WHAT’S IN THE NAME?
The name Gherardino is dedicated to Gherardino Gherardini, who, in the 14th century, founded the Tuscan estate and villa called Vignamaggio located on a scenic hillside outside of the town of Greve. Gherardini was also the father of the woman who is the most famous person in the world depicted in a painting, namely Monna Lisa. Yes, it’s Monna with two n’s, because it’s the short form for Ma Donna, my lady Lisa. But we will have to put with the rest of the world misspelling her name, impossible after centuries of misuse. The lady with the mysterious smile was born and raised at the Vignamaggio estate. It is located in the premium classified Chianti Classico region of this well-known wine appellation. In fact, the first officially recorded use of the term Chianti for a red wine from this region is at Vignamaggio. This Reserve bottling of Chianti Classico is produced with 80-90% Sangiovese and 10-20% Merlot grapes, depending on the vintage. The grapes come from the Prato vineyard (west slope) and the Querceto vineyard (West/south-west slope). 2015 was a killer vintage in Tuscany, so allow a few extra bottles to rest for another 3-5 years and then enjoy a wine that has been allowed to fully develop its complexities of bouquet and taste. Ruby red in colour with shades of garnet. Fruity notes of sour cherries, blackberries and ripe cherries, tobacco and spices. On the palate we get forest fruits with soft and bright tannins and a licorice finish. James Suckling rated it 92 points. Enjoy with meat dishes such as osso bucco, or BBQ’d flank steak.
2015 VIGNAMAGGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO GHERARDINO RISERVA V16403, $30.95 (Oct. 3)