An exceptional value at only $21.95 in Vintages at the LCBO, today’s Wine of the Week is Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva 2006.
Rocca delle Macie
Rocca delle Macie was founded in 1973 when Italian film producer, Italo Zingarelli, decided to finally pursue his lifelong dream of making wine in the beautiful Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. He purchased the 14th century Le Macie estate which included 85 hectares of land, only 2 hectares of which were planted to vines. The ancient buildings underwent a large-scale restoration process, including the modernization of the existing cellars and the addition of new, state-of-the-art cellars. In just a few short decades, Rocca delle Macie has managed to gain a reputation as one of Chianti Classico’s most highly regarded estates. It’s a family business, with Italo’s children taking over their late father’s vision – to produce high quality wines that are an expression of the land from which they come. The family now owns 6 estates, totalling over 600 hectares of land, more than 200 ha are planted with vines and 80 ha are planted with olive trees.
Chianti Classico Riserva
Chianti Classico is the heart of the Chianti region and this is where most of the best Chiantis are made. The Chianti Classico zone is roughly the same area that was delimited by the Medici Grand Duke Cosimo III in 1716. The Chianti area was expanded in 1932 and 7 subzones were established. In 1966, Chianti became a DOC and in 1984, the entire Chianti region was awarded DOCG status (some argue that only Chianti Classico should have been given DOCG status).
Chianti Classico Riserva is typically a more robust wine than regular Chianti Classico due to grape selection, higher minimum alcohol levels (12.5%), and longer aging requirements. Riserva wines are aged a minimum of 2 years in barrel before being bottled, while regular Chianti Classico may be released as early as October 1 following the harvest.
The Chianti Classico Consorzio hailed 2006 as an ‘extraordinary vintage’. Weather conditions were said to be near perfect for Sangiovese and the grapes reached optimum ripeness and displayed ideal sugar levels. The 2006 vintage is said to be the second greatest vintage in 15 years, after 2004.
Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 is 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and was aged 24 months in French oak barrels. Mature and complex aromas of leather, dried herbs, dried black cherry, anise, cedar, and loads of ground baking spice. The palate is harmonious and balanced with a smooth, silky texture and concentrated flavours of dark fruit, herbs and spice. A pleasant, lingering finish. Ready to drink now. Serve with baked cannelloni with tomato sauce, beef tenderloin, or wild boar stew (for the adventurous!).