Lara and Massimo Scotti, along with their three boys, Cosimo, Giovanni and Pietro, run a small winery and agriturismo, with a 19th-century villa, located just 1 ½ kilometers from the famous towers of San Gimignano. The site was originally the family’s summer home, and Massimo recalls spending languid days there as a child. Today, the family produces a tiny amount (around 2,500 cases total) of exceptionally good wine. Vernaccia is one of Italy’s most historic whites (the first to be elevated to DOC), and San Gimignano’s mainstay, so half of all production is devoted to this classic. The other focus, importantly, is Sangiovese. Because of the high global demand for Vernaccia, very few producers in the area still devote any land at all to red varietals. The Scottis, however, have accurately assessed that their terroir and microclimate rival that of nearby Chianti Classico, and in recent years it has become their goal to produce the best red ever made in an area esteemed only for its whites. One taste of their Cosimo, and you know it’s within reach.
In the shadow of the famous Towers of San Gimignano, Tuscan estate Le Rote makes a wonderfully charismatic Chianti Colli Senesi from 100% Sangiovese. It has rich, chewy dark fruit, ripe tannins, yet finishes very dry and clean. Remarkably, this wine was aged a full 1.5 years before release, a very rare and determined decision for a non-riserva Chianti — and the results show in the bottle. Smooth, black-cherry and sweet tobacco linger on a faint, pleasant finish that is touched off by just the right hint of oak. Lovely.
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