Apr 262012
2009 Desert Wind Vineyard Sangiovese, Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, WA, $18 (S) – Rating 89

An impressive American Sangiovese from Desert Wind Winery. Blended with a 5% stew of Cabernet, Merlot and Barbera, the bright nose offers strawberry, spice and cherry.  Flavors of ripe dark cherry, strawberry and little spice enhanced by soft tannins, make this a very easy drinking departure from the ordinary red wine.

Mar 272012
2009 Story Winery Sangiovese, California Shenandoah Valley, $19 (S) – Rating 90

This Sangiovese from Story Winery really ticked my palate. Opening with bright nose of spicy cherry pie, the wine sports full-fruit flavors of red cherry, strawberry and red berries with notes of plum, spice and espresso. The round mouth-feel is complimented by supple tannins and enough zippy acidity to pair beautifully with the pepper-spiced steak and grilled salad we served.

Feb 292012
2007 Chatom Vineyards “Gitano” Sangiovese, Calaveras County, CA, $16 (S) – Rating 89

A lovely example of CA Sangiovese from Chatom Vineyards. Opens with a nose of cherry and dark spice and offers up flavors of smokey cherry, dark spice, vanilla and cigar box. The zippy acidity helped the wine pair wonderfully with our spicy Chorizo hamburger with smoked cheddar cheese and guacamole whip.

Feb 182012
2009 Salt Lick Cellars Sangiovese Reserve, Samor Vineyards, Driftwood, TX, $35   – Rating 89

Another example of the ever improving wines from Texas. Winemaker Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars and winegrower/winemaker Jay Knepp of Salt Lick Cellars (Famous Salt Lick BBQ-Austin) worked together to create this beauty. Well-balanced acidity and flavors of smoky cherry, plum, strawberry, spice and vanilla. A very Texas version of this Italian standard. And yes, it pairs quite well with Salt Lick BBQ!

Dec 032010

Do you remember the old 7-UP ads from 1975 for the UnCola? If Napa wineries are best regarded for their cabernets, then Benessere is the Un-Cabernet; specializing in Italian varietals.

I have to say that when these winery samples arrived at my office I wasn’t jumping around with excitement. My past experience with Italian wines has been uneventful, at best. I know many of you love them but until I tasted these wines from Benessere I was not on the bandwagon. While I may not bang a drum for Italian wines as a whole, I will bang a gong for these beauties. Continue reading »