Val delle Rose 2019 Ciliegiolo Maremma Toscana 'Il Ciliegiolo'

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Ciliegiolo is a variety that is normally found in Tuscan blends where it is a partner to Sangiovese and others. However, there are some producers on the Tuscan coast who make wines solely from this vine. This version from Val delle Rose near Grosseto is a delicious, black fruit scented wine which is rich and dark with scents of the forest, but dominated but with intense black cherry. Vale delle Rose only makes 6,000 bottles of this so could be classed as a bit of a rarity. We love it for its authentic Tuscan character, but also its quirkiness.

This Month's Mixed Cases

The Region



Tuscany is the region of Italy that most fine wine drinkers gravitate towards. It occupies much of Central Italy with a Tyrrhenian coast to the west and the Apennines to the east; it has both Mediterranean and continental climates.

The story of Tuscany begins with its significant black variety, Sangiovese, one of the most planted varieties in Italy, but here is its ancestral and spiritual home. Sangiovese makes up most of the blend of Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, other DOC/Gs, and 100% of Brunello & Rosso di Montalcino.

Chianti Classico is the region between Florence and Siena and has been systematically polluted with foreign varieties such as Cabernet, Syrah and, God forbid, Merlot.

Now, we are seeing a return to more traditional blends as producers gradually move away from the Super Tuscan movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

In Montalcino, where only Sangiovese is permitted, producers have also shunned the illicit use of foreign varieties, and the wines have never been better. It was helped out by a good run of vintages, as well.

Elsewhere, there are still gems to discover. San Gimignano is home to the only major DOCG for white wines. Yet, the planting of its traditional variety, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, is on the wane, but not at the best producers who still champion this variety.

The Tuscan Coast is still the hotbed for innovation; unlike other bits of Tuscany, the international varieties thrive and make the best wines, with the occasional exception.

The Estates

Famiglia Cecchi

Famiglia Cecchi

Famiglia Cecchi dates back 4 generations to 1893, originally based in Poggibonsi relocating to Castellina in Chianti in the 1960s. The family has been very shrewd in collecting vineyards in and around Tuscany, many of which located in prestigious sites. Without doubt, the Cecchis work hard at producing wines in authentic styles, something we hold very close to hearts here at Noble Grape, and at quite exceptional value for money. If there are better wines pound for pound in Tuscany and Umbria, we would like to hear about them.

The Tuscan properties comprise of Villa Cerna and Villa Rosa in Chianti Classico Le Corti del Podestà in San Gimignano, Val delle Rose in Maremma, and finallyTenuta Alzatura in the Umbrian DOC of Montefalco.

The Sub-Region

Bolgheri & Tuscan Coast

Bolgheri and The Tuscan Coast

This part of Tuscany, also known as The Maremma, is renowned for its powerful reds from international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Although Sangiovese and other traditional Tuscan varieties are grown here, it is the Super Tuscans that grab the headlines.

The region was a backwater until Mario Incisa della Rocchetta of Tenuta San Guido planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the 1940s, originally intending to produce wines just for the family. With help from winemaker Giacomo Tachis, himself a protegee of Emile Peynaud, the renowned Bordeaux winemaker, he conceived the now world-famous wine, Sassicaia. Following its critical success the area has become a hotbed of internationally acclaimed reds: Ornellaia, Masseto, Gaja's Ca Marcanda, and Grattamacco are many of the prestigious wines now produced here.

The major criticism aimed at these wines is that to a certain degree, they have lost their 'Italian-ness'. I think that used to be the case. Now that the producers are learning their terroir, the wines have started to develop their own style. No longer just an extension of Napa Valley or Bordeaux, the wines have become Italian classics in their own right.

Elsewhere, this region has gained some success with Vermentino, a variety grown around the Mediterranean coast. There are many other DOCs dotted up and down the coastline, Morellino di Scansano perhaps the most widely known, but there are many others to discover.

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