Friday, April 22, 2005

Vignamaggio Chianti Classico 2000 (PB)

This Sangiovese based wine from the Greve region of Italy holds a special place in my enophilic ponderings. Remember, wine is not just a beverage; it is an experience, a memory, a celebration of life. Villa Vignamaggio is the celebrated birthplace of Mona Lisa and is now a working vineyard/sleepover in the heart of Tuscany. Its manicured gardens and olive groves punctuate the spectacular Tuscan vista and some 525 years after the birth of Ms. Lisa, NW and our spouses had the luxurious privilege of staying at this lovely site. For pics go to--

The wine has been aged for a minimum of two years before release—hence the “Classico” designation and is light ruby on the pour. Yeast immediately gives way to a very gentle fruitiness, simple and straightforward. In the mouth the flavors are subdued but definite and the structure of this wine is well done. With a few minutes of breathing, everything meshes into one fresh quaff with a very nice tannin foundation. The finish is somewhat compact but again, definite and delightful. ($20)

This is a great example of the difference between the old world and new world styles of wine making. You have to work at discerning the flavors in these old world wines whereas your palate is assaulted with the new world wines, which, reminiscent of one of NW’s past comments, all start to taste the same. I am beginning to agree.

But for the moment, my wife and I shall raise a glass in front of our framed photograph of the lovely Villa Vignamaggio with its pink hue and toast the spectacular time and memories we have of one extraordinary excursion. Some expression of Latin seems fitting here but since I am clueless I must settle for Pig Latin-- “Ahh, Ife-lay is-way ood-gay”

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