Herewith our third post in a series of translations from a 1937 catalog of the wines of Italy. You will find the previous post here including informations on the catalog itself. We hope that these informations will be useful for those who wish to understand the history of wine in Tuscany by providing these "snapshots" of the wines in the era between the two world wars.
An unmistakable wine, simpatico, and exquisite. With graceful aroma, genteel soft flavor, fine, fresh and often slightly sparkling, Chianti is a beverage that has been well known in Italy for more than six centuries, as Marescalchi has shown authoritatively. For more than three centuries, it has been exported beyond the borders of the Fatherland, first to England and then to all the other countries of the world.
Indeed, in 1481 Landino wrote that "the valley of Chianti produces excellent wine". In 1542, the countess Isabella Guicciardini, writing to her husband, states that this exquisite wine gives such joy that it makes you wish to stay longer in the place where it is produced: "I like it very much and I wish not to depart". In the seventeenth century, the poet Fulvio Testi exalted it with these words: "... I will pour you the Etruscan Chianti — a peer to the ruby — dew that offers a kiss". And then later, Redi glorified it in his immortal dithyramb.
Monelli judges it to be the most lively and genteel wine of the world. And he specifies its characteristics as a "sparkling, bubbling with life, transparent and joyous vermillion, with the flavor of fresh fruit and field flowers".
All of enological literature from the last century has enthusiastic notes about Chianti.
Although, generically, this wine falls into one basic category, there are, effectively, seven subtypes, clearly distinguishable from one another, in the vast zone of production.
Herewith our second post in a series of translations from a 1937 catalog of the wines of Italy. You will find the previous post here including informations on the catalog itself. We hope that these informations will be useful for those who wish to understand the history of wine in Tuscany by providing these "snapshots" of the wines in the era between the two world wars.
In our cellar, we still retain some wines from this period (see the photo below).
Brunello Montalcino (Tuscany)
Wine of great class, reminiscent of the best Burgundy, for its delicious aroma, for its velvety texture, for its generosity, and for the perfect harmony among its components.
This nectare, which is produced in Montalcino (a historic castle that was once the last outpost of the Republic of Siena), is bright, red-garnet in color, with delicate notes of violet, delicious on the palate, with a dry, tonic taste and alcohol content from 12.5-13%. It is a wine that warms and restores you and for this reason, it is suited for those who work with their brains, the elderly, and those recovering from illness. It will give the drinker a sensation of new life. It is a wine that should be drunk after at least 3 or 4 years of aging because as a young wine, it is ungraceful, sharp, and unharmonious. It fares well in prolonged aging, which refines it and perfects its velvety character, its aroma, and its smoothness on the palate.
It is greatest flavor and its exquisite properties are expressed when paired with roast game, especially spit-roasted thrush with olives. It should be served at a temperature of 18-20° in a transparent chaliced crystal glass, with a small bulge and thin lip. It is wine for fine dining.
This year, we have decided to translate the entries for all of the eleven Tuscan wines that appear in the catalog. We hope that these informations will be useful to persons who wish to know more and study about the history of the wines of Tuscany. We have found the entries to be very interesting and we hope that you will as well. The first entry about a wine of Tuscany in the catalog is Bianco Superiore dell'Elba, a white wine from the Island of Elba.
Bianco Superiore dell'Elba
This wine is generally known as Procanico Elbano. It is a wine of great finesse: soft straw yellow in color, dry in flavor, fresh, very pleasant, with an alcohol content of 12-13%. It has a very delicate but relatively intense aroma. It can be compared to the best Chablis for its distinctive character, its nobility, and its incomparable quality.
It should be served rather chilled, paired with appetizers and seafood. It's also well suited for persons with weak stomachs.