While in Chianti, you really should meet Niccolò Montecchi. He’s a member of the Antinori family – and in Italy, that means a LOT.
To put it in perspective, let’s talk history: The Antinori family goes way, way back, and they’ve been making wine for 6 centuries. That’s right, they were making wine before Columbus discovered America. Think wine nobility, not to mention land barons. Tignanello. Guado al Tasso. Peppoli. These are big and highly respected names in Italian wine. And they’re all Antinori.
Enter Villa del Cigliano (pronounced “chill-YAH-noh”), a 500-year-old Estate inherited by Niccolò from his grandmother Elenora Antinori (female blood line). In his own words, Niccolò has “murdered and recreated” himself as a noble farmer, choosing to spend his days making extraordinary Sangiovese-based wines just 15 miles south of Florence in San Casciano in the Chianti Classico wine region.
Niccolò is young, but he makes old-school Chianti Classico.
We’re talking botte for aging, those big 12 to 20 hectolitre (300-500 gallon) barrels made from Slavonian oak. Not a touch of new French oak. It’s all about the fruit and the minerality that comes shining through in this clay-rich part of Chianti Classico. The result is a more refined wine with wonderful fruit and softer tannins.
His Chianti Classico wines often are generous with blackberry jam and cherry juice, dried herbs and decent acidity, elegant tannins and nice minerality on the finish.
The best way to experience Niccolò's wines is visit him at his grand Villa just outside of the San Casciano hill town, about 20 minutes by car from Florence. He gladly accepts visitors who want to taste his latest Chianti Classico release, check out the vineyards and explore the walled grounds of this historic property.
You'll need a reservation to visit, so just email him, call him, or fill out the online form to book a time.