Vizzini Farms Sangiovese

A little while back I mentioned that I had visited the Vizzini Farms Winery just outside of Birmingham, Alabama.  If you dropped in more recently, you may have noted that I’m doing some exploration and sampling of Sangiovese offerings as a way of familiarizing myself with that varietal.  It isn’t that I hadn’t had Sangiovese before.  I just hadn’t focused on those experiences in a way that led to any lasting impressions regarding this venerable grape or the wine it can become.  So it should come as no surprise that when I saw Vizzini Farms makes a Sangiovese, I snapped up a bottle to try.

Winemaker: Vizzini Farms
Varietal: Sangiovese
Vintage: NV
Appellation:  America
Price: $14.99

Notes: The color of this American Sangiovese was a light ruby.  On the nose I caught whiffs of spice, pepper, dark currant and black raspberry.  The wine was very light-bodied with decent acidity which gave it almost an effervescent effect on the tongue.  Tannins, on the other hand, were pretty much non-existent.  On the palate I tasted sweet currant and black raspberry which all but disappeared in the mid-palate where I found this selection a bit weak.  But then it rebounded for a fairly long finish with currant, pepper and a bitter medicinal note.  It was an OK experience.  Although I only tasted two of Vizzini Farms’ red offerings, it seems that I prefer their whites – such as the Viognier or Muscadine, for instance.

A Little Winery Down B’ham Way

That’s B’ham as in Birmingham, Alabama.  Not what you were expecting?  Me neither!

On a road trip awhile back I had the time for a quick stop at the Vizzini Farms Winery in Calera, AL just south of Birmingham.  It’s conveniently close to I-65 – just around the bend.

First, let me say that the staff are very friendly and helpful.  In addition, the winery building has a relaxed coziness to it.  Like many wineries these days, they have a little in-house bistro with indoor and outdoor seating.  Seems like it must be pretty popular, because there were several occupied tables when I arrived in the mid-afternoon on a Monday.  Since I was on a schedule, I didn’t have the time to linger and try their dishes.  But I was able to belly up over at the wine bar where I tasted a few of their products.  They make a full line of wines there but grow only their Muscadine grapes on site.

For the quick tasting I tried their Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir and Great White (Muscadine).  It was an interesting group of selections.  I didn’t take detailed notes.  I was on a road trip, after all.  Still, I did get definite impressions of several.  For instance, I was fascinated by the intense viscosity and smokiness present in their Muscadine selection.  The label indicates it’s made from Scuppernong grapes.  In addition, I thought the Pinot Grigio and Viognier were very much in keeping with what I understand to be typical varietal characteristics.  I was personally a little disappointed in the Pinot Noir.  It wasn’t terrible, but it struck me as a bit weak and lacking in character.  As for the Sangiovese, I bought a bottle so that I could ponder it at my leisure.  They were willing to waive the $6 tasting fee if I bought something.  So, of course, I did!  I’ll be posting my tasting notes on that bottle soon.

Overall, it was a nice visit.  I do wish I’d had more time to relax and enjoy their hospitality.  Maybe next time I’m that far south I can drop in again.  On the other hand, there are a number of other wineries on the Alabama Wine Trail.