Tag Archive: Sangiovese


The present: I asked for something that was familiar, something that I’d miss, because it had been around so long, even if it had been an enemy. Topper had the solution, with a humorous twist. “Il Bastardo.” “The Bastard.” This wine is a 100% Sangiovese from Rufina, Italy. This wine stayed steady over 3-4 days, without losing quality to become vinegar immediately. Topper said this was a wine that hadn’t ever let him down, and it proved true for me as well.

This wine is a whirl of ruby fruit in the beginning, cassis, garam marsala, cinnamon sugar, fruity strawberries. It mellows out to easy prune, loose cranberries, and open red berries. This wine pairs well with a variety of foods, and changes in adaptability to each food. With brisket, it’s red and tart, cutting beautifully through the fat and sauce. With white chocolate, it becomes woody, earthy, and well-paired.

This wine is delicious, standard, easy-going, but something I could always come back to. It’s exciting in it’s own way, adaptable, and friendly.

This wine is a delicious IGT from Tuscany, bursting with strawberry jam, raspberry preserves, and fruit leather. The fruit and acid balance is fun, (in my notes, I wrote that it made me laugh.) This is a brazenly aromatic blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. This Tuscan beauty is earthy and barky with fabulously cherry when paired with strong white cheeses and meatballs.

It isn’t the horrible, soul-sucking corporation’s wine. This just happens to be an Italian winery. That said, this is a delicious Chianti blend of Sangiovese, caniolo, and colorino. It has stunningly lovely red cherries, hints of warm brown leather, cranberries, with mouthwatering acid, with bright red, but dusky fruit. Some Chianti’s are biting, some chianti’s are only good with food, but this one is really delicious and full of red fruit and spice.

Helix Sangiovese 2007

Helix’s Sangiovese 2007 is like a book from the Sherlock Holmes series. It’s an old garden surrounding an old mansion- tart cherries, red cranberries with eucalyptus oil. It’s mossy, old polished woodiness, warm leather, and wisps of cigar smoke around a high backed red leather chair in a Gentleman’s library.

Il Poggio Sangiovese Rubicone 2012 is a delicious red from Castel S. Pietro Italy. It begins its ascent with pomegranate, cranberries, and savory herbs. It leaps with red velvety raspberries, and beautiful rubies of open fruit. This wine is much less of a tannic bomb than most Italian wines, and is certainly no Super Tuscan. However, with pepper roasted chicken on polenta, it is a perfect pairing. This sangiovese is deliciously acidic, and brilliantly refreshing.

A Taste of Intrigue

Tonight, I shared two bottles of wine given to me by a co-worker with a dear friend. These weren’t expensive, well aged bottles, but rather a two bottles of wine from our annual wine sale from 10 years ago or so. The game was on, would these be drinkable? Would these wines be so vinegar-ized that we’d have to run as fast as we could to my go to, “Heavy Weight Cabernet?”

The wines in question:

Graham Beck Shiraz 2003, from South Africa. This wine didn’t appear to have aged much in the glass, showing as a deep garnet with little to no rim  variation. It was less aromatic, but it’s scents and flavors were definitely of an aged being. This Shiraz entertained dried figs, warm woody scents, potpourri, sun-baked jam, though nothing brilliant. Experiencing this wine was like opening an old trunk in the attic, and coming across your grandparent’s memorabilia of a time long forgotten. 2003 wasn’t so very long ago, but it certainly seems like generations for this wine. Graham Beck’s Shiraz was not very expensive, and not meant for aging, but it was a fascinating experience.

Do note, the most memorable experience I ever had with a specific wine, happened to be a 2003 vintage of the Hess Mountain Cuvee Collection.

The next wine of the night was Luna Vinyard’s Sangiovese 2000. This wine, as expected, held up better than the shiraz.  I expected that a sangiovese, being a bigger, more tannin producing grape would be more likely to age more gracefully. This wine was unfiltered, so it came out, as thick as blood, dark burgundy, almost an earthy color. Indeed, it looked like blood, and fittingly so. This wine smelled of raisins, chocolate syrup, rich chocolate cordial, almost a nutty spirit scent, decayed roses, old lace. Luna Vinyard’s Sangiovese was an elderly person, who’s force of personality, their vibrance, vitality, and spirit shines brightly through their eyes, who they once were, what they once were, but for whom their body no longer reflects this brilliance.

In the end, we did not finish either glass or bottle, but my friend and I sat in the sun and enjoyed the treat. It’s something you do, not because you think the wine is going to be fabulous. It’s something you do because you want the experience. After all, what is wine without it? Ruined grape juice.