Deep ruby color; cherry, red berries, flowers on the nose; cherry, blackberry, wild strawberry, plum, redcurrant on the palate.
Dry; medium-full body; dusty tannins that mellowed with decanting—decanting recommended. Balancing acidity. Blend of sangiovese and merlot. No oak, fermented in stainless steel for six months with micro-oxygenation. Fruity, with the merlot coming forward in the mid-palate. Earthy quality to the experience. With six months of aging, this is a basic, entry-level Chianti; 13% ABV
The Frescobaldi family have been major players in Florence and Tuscany for more than 700 years. They began producing wine in Tuscany in 1308; some of their customers included Michelangelo and Henry VIII. At the high point of medieval Florence, the Frescobaldi family spread its influence as bankers, earning the title of treasures to the English crown. A little while later, with the flowering of the Renaissance, they became patrons of major works in Florence, including construction of the Santa Trinita bridge and the Basilica of Santo Spirito. In a foreshadowing of the Super Tuscan revolution, they began planting chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot vines in the region in 1855.
In 2013, Lamberto Frescobaldi became president of the company, the 30th generation of the family to hold the position, taking over from his uncle Leonardo. Lamberto studied at UC-Davis and has worked to modernize the company and expand in the U.S. and other markets since the late 1980s. He became vice president in 2007 and oversaw the renewal of the estates in the family’s extensive portfolio, including six in Tuscany: Pomino (which grows chardonnay and pinot noir), Nipozzano, Castel Giocondo, Ammiraglia, Castiglioni, and Remole. While they make many wines, they are most famous for their chiantis.
The company’s mission statement reads: “The Frescobaldi name carries with it the on-going responsibility of cultivating the best of Tuscan diversity, through:
“• Sustainable cultivation of the land to produce fine wines which perfectly represent and fully illustrate the diversity of our family estates.
“• Communicating and promoting the culture of Tuscany and its different territories, through our Estates, our wines and specific value-enhancing projects.”
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG 2016 is entry-level Chianti that has plenty of red fruit, some earthiness you may or may not enjoy—personal taste. It becomes noticeably smoother and tannins become better behaved with decanting. Sangiovese leads the red-fruit charge, but merlot shows up for the party, too. Pair with red meat pasta sauces; spaghetti bolognese; spaghetti and meatballs; lasagne; pizza; antipasto; spiced lamb; poultry; lean beef; meat loaf; dishes with salsa verde, including roast cod; grilled cheese sandwiches; matured cheese. $14-16