John Paul Kaminga
Toscana Rosso: Castello la Leccia Vivaio del Cavaliere
Chianti has been famous for a long time. Officially recognized in the 14th century by the Florentine Republic, and legally delimited by Cosimo III de' Medici in 1716, Chianti was the first wine region to receive such legislative distinction. Today, the original Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, and is protected in modern Italian law as a DOCG, the highest status accorded to wine regions in Italy. Unfortunately, there is a catch-all Chianti DOCG, that is much larger than the original zone, and includes a lot of land more suitable to grazing cattle than to growing high-quality wine grapes.... but we digress, because today we are talking about a tiny organic wine estate in Chianti Classico, so we don't have to worry, we are dealing with some of the best grapes in Tuscany.
We've written about Castello la Leccia before. We'll write about them again. They make some of our favorite wines in all of Tuscany. A small certified organic estate on the top of a hill in the Castellina in Chianti zone of the Chianti Classico DOCG, one might expect their wines to be fairly expensive, yet they are in fact much less expensive than large-production wines of lesser pedigree. The price of their Toscana Rosso 'Vivaio del Cavaliere' is downright confounding, and in a vintage like 2019 it is a candidate for the single best red wine value on the market. This is excellent Chianti Classico in all but name, released early and fresh, ready to drink but certainly worth following for a few years.
Castello la Leccia Toscana Rosso IGT 'Vivaio del Cavaliere' 2019 - $13
Less than 1,000 cases made. Mostly Sangiovese with dollops of Syrah and Malvasia Nera. Strawberry, blackberry, plum, mint, desiccated autumn meadow, a little licorice and dark chocolate. Dense fresh fruit, medium in body, juicy mid-palate. Beautiful mineral, earthy and herbal nuance through the finish. Juicy, joyous and a bit raucous today, this could use a year or so to calm down, and it may improve beyond 3 or even 5 years.
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