Cesare Cecchi – Cecchi Family Estates

Traditional, proud and warm. Three words I would have used to describe Cesare Cecchi if ever asked to. Representing a family brand, Cecchi Family Estate, and travelled across half the globe from Italy to Singapore, I was finally introduced to the beauty and elegance of Sangiovese, in the form of Morellino di Scansano.

The Cecchi family has been in the wine making business for more than 100 years. Started with Villa Cerna in the commune of Castellina in Chianti, they have made Sangiovese wines which are legally known as Chianti Classico. A privilege granted only to vines geographically located between Florence (Firenze) and Siena.

In 1980s they acquired Castello Montauto in San Gimignano, another commune within Siena. Optimising the terrain suitability for Vernaccia, more specifically Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Castello Montauto became a white wine focus site. Rarely seen in our local market, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is regarded as one of Tuscan best white and the first white wine to be awarded the DOC recognition in Italy history.

Another decade later in 1996, the family bought over Val delle Rose in the Tuscan Maremma region. A site focused on both red, Morellino di Scansano and white, Vermentino. The red wine shall be a subject for later discussion.

Drawing closer to the past ten years, Castello Montauto undergone a development program concentrated primarily on replanting vineyards based on modern vine-identification research, with clones and mass selections. Part of the estate was devoted to an experimental vineyard in collaboration with the Agriculture Department of the University of Florence and Vernaccia Consortium. Then recently, Val delle Rose was installed with state of the art winery equipment and made its debut with the 2011 harvest.

Throughout dinner, Cesare spoke fondly of these details. From his eyes one can sense the strong pride and attachment he has with the family history. Together with his brother Andrea who manages the operation aspect, they represent the fourth generation leadership of Cecchi Family Estate.

Oh wait, this won’t be a proper post without mentioning wine.

Val delle Rose – Morellino di Scansano

Morellino di Scansano DOCG, a Sangiovese-based wine, is cultivated in the sub region of Maremma. Legal requirement dictates a minimum of 85 per cent Sangiovese, while the Val delle Rose Morellino are made from 95 per cent Sangiovese with the rest from Ciliegiolo (native grape). Those who are familiar with Sangiovese in our local market will expect this to be strong, bold and acidic like Chianti and Brunello. But this turns out to be a fleshy, black fruit driven, elegant and finely structured wine.

This wine can be sourced from Italian Wine Club, or from “In Italy” a new restaurant at 38 Craig Road.


About the author

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Chan Wai Xin

Singapore based. University lecturer, wine educator, wine writer. Systematic, analytic, and at times pedantic. Mostly irreverent.

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