When your family has been making quality wine since 1893, it takes an extraordinary amount of work and dedication to maintain such an impressive legacy. But perhaps more than anything, winemaking at this level requires passion without limits. This passion fuels the Cecchi brothers, Andrea and Cesare, as they guide their family through another era of extraordinary winemaking where tradition and innovation co-exist beautifully.
I recently had the pleasure of sharing wine and conversation with Andrea Cecchi during one of his whirlwind visits to New York. The quintessential Tuscan gentleman, Andrea has an elegant but approachable demeanor and Cecchi wines also exude grace, warmth, and openness.
La Mora Vermentino 2014 ($19.99)
Tuscany is known throughout the world for exceptional red wines but don't ignore the whites. Cecchi produces this pretty Vermentino in the coastal Maremma region. Vibrant and refreshing with perky citrus and floral notes, La Mora Vermentino is Tuscan sunshine in a glass. A perfect apéritif and an absolutely winning match with seafood.
La Mora Morellino di Scansano 2013 ($22.99)
Everyone who loves Chianti should give Morellino di Scansano a swirl to experience a different expression of the Sangiovese grape. Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese in the Maremma region and Scansano is a village in the region. Maremma's gentle sea breezes and diverse soils nurture grapes with soft tannins. Soft and round with hints of red cherry, this juicy red from the Maremma region is easy elegance personified. Pair with pasta, meat, and even a burger.
Cecchi Chianti Classico 2014 ($20.99)
Look closely at the label of this bottle and you will see gold script that says "Storia di Famiglia" - family history. This is the vino that tells the Cecchi story to wine lovers around the world. Well-structured with a rustic elegance, this wine really captures the essence of Chianti Classico with its earthiness and flavors of dark cherries. Pair with hearty dishes and sharp cheeses. 2016 marks the 300th anniversary of Chianti Classico and a bottle of Cecchi is a delicious way to celebrate the occasion.
Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia 2013 ($40.99)
Refined and nuanced, Cecchi only produces this wine in years that the grape harvest is of the highest quality. Aged for 14 months in oak casks before bottling and then bottle-aged for another 4 months before release, the Sangiovese grows in richness and complexity. As the wine breathes, it opens up to reveal gorgeous flavors of rich cherries, black currants, and plums that are balanced by a touch of spice and earth. This is the wine I would reach for when eating a rare and juicy Porterhouse steak/Bistecca Fiorentina.
Cecchi COEVO 2011 ($105.99)
This wine holds a very special meaning for the Cecchi brothers because it was inspired by their late father, Luigi. Signore Cecchi was enamored of the Maremma region and COEVO (which means contemporary) combines the more modern style of the Maremma wines with the classic techniques of Chianti Classico. This outstanding tribute is a blend of Sangiovese combined with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. COEVO is full-bodied but elegant and silky with impressive freshness, minerality, and balance - it will elevate every meal to a higher level. A wonderful match with roasts, braised & grilled meats, and aged cheeses.
It was such an honor to share these wines with Andrea Cecchi. Cecchi's excellent wines certainly speak for themselves but our conversation reminded me of wine's unique ability to create a bridge between people of different cultures. The world needs more of that. Cheers!
P.S. If you're planning a trip to Tuscany, Cecchi welcomes visitors at Villa Cerna in the heart of Chianti Classico and at Val delle Rose in the Maremma (I was at the Maremma winery last year and it is stunning!)