Saturday, March 5, 2022

Wine of the Weel-Tenuta Castigliioni Chianti 2018-$23.99 -An inspired merging of art and wine

 Wine of the Week-Tenuta Castiglioni Chianti 2018-$23.99 an inspired merging of art and wine

By Dwight Casimere

The statue of Dante at Plaza Erbe in Verona, Italy-photo by Dwight Casimere

Dwight Casimere with Lamberto Frescobaldi-President Frescobaldi Vineyards

Tenuta Castiglioni Chianti 2018

Florence is the center of art and culture in Italy. It is also the heart of its most treasured wine region, Tuscany. As such, two names stand out. The great author, Dante Alighieri, known to all as simply Dante, and Frescobaldi, the proud wine family that has been producing great wine for more than seven centuries. 

When Dante wrote his epic poem Divine Comedy in 1300, which opens with its eerily prescient first chapter, Inferno, the Frescobaldi’s had already been producing wine at its first estate, Tenuta Castiglioni.

Immersed in Tuscany’s Chianti Colli Fiorentini zone, near Florence, the ancient estate, Tenuta Castiglioni, produces a wine of great charm and finesse.

With its intense color, rich fruit flavors and superb structure, it is a marvel that Tenuta Castiglioni Chianti sells for a mere $24.

Combined strengths of indigenous Sangiovese, the King of Italian grapes, and the international varietal Merlot, Tenuta Castiglioni presents a wine that has strength of character combined with an elegance of execution.

With the approach of an all-Italian National Day, Dantedi (the Day of Dante) on Friday, March 25th, a day dedicated to all things Dante Alighieri, Frescobaldi’s Tenuta Castiglioni is the perfect wine, to honor the legacy of Dante and his beloved Tuscany. For those unable to make the trip to its sunny hillsides, they need only lift a glass of Tenuta Castiglioni Chianti 2018 to celebrate.

Grown in clay and limestone soil on the slopes of Val di Pesa on old vines, the wine benefits from the richness of the weather and soil. Gentle breezes from the Tyrrhenian Sea and the richness of the soil create a symbiosis that is exultant.

With its ruby red color and vibrant nose of fresh cut violets, Tenuta Castiglioni Chianti 2018 is flavorful, yet restrained. It opens with aromas of ripe red cherries and wild berries and transitions gracefully into spicy notes that tingle the palate. Careful aging in oak barrels caresses the heady blend notes of shaved cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, with hints of licorice and sage. Aged in oak barrels for a full year before resting in the bottle for two months, this is an exquisite wine, intended to partner with your very best meal.

I paired it with a Prime New York Strip that I had aged myself, then marinated overnight with Pink Himalayan Salt, crushed Rainbow Peppercorns and Fresh Oregano before slathering it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

Slow Roasting over low-burning coals to just the plus side of rare and then served with a blanket of caramelized onions and wild mushrooms and a side of Brussels Sprouts crisped in dark Modena Balsamic, it was meal that would have changed Dante’s focus from Down Under to Paradise!