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
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.
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
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.