Another Inexpensive Sangiovese

This is the last of the Sangiovese varietal wines available at my local Whole Foods.  As I was told by others (I think it was winegetter), the variations in the different bottlings are interesting.  I’m happy to say that despite my focus on budget-friendly wines, I haven’t had any 100% Sangiovese that I’d label as plonk.  That may be the result of the smart people buying for the local retailers, of course.  At any rate, I now find myself faced with the need to wander farther afield to find more for my sampling purposes.  Oh, boy!  Field trip!!

Winemaker:  Il Bastardo
Varietal: Sangiovese
Vintage: 2012
Appellation:  Toscana IGT, Italy
Price: $7.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This Sangiovese was an extremely dark burgundy in color.  On the nose I detected scents of wet earth, tangy berry, with notes of mocha and chocolate.  It was medium-bodied with high acidity and medium tannins.  Alcohol was at 13%.  On the palate I caught flavors of oak (initially quite present, but settling with oxidation), plenty of blackberry, pepper, some dusty soil, and pomegranate on the finish.  It certainly had enough structure – tannins and acidity – to stand up to foods and just enough in the flavor profile to make it sufficiently interesting on it’s own.  Amazing?  Well, no.  But it’s a good bargain purchase.

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La Bastarda Bianco di Toscana 2012

Here is a light, refreshing white blend from Tuscany by Renzo Masi.  I had this at the pub I’ve mentioned before where they have a lot of live music.  The establishment is called Iota Club & Cafe.  It’s a very popular spot in the local area and attracts a lot of fine musicians.  The club has very recently retooled it’s wine list, and this was a new addition.   I look forward to trying some of the other new items as well.  Although I did get some odd looks from a few folks who saw me drinking a light white wine in what is generally a beer-swigging joint, I lifted my wine glass with pride and confidence.  Of course, nobody but the bartender saw the label on the bottle!

Winemaker:   Il Bastardo by Renzo Masi
Wine:  La Bastarda Bianco di Toscana
Varietal:  White Blend
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  Toscana, Italy IGT
Price:  $7.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:   This Italian white blend was very pale yellow in the glass.  On the nose I caught floral scents and pear.  On the palate I found flavors of pear, peach, young honeydew melon, grass and peach pit.    The finish is extremely quick, ending with what I can only describe as a sip from a mountain stream – you know, cool water with a slight mineral taste to it.  It was light bodied, acidity is good, and alcohol is at 12.5%.   The mix of grapes here is 70% Trebbiano and 30% Chardonnay.  I think it’s a nice, light, brisk summer cooler.  Actually it’s a lot like a wine cooler.  And this is one to definitely serve chilled.  As it warmed to room temperature it developed a chalkiness that became a little distracting.  So ice it down, and serve it up.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.