As I have mentioned before, I am always interested in knowing who made the wine I’m drinking. Sometimes it’s a fairly straightforward situation. Other times it’s hard to suss out – labels notwithstanding – without a little help. In this case the label only had an official vintner number to identify the winemaker. That could mean the wine was made as a private label selection – perhaps for Whole Foods or maybe for the importer. Doing a little poking around and connecting the dots, it looks to me as though this Gran Conti Sangiovese comes from the Italian vintner La Casada which also bottles/has bottled a Sangiovese Rubicone under it’s own label. According to simplywinesdirect.com, “La Casada is a part of the Casa Vinicola Botter, established by Carlo Botter in 1928 in Fossalta di Piave, north-east of Venice. … The company is now run by Carlo Botter’s grandchildren, and has established a remarkable reputation for the quality of its wines.” Interestingly, neither Gran Conti nor La Casada are listed on the Casa Vinicola Botter website among their products.
Winemaker: Gran Conti
Wine: Sangiovese Rubicone
Appellation: Rubicone IGT, Italy
Price: $9.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: The color of this Sangiovese was a nice ruby in the glass. On the bouquet I smelled sweet berries and musty earth with hints of spice. Characteristically light-bodied, this Gran Conti red was at 12% alcohol with good acidity. Flavors for me were sweet currant and cherry at the fore, developing stewed plum as the wine breathed. There were also notes of black tea and oak with a good dash of pepper near the finish. Tannins made a very subtle showing. Overall, although fairly sweet (right at the minimum alcohol content requirement for a Chianti Classico) and lacking some structure, I thought it was a pretty decent glass of Sangiovese.