The Cantine Leonardo da Vinci cooperative was formed in Tuscany in 1965 and continues making wine today in the spirit of the legendary Renaissance artist and inventor. Leonardo was a legendary doodler, and his sketches of helicopters and war machines and parachutes were strangely prophetic... Or perhaps less surprising if you've seen the school notebooks of bored young boys. Yes, I got to see my design of yard lights that would charge up via solar energy during the day and glow at night featured in the SkyMall catalog on a flight to Cincinnati.
I could stew over that missed opportunity, or I could fix some tasty food and enjoy a pair of delicious Italian wine samples. Let's take the latter path.
2012 DaVinci Pinot Grigio
90% Pinot Grigio, 10% Chardonnay
$12, 12.5% abv.
Peach and apricot with a touch of buttery popcorn underneath, making me think that the Chardonnay saw a little oak and gives the wine a little deeper structure. Bright fruit, tart acidity, and a medium finish. Great with a grilled chicken salad, chilled on a hot summer day.
2011 DaVinci Chianti
90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
$9, 13.5% abv.
Plum and spice dominate the nose, while there is a mild body with low tannins and a red cherry finish. This is a perfect middle-of-the-week pizza wine, tasty after a half hour in the refrigerator. Delicious with a nice NYC-style pepperoni floppy slice.
Note: These wines were provided as samples.