Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gran Sasso Sangiovese IGT Terre de Chieti, 2008

This was a very satisfying wine-by-the-glass selection I had at Salt of the Earth Rustic Eatery in Fennville, MI.

My initial impression: this is not Sangiovese. It's not as big nor as aggressively acidic as a Sangiovese from Tuscany, but that apparently is due to the terroir and not to any manipulation. The color is every bit as deep and dark as the Australian Shiraz (d'Arenberg Stump Jump) beside it, but the wine is much less tannic than it appears. There are pleasing aromas of dark cherries, black plums, herbs and soft fruit tannins that make the wine very drinkable, with or without food. It's similar to the Stump Jump in style but, in my view, has considerably more depth and complexity.

According to winemaker Marco Flacco's notes, grapes were hand picked, de-stemmed, crushed, macerated and then fermented at 26 to 28 degrees Centigrade. The wine was aged for five months in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks before bottling. I haven't seen this Sangiovese on retail shelves but will keep an eye out for it. It should sell for about $10 a bottle.

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