planted some of the first vineyards in Maremma, thus established themselves as pioneers in the area. Fast-forward to May of 2017; luckily I am invited to a luncheon with Andrea Cecchi. This experience not only allowed me to sample more Cecchi wines including Chianti but it cinched my love of Tuscany and the wines produced in this beautiful region.
Since visiting Italy it seems like I have become a magnet for Italian wine tastings. I am not complaining but rather enjoying the broadening of my education in Italian wines. This thrills me because many of these tasting involve wineries that reside in areas I visited. Though I may not have visited a particular winery, I have seen many of the sites in the surrounding areas. Cecchi was different than most because of my visit to Val Della Rose.
Cecchi Family Estates began with Luigi Cecchi in 1893. Now in its 4th generation, Andrea and Cesare Cecchi run the winery. Today the estate is compised of five wineries: Cecchi’s original winery, Villa Cerna, established in the 1960s, Castello Montaùrto acquired in 1988, Val Delle Rose purchased in 1996 and in the late 1990s Cecchi expanded its estate beyond Tuscany to Umbria with Tenuta Alzatura, where they produce Sagrantino Di Montefalco. In 2018 Cecchi will be celebrating 125 years of producing wine.
Our luncheon at Cecconi’s featured a nice Italian focused cuisine that complimented Cecchi’s wines. During this luncheon I observed in the gentle demeanor of Andrea Cecchi, his passion for wine, love of the Tuscan terroir and ardor for the Italian estate he represents.
We started with the La Mora Vermintino. La Mora means female horse in Italian. This wine pays tribute to the butteri (cowboys) of Maremma, who rode their horses and herded cattle. The 2014 Vermentino is crisp and fresh with nice minerality and florals and an excellent example of the Vermentino produced in the Maremma.
The 2014 Cecchi Chianti Classico Storia Si Famiglia is a Sangiovese expressing the steadfast traditions of Chianti. 2014 was a difficult year in Tuscany because it was a rainy and very wet season. This wine ages 12 months in oak and offers a smooth and balanced interpretation, which displays the inherit cherry flavors that Chianti is known for.
The 2013 Cecchi Riserva Di Famigli Chianti Classico Riserva is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is produced only in those years the grapes are exceptionally outstanding. 2013 represents one of those years. Aged in oak, the wine is flavorful with both red and dark fruits and exhibits a nice spicy and smoky finish.
My favorite wine served at the Cecchi luncheon was the 2011 Coevo, an IGT wine blending Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. This Italian Bordeaux like wine exudes flavors of tobacco, spices and cherry. The wine tells Cecchi’s love story between two different regions, Chianti and Maremma. Coevo means contemporary and represents the innovation and modern take Cecchi explores with some of their wines, while still maintaining their old world traditions.
Cecchi’s rich legacy in Tuscan wine remains a constant tradition as the estate expands their reach to other Italian regions. Furthermore Cecchi paves new ground through experimentation and innovation.