The Blood of Jove…Sangiovese!
First a word about what Sangiovese is NOT: properly vinified Sangiovese is NOT black and thick and tannic and trying to be Cab meets Syrah. It is more like Tempranillo or even Pinot in that it has a fascinating array of flavors and aromas yet is lighter in color and body. What it IS is one of the most versatile wines at table made. This week we feature outstanding examples from Toscana, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Santa Barbara and even the Republic of San Marino:
Podere dal Nespoli Sangiovese di Romagna Fico Grande 2008 $15.99
Our good friend Celita’s basic Sangiovese has gone and all growed up on us: VERY good: dark color, rich fruit, good acidity…in short, perfect Pizza Wine!
Fattoria di Faltognano Chianti 2009, Toscana $18.99
Signore Comparini listened hard when we told him that between the shrinking dollar and the rising cost of EVERYTHING, the market for solid, hearty, ready to rumble, food friendly wines under $20 was getting bigger every day. This is his response. Mille Grazie, Bello!
Our #1 selling Tuscan Red?
Santa Vincenza Morellino di Scansano Ventoso 2011, Toscana $26.99
Sangiovese (plus a skoonch of Ciliegiolo and Alicante) in a robust, food friendly style with a big fat pig on the label, how can you go wrong?
Pizzulli Sangiovese 2010, Santa Barbara County $29.99 Organic
This is the love child of local architect and long time WINE EXPO-ista Cosimo Pizzulli, is the most authentic tasting California Sangiovese we have ever tasted and has been VERY well received in our wine bar.
San Marino Tessano Rosso Riserva 2001, Republic of San Marino $34.99
Mostly Sangiovese with a dash of Merlot, all mountain grown in the world’s smallest independent nation, completely surrounded by Emilia-Romagna.
Campi Nuovi Sangiovese 2009, Montecucco Toscana $35.99 ORGANIC
How Old School is this? 1) The producer trained at Soldera, THE most famous and traditional Brunello estate. 2) 100% Organic viticulture and very traditional vinification in large Slovenian oak with natural yeasts, ambient temperatures and no additions of any kind. 3) It is bottled without fining or filtering. VERY limited, worth it.
Ciù Ciù Marche Rosso Saggio 2007, Offida, le Marche $36.99 ORGANIC
Yet another Chianti Killer from the East, this is 100% Sangiovese slowly fermented on the skins for three weeks resulting in a multilayered bouquet with notes ranging from dried red fruits to coffee and a full throttle palate with a nice tannic grip and racy acidity. Again, food choices will be dictated by aging: right now this is ready to take on anything from garlic chicken to Oaxacan molé but give it a few years and its softer, more elegant side will emerge to compliment roast birds, wild mushroom pastas or Peking duck.
Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino 2007, Toscana $58.99
One of the original 12 estates at the time of the declaration of the Brunello DOC in 1966, this historic estate was founded in the fifteenth century and has been owned by the Ciacci family since 1850. Giovanni and his children Guido and Elisa, the third and fourth generation of Ciaccis, run the estate today. The vineyards flow down a south facing hillside from 400 to 200 meters above sea level and were restructured through clonal selection to preserve the best historic vine types a decade ago. The wines are vinified in stainless steel and then matured in large Slovenian oak, preserving their classic Montalcino flavors and textures. A customer in NorCal recently conducted a tasting of Tuscan wines and reported back to us: “The di Sesta Brunello was beautifully mature and possibly the best Brunello any of us had experienced”.