Montevertine – A Tuscan Icon
Monday, March 16th
For ten years he made some of the most well regarded wine in the region. Then in 1981, in the high hills of Radda in Chianti, Sergio Manetti stopped making Chianti Classico.
What would lead a lauded winemaker to forgo the prized gallo nero in favor of a “vino da tavola” or “table wine” designation? In Sr Manetti’s case, his labor of love was meticulously cultivating the noble grape of Toscana: Sangiovese. On paper, it is formed into wine of black cherry notes, high acid, firm tannin, and perhaps a leathery or barnyard nose. But in the glass, the ripe, red fruit is the warmth of a summer day on the Tuscan hillsides. Its crisp acidity a cool breeze in the early evening rippling down from the pine tree tops carrying the aroma of flora and the occasional farm fauna. The tertiary notes are akin to that of a well-seasoned filet of marbled bistecca.
Sangiovese is savory. Sangiovese is hedonistic. In Sergio Menetti’s early days of winemaking, Italian wine law demanded that it be BLENDED with white grapes for the label to proclaim it a “Chianti Classico.” Frustrated that he could not let his work in the field be expressed in his winemaking, he resigned from the consorzio.
The resulting wines, with the spirited assistance of Sangiovese champion Giulio Gambelli, became the stuff of collectible legend. Together, their work and eventually that of a handful of Sangiovese purists, convinced the wine governing body to strike the use of white grapes from the books. The estate namesake, Montevertine, is an old-school blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. The iconic ‘Le Pergole Torte’ is the best fruit of the vines and always 100% Sangiovese.
In 2000 Sergio passed away leaving the pundits to speculate if the next generation would stay on his course. It is around this time that the use of more ubiquitous varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is allowed in the legal Chianti recipe. The appellation begins to cater to more international tastes. Not to disappoint, son and current winemaker, Martino, upholds his father’s vision and maintains the family’s lean and clean expression of a grape and its territory.
On Monday, March 16, discover (or re-discover) some of our favorite vintages of the last 18 years paired with a special Tuscan-inspired menu.
Ribollita with Rosso di Lucca and Crostino
Montevertine 2010 & Le Pergole Torte 2010
Pici with Salsiccia di Pesce and Tomato
Le Pergole Torte 2006
Le Pergole Torte 2004
Pecorino Oro Antico with Pine Nut Honey
Montevertine Riserva 1998
Almond Millefoglie with Orange Crema
and Orange-Crème Fraiche Gelato
Castell’In Villa Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 1997
WHAT IS VINTAGE BABBO?
On select Monday evenings, we invite Italian wine lovers to join us for a special tasting menu paired with the best vintage wines from the depths of our cellar. Unlike many restaurant wine dinners, these are not distributor-sponsored events featuring “current-release” wines. The allure of Vintage Babbo is that it’s a personal expression of the restaurant; an opportunity for us to dig deep into our cellar (as much as it may sometimes hurt to see these wines leave); and an excuse to share the best of the best with our customers.
UPCOMING VINTAGE EVENTS:
Il Giro Di Krista – April 13th
Our Wine Director’s Favorite Picks
Valle Tour – May 4th
Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d’Aosta & the Veneto
B Cubed – June 15th
Brunello, Barbaresco & Barolo
The Wines of Summer – July 20th
Explore the Sun in Italy’s Wines