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If you ever have the chance to ask an Italian winemaker

which clone of Sangiovese he plants,

(currently in Italy, there are 70 different approved clones)

he'll answer, "THE BEST!"

Not only do they love Sangiovese,

but they refuse to divulge their trade secrets.

The Italians cloak their Sangiovese

in honor, appreciation, and mystery

to keep their neighbors guessing.

It is treated with much respect in Montalcino with Brunello bottlings,

and in Chianti proper with beautiful blends.

First we will discuss the newer kids on the block.

The Rocca delle Macie Winery began in 1973.

In Italian history, they're junior to the varsity.

The Zingarelli family, once very successful in making Spaghetti Western movies,

had an uphill climb ahead of them; little experience, and disheveled vineyards requiring

more than 80% of their vines to be replanted. Pushing insecurities aside, they decided to double down on their love for wine and not only repair their standing winery but also

added several other vineyard sites in the Chianti Classico region to their portfolio.

Needless to say, their work has paid off! Their Chianti Classico Riserva has received

DOCG status, the highest level for any wine produced in Italy today.

As a symbol of their tenacious hard work,

a feisty metal rooster greets visitors to their property. The black rooster,

a long time symbol of pride in the Chianti region, was said to have settle an important land dispute between Siena and Florence in the 13th century. Quite fitting that the

Zingarelli family chose this symbol to remind visitors that they are here to stay and can compete with any historical producer.

Now, how does the wine taste?

This Chianti Classico Riserva is


what I want from a Chianti-

a striking blend of Sangiovese, Colorino, and Cannaiolo.

Soft red fruits greet your palate,

followed by secondary notes

of forest floor and

traditional rose petal.

The acidity keeps the wine very food friendly.

Classic Classico!




dates back to the14th Century.

The Colombini family literally created the Brunello experience

for American drinkers as the first imported Brunello

from Italy to the United States.

Barbi descendants have inhabited this land

since the13th century.

Their ancestors ranged from actual saints to sinners...

one assassinated the nephew of a Pope!

(Over a woman of course)

Luckily their lineage survived,

only by the grace of the Grand Duke of Tuscany,

and they finally ventured into the wine business in 1790.

After securing his ancestral land, Pio Colombini bottled his first Brunello in 1892.

He opens the first Italian wine shop in Montalcino in 1938.

Today, their cellar still holds vintages back

to their inaugural bottling of 1892!

Colombini started exporting Brunello to the U.S. in 1962,

and as we say, the rest is history.

The Barbi "Blue Label" Brunello di Montalcino

shows their coat of arms, reminding the drinker this is an historical experience.

The wine opens with riper than expected

red fruits- cherry and cranberry mix

with herbal/tobacco notes.

The structure is lean, but approachable,

even at this young age.

The 2015 vintage saw rain in both

the start and finish of

the growing season, and it shows here.

Ripe, fresh, but worthy of aging.

Drink now or save for later.


Who needs to travel when you can have Tuscany in a glass!?

I would LOVE to travel, but for now...this will more than do!



Until next time, Be Safe. Drink well.

The wines discussed above are available at


102 E. Briggs Ave. Call 702-528-8101

Fairfield, Iowa Email-

52556 website-


Krista aka The Wine Lady aka The Wine Mistress aka The Wine Therapist

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