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(Gerry Furth-Sides) The rainy, windy weather couldn’t have been more appropriate to introduce the Cecchi wines at Cecconi Restaurant recently, with the superb new La Mora Vermentino Maremma DOC 2016 at the head of the list.
The Cecchi La Mora, Vermentino Maremma, arrived dry, bright and fresh, with glints of minerality. At the same time it is friendly fresh and fruity with an astonishingly friendly price of $15.
Vermentino is not rare but it is one of the most important grapes in Italy. It is also planted in California, since the terroir between Sienna and Rome is similar.
It paired beautifully with the Italian salad dressed with a vinaigrette; Calamari Fritti seafood with lemon & chili aioli, and even the meatball dish with tomato sauce & basil. It promises to do the same with all Mediterranean cuisine.
The Cecchi Vermentino label honors the region’s tradition of wild horses with the name La Mora, (female horse) . The 100% Vermentino wine was fermented in stainless steel.
This is the southern part of the Maremma region that earned a reputation as the “wild, wild west”, home to wild horses, Cecchi said. The dry, warm and windy climate on the Mediterranean coast drew in the Cecchi family as wine producers.
Andrea described it as a “wine area with “great potential.” Already it possesses the taste of a rugged terroir tamed.
At home anywhere in the world, engaging Andrea Cecchi told his story with photos on an iPad. The historic Cecchi family began in the wine business in 1893, growing the business in this relatively (politically) untouched region into five estates, with restaurants on three of them and a cooking school in the works.
At the Maremma estate, Val delle Rose Restaurant serves local dishes, such as wild boar stewand tagliatelle with meat sauce.
A Cecchi Storia di Famiglia chianti classico dODG 2014 – SRP-$21 had its own story. The rooster logo of the Chianti Classico denotes membership of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. That consortium’s mission protects, oversees and maintains the prices of the Chianti Classico denomination.
Legend has it that in the Middle Ages, when the republics of Florence and Siena were fiercely battling for territory in the Chianti region, two knights would set out from their respective cities and establish the border wherever they met. A cock’s crow was the starting signal for the dawn departure.
The Sienese chose a white rooster, the Florentines a black one, which they stressed out in a dark pen with no food for days. It worked. Thanks to the black rooster, practically all of Chianti came under the control of the Florentine republic. And honored on the Chianti Classico labels.
In fact, Andrea this year was invited to present a special bottle of Chianti to the Italian Ambassador in Washington DC in commemoration of Chianti’s 300th Anniversary.
The Cecchi Storia di Famigilia Chianti Classico – DOCG 2014 also proves the family expertise. A harsh rainy season forced the 2014 grape harvest into one which had to be carefully curated. Aged eight months in barrels and more than a year in bottles, it is 95% Sangiovese plus 5% The alcohol content is 13%. Colorino Toscana, a red grape was used to impart color. It remains an elevated choice of red at $21.
The rich reds worked beautifully with the Garganelli bolognese and the eggplant Parmigiana with wild arugula.
It complemented the organic salmon with caponata and aged balsamic with rapini (baby broccoli).
Cecchi poured the elegant, dark cherry-red dark Cecchi Riserva di Famiglia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013 ($41) next. With 90% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon it is a bit on the tannic side.
The super Tuscan Coevo 2011 ($106). Coevo, or “contemporary,” describes well this this velvety blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon from Chianti, and Merlot and Petit Verdot from Maremma. Each varietal was fermented separately; the wine was then aged in oak for 18 months and in the bottle for 12 months. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
Silky yet biting, Andrea described it as “a love story between the two regions.”
Cecchi wines are available at Cecconi. They are also available in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and areas of New York, Chicago and Florida.
Cecchi has thoughtfully made it possible to locate their wines in local stores. They joined the Terlato group in 2014 (shades of the movie “Barefoot Contessa” and the Torlato family!) To find Cecchi wines at your local restaurant or retailer please visit: https://terlatowines.com/wine-and-spirits-finderf
The new valet system lent an elegant a finish to a luxurious wine pairing luncheon with Famiglia Cecchi and their extraordinary wine: give your mobile number to the valet and text for your car when you are ready.
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