THE PREEMINENCE OF CHIANTI CLASSICO
Chianti can be produced in a very vast area, geographically speaking, which includes many Tuscan provinces. The finest wines produced in the overall Chianti landscape, are those produced within the “Chianti Classico” area. Locals and those wine lovers in the know believe this to be common wine knowledge, and feel that the wine lands in the vast hilly areas between Florence and Siena are the home grounds to the Chianti area’s finest wines.
Maybe so, but I’d argue that not everyone knows that the same hilly landscapes that we see today provided inspiration for the concept of the Noble Country life as celebrated by ancient Roman poets. The fusion between landscape, architecture and agriculture is therefore ancient and deep, and the vine, as usual, represents the trait of union of an extraordinarily heterogeneous territory.
Managing and understanding even some of the different variations that soils, exposures, and traditions draw upon within the Chianti Classico universe is a tantalizing theory.
It’s very difficult to master, first of all thanks to the vast versatility that the wine-making disciplinary allows producers. While other wine-making regions even within Tuscany might express a particular wine-making process and result thanks to exclusive varietal focus (like on Sangiovese grapes), the Chianti Classico region takes a different approach.
Thanks to the wine-makers’ focus on blending grapes like Sangiovese, and autochthonous grapes like the Canaiolo or Colorino varietals, or with international types like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the Chianti Classico wines end up expressing tremendous stylistic variability in the cellars of Chianti Classico wine makers across the region. This translates into wines with deep expressivity on the market, to the undisputed benefit of wine lovers across the world.
NEW PHILOSOPHIES, NEW GOALS
The fundamental, base rule governing the Chianti Classico wine production is that the Sangiovese grape remains the main grape variety (minimum 80%), and, as they say, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it.
Rocca delle Macìe, an illustrious family-run Chianti Classico winery, has completely disregarded the notion of halting or interrupting their onward trajectory towards premium wine-making and hospitality services.
Throughout the past 20 years, the family-run Chianti winery has pushed forward with their dreams and objectives, basing their end goals on careful estimates and projections. This approach has paid off, turning dreams into profitable results from both an economic and environmental perspective.
And it is following this roadmap that the Rocca delle Macìe Sergioveto and Roccato wines will relaunch beginning with their 2015 vintages. These wines represent both the winery symbolically and physically, even though they are wines travelling on parallel yet distinct paths as we’ll see below. What connects them? Their assured status in the clearly-recognizable Chianti region.
SERGIOVETO (100% SANGIOVESE)
Sergioveto, the wine that Italo Zingarelli dedicated to his son Sergio (Ser Gioveto, born in 1985) and named with a clever play on words, distinctively and definitively puts the Sangiovese vine on a special pedestal. The vine has found an exalted position and tenure in Tuscany, which the Zingarelli family uses deftly, creating memorable wines brimming with Tuscan Sangiovese elements.
The Zingarelli family decides to focus on the Sangiovese vine exclusively, locally referred to as the Sangioveto vine. Their vineyard plot, Pian della Casina, in fact is home to the single vine Sangiovese grape, with a minuscule share of land allotted for the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The Pian della Casina wine is labelled successfully as a Chianti Classico Riserva selection.
This is a Chianti wine visually expressing the tale of orderly rows of vines thriving within the calcareous, skeleton-rich slopes. The Sergioveto selection is a Chianti wine brimming with volume and nuance, and is vigorous in its vibrant structure. Sergioveto wine classically expresses floral and fruity elements, tinged with an acidic edge, and great depth. The Sergioveto wine, in a nutshell, is a Tuscan wine that in its simplest forms reveals an enviable ratio of Sangiovese grapes, and nothing more.
ROCCATO (100% CABERNET SAUVIGNON)
A mere 20 years ago, a conversation about indigenous, native or endemic grapes would have been very difficult to hold. Trends dictated the dominating presence of imported varieties that were then blended and mixed within the heritage of traditional Tuscan grapes. As you can imagine, this blending was often at the expense of the distinctive characteristics of the homegrown grapes, and their innate instinct and attitudes were often overridden by imported grape characteristics.
Rocca delle Macìe’s Roccato wine label (first vintage dating back to 1988) capably reaffirms the intensity and magnitude of the Chianti spirit and vigor. With the Roccato wine, the Zingarelli family have demonstrated that certain plants and grapes in this case, are remarkably adaptable and thrive in territories that are not those where the grapes originate - in this case, the grapes thrive in a terrain utterly different from where they originate.
The notion of Supertuscan wines and grapes is in no way doubted in all its primordial philosophies (low yields per hectare, harvesting of perfectly ripe grapes, temperature control during fermentation, maturation in barriques and bottle aging). On the contrary, Roccato’s pure Cabernet Sauvignon grape, heralding from the single vineyard Poggio alle Pecchie and entirely without the help of Sangiovese, is strengthened. Thanks to this flexibility and ability to thrive, the Roccato label typically adopts peculiar characteristics of Chianti Classico, without any deception or simple misunderstanding of its origins.
Eager to learn more about the lovely Rocca delle Macìe wine estate? Be sure to check out Francesca Ciancio’s in-depth look into the Zingarelli family’s Borgo di Fizzano, a true Tuscan gem waiting for you to discover it! Get even more in-depth with a visit to the Rocca delle Macìe producer page, and an exploration of our favorite Rocca delle Macìe wines. So much to learn, so much to taste!
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