It is not the last time I will show up to taste Chianti wine. There was a tent set up in Piazza Repubblica over the weekend, hosting 7 different wineries from the Chianti region referred to as LAMOLE (a subregion within Chianti Classico). (The Chianti region is one of 7 regions that make up Tuscany; for more info read my other post about Chianti wines, vines and regions).
I loved that I was literally tasting wines from a few hills, gathered in Tuscany, with a long rich heritage of giving grapes. No doubt when we return to the states, I will be hosting some Chianti tastings of my own.
That said, not all of these wines make it to the states. Some are just small wineries that produce such a humble sum of cases that they need only share their wines at a few small festivals throughout the year. In this case, as a unified effort to promote a location. Not uncommon in Italy, for regions to unite under one brand and make a name for themselves (Brunellos from Montalcino, Rossos and Nobiles from Montepulciano, Chianti from Radda or Classico, Parmesan from Parma and Balsamic from Modena to name a few…).
I tasted, sampled and shared a glass with my son Caleb (age 13). Yeah, kids taste wine here too. Its usual (tipico). Normal (normale). We thought the first glass smelled of wet dirt and the second batch of vines? Actually smelled of dry dirt. It was fantastic—and Caleb has a sharper palate than most adults that I know.
I bought a few bottles. At these little tented gatherings if you find something you like: buy it. It usually isn’t in stores, and the prices are better since you are buying direct. There were 3 wineries to whom I gladly handed over my closely-held cash: Castellinuzza e Piuca di Coccia Giuliano (www.castellinuzzaepiuca.it) for a very straightforward but solidly good Chianti, a single bottle of impressive Chianti from le Stinche (www.fattoriadilamole.it) and my favorite: Lamole di Lamole. I was impressed with all of their wines as well as their grappa. Complex, layered, yet approachable. Great wines, great value (www.lamole.com).