Winery: Cantine Leonardo da Vinci
Region/Country: Tuscano (Tuscany)
Varietal: Sangiovese Blend with Merlot
Food Pairings: Pasta and all meat dishes
This is a very nice Chianti. I would recommend you buy at least 6 and maybe more.I have seen the bottle for Da Vinci Chianti 2006 in the wine shop on and off since last fall and when I saw it again recently, I decided to get a bottle. This wine comes from Vinci – a town in the province of Firenze (Florence), in the region of Italy known as Toscana (Tuscany). This town was the birthplace of Leonardo and sits almost 100 feet above sea level.
The 2006 vintage has the DOCG label on the top of the bottle. DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. This is like seeing a 5 star rating in a restaurant guide. Wines that have the DOCG have been tasted, and run through a battery of tests to be sure that the wine measures up to standards in effect at that time. In my younger days, I always thought that the DOCG label was akin to the old tax stamp found on liquor bottles back then. I never paid any attention to it figuring it wasn’t an indication of quality, but some tax that someone had paid to get the wine over to the U.S.A. Looking for the DOCG label has a whole different meaning to me now. So when I see a wine that has it, it means that part of my job is a little easier.
The wine has oak but does not have a woody taste. There is plenty of color – very dark purple. It is not a thick wine or chewy, and not at all watery. It is on the medium side but smooth and has a very nice finish. I did not let this wine breathe at all. The nose in the glass was not a strong alcohol smell like some reds but instead I caught some plum and maybe some spice. I read that this wine was the highest rated Chianti under $15 in the last 10 years from Wine Spectator.
I got this bottle on sale for $12.99 down from $14.99. Given the price of the dollar against the Euro, I think this is the reason why the price I am paying now is so different from what it was even last fall. I have seen it advertised on the web for as low as $9.99 and as high as $17.99. It would be a very good wine to buy a few bottles now, maybe six, and cellar away for two or three years. Be sure to store the wine on its side and not upright, so that the cork stays wet at all times. The 2004 vintage goes for around $20 - $25 and the 2005 vintage goes for $15 - $22. So I have no problem telling you to cellar a few bottles for a nice steak dinner or maybe roast beef. As a matter of fact, this would be a great wine to serve with a steak barbeque on the 4th of July. If you lay down six bottles you will have enough to enjoy for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Don’t forget if you get six bottles see if you can get the half case discount of 10% off.
One last thing; be sure that you are buying the Da Vinci Chianti 2006 from Cantine Leonardo da Vinci. There is also the Cantine Da Vinci Chianti Classico Riserva. You want to be sure of what you are getting.
Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
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Jim Fortune - Bella Online Wine Guy