From: Tuscany, Italy
Blend: Sangiovese, Colorino, Merlot
Taste: The 2021 vintage is 90% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino, and 5% Merlot, reflecting a thoughtful blend of grape varieties. It reveals its character through a ruby-red color that showcases its youthful vitality. The bouquet envelops the senses with fruity and floral notes, enhanced by subtle spices that are emblematic of classic Chianti. On the palate, the wine presents a delicate balance of softness and lively tannins, accompanied by a refreshing acidity that extends the flavor's persistence.
Pairing: Chianti Classico having an affinity for both white and red meats, aged cheeses, and cured meats is well-established. However, the allure of Chianti Classico extends beyond Italian fare, showcasing its adaptability. The wine's elevated acidity transforms it into a match made in culinary heaven with an assortment of dishes. From the crisp perfection of fried chicken to the hearty comfort of cottage pie, the robust flavors of grilled steak, succulent lamb chops, short ribs, to savory sausage.
The key lies in its balance of acidity and tannin, which compliment meats and tomato-based sauces alike. The high acidity gracefully navigates the complexities of tomato-based creations, steering clear of clashes that might arise with wines possessing higher tannin content.
Leek and Mushroom Cottage Pie
By David Tanis
About: Nestled in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region, the story of Lilliano's winemaking journey begins with Princess Eleonora Ruspoli Berlingieri, a visionary who recognized the estate's potential and introduced bottled wines in 1958. Today, the labels of Lilliano Chianti Classico proudly display the coats of arms of the Ruspoli and Berlingieri Families, embodying a sense of tradition and heritage.
Managed by Giulio Ruspoli since 1989, the estate remains within the hands of the Ruspoli family, with Alessandro representing them on the international stage. This lineage of ownership and commitment to quality is mirrored in the wine they produce.
The Ruspoli family's roots trace back to the Italian Renaissance and even further to the 17th century in Rome. The family's illustrious history includes the bestowment of the principality of Cerveteri by Pope Clement XI in recognition of their service to the papal state. The present-day Ruspoli family continues to reside in the historic Ruspoli Palace in the heart of Rome, preserving their connection to their distinguished past.
Spanning 40 hectares, the estate's vineyards are primarily planted with Sangiovese, complemented by a blend of indigenous and international grape varieties. The three vineyards – "Le Piagge," "Casina Sopra Strada," and "Vigna Catena" – are meticulously cared for by the estate's experts.
Stefano Porcinai, the agronomist, oversees the vineyards, while oenologist Lorenzo Landi hand-selects the wines. The renowned Sangiovese guru Giulio Gambelli, whose contributions date back to the 1950s, played a pivotal role in crafting the estate's wines.
Lilliano's terroir boasts a unique microclimate within the Chianti Classico region. The combination of relatively high summer temperatures and well-timed rainfall creates an environment that nurtures the vineyards.
The dominant "Alberese" marly limestone soil influences the characteristics of the grapes. The grapes' ripening process is gently delayed, preserving acidity and aromatic freshness. The resulting Sangiovese embodies a harmonious blend of potency, concentration, and freshness, showcasing notes of violet and fresh cherry.
Lilliano's cellars house the aging and winemaking processes. Chianti Classico Riserva matures in large oak barrels, Gran Selezione in tonneaux, and Super Tuscans in barriques. The use of concrete tanks with temperature control allows for meticulous fermentation and maceration, followed by 12 months of aging for the Chianti Classico.
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