SOLD OUT! Rated 93 points by Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media, the 2020 Vallone de Cecione Chianti Classico is the finest values of its type I've ever poured into my glass. We'll get to the price in a bit, but this is the real-deal folks. From a tiny, multi-generational, certified organic estate, this is a wine that is more than deserving of the critical praise.
If you love drinking wines from small family wineries with pedigree, history, and tradition driving their efforts, I highly recommend you get this home and get it into your glass. This is a rather deep, powerful, and rich Chianti, and while it's delicious now, it also has 10+ years of staying power. I am proud and pleased to offer this direct import from the Haw River Wine Man to you all at a more-than-fair price.
2020 Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico
"A brilliant, deep wine." - Antonio Galloni - Vinous Media - 93 points
If you look closely at the label to your left, you will see Francesco Anichini's parents harvesting grapes from their vineyards. The Anichini family have over 100 years of history farming their 4 hectares of vines in Panzano. 4 hectares folks, that's tiny and equates to about 10 acres. When I say I like to support smaller, family-run wineries, this is a prime example, and there is a very good reason for this. The wines from producers of this sort taste better, and they don't have to cost more than wines from bigger, commercial wineries who charge you for their advertising and public relations budgets.
Just like the food at Cucina 24 tastes way better than the "stuff" they serve at the Olive Garden, that same premise applies to wine. The reason for that is INTENTION - both the Anichini family and the team at Cucina care more about quality than quantity, and it shows in their respective products. As for the wine, this is very traditionally made, very delicious Chianti with a ton of Tuscan soul and charm. I'm pretty sure it's on the list at Cucina too....
A whopping 50 cases of the 2020 Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico made it to North Carolina this year, and I snagged 14 of those. When you taste it, you'll know why I bought big on this one. Antonio Galloni has one of the best Italian palates out there, and he has rated this wine 92-93 points every vintage back to 2017. "The 2020 Chianti Classico is a brilliant, deep wine. The blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo works so well here. Bright acids perk up a core of dark red/purplish berry fruit, sage, tobacco, mint, lavender and pipe tobacco. I especially like the energy here. Drink 2022 - 2035."
I agree with everything Mr. Galloni had to say about this wine, but I'll add my own notes. First and foremost, this is the model of super-fine Chianti, the type of wine that helped propel this region in Tuscany to worldwide fame. There are tons of mediocre to poor to very poor examples of Chianti out there (it's a rather large growing zone), but this is not one of them. This is a wine that will appeal to both the lover of traditional Chianti, but also too lovers of just damn good wine :)
To sum it up, this is world-class Tuscan red wine from a proud and hard-working family, it's one of Galloni's highest-rated Classicos of the 2020 vintage, and it's less than $20. I am always taken with this wine's bouquet, as I've carried every vintage back to 2015. It comes out of the bottle with crazy-good and classic aromas of dark plum, dark cherry, leather, sage, and smoked meat. With bold and assertive flavors on the palate, this opens up pretty quickly to reveal even more. Despite being zesty with natural acidity, the tannins are nicely developed, providing for an energetic but far-from-austere palate.
I could go on and on, but I know you all don't have all day. If you love Sangiovese or classic and classy Tuscan reds, do yourself a favor and take advantage of the six-pack pricing. You can drink some now with your favorite pasta and red-sauced dish, but you can comfortably lay some down for consumption at a later date.
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