Tuta's Wine

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2007 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico

May 30th, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

In Tuscany in the year 1300, at the very beginning of the Italian Renaissance, three villages, lying along the troubled border between Florence and Siena, bound themselves into the Lega del Chianti, the Chianti League.   Few municipal decisions would mean so much to the history of wine.  The three villages, Gaiole, Radda and Castellina, formed a terzieri — the Italian word for three regions under common rule.  (English has the word “quarter” for similar reasons.)   For an emblem, they chose the black cockerel, still in use today in the greatly expanded Chianti region.

Because these villages were so often ransacked by the warring Sienese and Florentines, they offer few monuments beyond the churches –pievi if, like most, they had a baptistery — and the occasional castle.  Within the villages, there are stairs, cats, long views, hot summers, and the beauiful stone houses of indeterminate antiquity which are found all over rural Italy.   If the local princelings stole from the townsmen, they left the vineyards alone.  Over time the Lega del Chianti became the omphalos, the very navel at the center of the universe, for the production of fine wine from the Sangiovese grape.

In Gaiole, the Castello di Ama produces a distinguished Chianti.  We drank the 2007 Chianti Classico.  Sottile — one might say, smooth, subtle, suave — with that tart reserve which is the marker for well-brought up Sangiovese.  The tannin bite is moderate — Chianti without tears –and the taste of the fruit is cranberry with a softer flavor underneath — smoky and a little rich.  This one needs a steak, pan-roasted in olive oil and rosemary, but we will settle today for the front porch on an early summer evening.

About $38.

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