You may remember that I posted not too long ago about my visit to Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina. They have a full complement of selections to choose from, but I left with a bottle of their Sangiovese in hand. I was a little surprised to learn from the Childress folks that the grapes for this wine were grown in a vineyard just a few miles from the winery itself. North Carolina Sangiovese? I seriously had to give it a try!
Notes: You know how some garnets as well as raw steaks have a red coloring with a brown overtone? That was the color of this Childress. The bouquet held scents of tart red berries, pepper, wood, and a touch of must. It was light-bodied with a definite viscosity on the tongue. Tannins were quite gentle, and acidity was quite high. Alcohol was at 13.5%. On the tongue I found it very peppery with bright cherry and raspberry, a light oakiness, some jalapeno pepper and quinine on the close. I enjoyed this selection. The very present acidity – which brought those touches of jalapeno – reminded me more of a Garnacha than the typical Sangiovese.
No, this isn’t about wine that was drunk in the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I’m talking about wine from grapes grown under the Tuscan sun. I mentioned previously that I am trying to learn more about the Sangiovese grape. To that end, I’m searching for reasonably-priced selections of wines that are 100% Sangiovese. In order to find those wines, it looks like I’m going to have to search beyond my usual wine-buying haunts. I have found a few, to be sure, but the majority of the Sangiovese options on the shelf are a Chianti blend which doesn’t serve my purpose of learning about Sangiovese alone. Chianti will be another vein of viniferous gold to explore, and I think I’ll be better prepared for that venture by my current endeavors. I hope so, anyway. I found this Pratesi at one of our local boutique wine shops. This was the only varietal Sangiovese they had. (Although they did have a Chianti they indicated was all Sangiovese. I may have to go back for that one.) Of course, there were plenty of other awesome wines. But I am on a quest of sorts. lol
Appellation: Toscana, Italy IGT
Price: $17.99 at Grateful Red Wines
Notes: This Sangiovese varietal wine was dark purple in color. On the nose I found plenty of pepper, raspberry, plum and some spice notes. It was light-bodied with decent acidity, slight tannins, and 13% alcohol. Flavors I encountered in this Tuscan offering were sweet raspberry, oak, a dash of pepper, and green herbs on the finish. I think this is a selection that might be a candidate for that glass of wine at the end of a long day. It’s fairly straightforward, with a light, pleasant flavor profile.
Not a Chianti, but rather a 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany.
Winemaker: Gaetano D’Aquino
Wine: Sangiovese di Toscana
Appellation: Toscana, Italy IGT
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: Well, now here is another light-bodied red wine to pair with pasta dishes and even light meat dishes. Once it breathed and settled, it had a core of bright cherry and red currant fruit flavors with plenty of veggie notes. The light but definite tannins gave this selection a nice peppery bite at the end which is why I think it can stand up to some meat dishes. Acidity seemed good, and alcohol is at 12.5%. On first pour, however, this one came across as almost vegetal with a very tart cherry accompaniment in the background. If your preference is the fruit flavors in a wine, I’d open it at least a good half hour before serving.
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.