Before getting into the attributes of this month’s featured wine, here’s an insider tip from Cayman Distributors Group’s wine sales and marketing manager Lee Quessy: If it’s from Tuscany and it’s the 2015 vintage, buy it. More specifically, look for the Sangiovese-based wines from Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Montepulciano. The sunny 2015 vintage in Tuscany is as good as the wet and cool 2014 vintage was bad. The Tuscan wines from 2015 aren’t good only on the top end; even the entry-level wines are drinking well above their price point.
The problem is, the Tuscan grape yields were down a bit in 2015, meaning the wine on the market from that vintage won’t last. But fear not; the 2016 vintage is also excellent, especially in Chianti Classico.
A prime example of the value of those vintages is Cecchi Chianti Classico “Storia di Famiglia.” Priced at CI$20.99 at West Indies Wine Company, both the 2015 and 2016 vintages present excellent value, although they have different characteristics.
Because of the cooler nights in 2016, the wines from that vintage are more acidic, more aromatic, less fruit-driven and darker in colour. The 2015 vintage is drinking beautifully now for general purposes, but the 2016 vintage is still very youthful and best consumed over a dinner featuring meat dishes, including a juicy cheeseburger, meaty pasta dishes like lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, or a meat lover’s pizza. With just a little age, the 2016 vintage will become softer and probably even better than the 2015.