GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Sangiovese PTP 1

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 30, 2009.

Well this was an unusual evening, a Sangiovese tasting with most of the wines from California! As unusual as it may have been the results speak for themselves. Plenty of impressive wines and three standouts. I'll go into more detail in the corresponding blog post and well follow this set of wines up with more Sangiovese next week but suffice it to say, me likee the Sangiovese.

Flight 1 - Chianti

2006 Borgianni Chianti 84pts
2005 Volpaia Chianti Classico 88pts
2003 Castel’in Villa Chianti Classico 87pts

Flight 2 - Other styles of 2006 Sangiovese

2006 Nespoli Sangiovese di Romagna 88pts
2006 Perrucci Santa Cruz Mtn Sangiovese “Family Selection” 89pts
2006 Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano 86pts

Flight 3 - California’s Sangiovese terroir

2005 Pietra Santa Cienega Valley 90pts
2005 Martin & Weyrich Il Palio - Paso Robles 91pts
2004 Deerfield Ranch Sonoma County 78pts

Flight 4 - Modern Sangiovese

2005 Stolpman Santa Ynez - 89pts
2004 Salustri Marleo Montecucco Rosso 73pts
2006 Miner Gibson Ranch Mendocino 92pts

Flight 1 Chianti

1- 2006 Borgianni Chianti 12.5% - $12
A bit estery but quite intense and fruity with wild strawberry tones on the nose with hints of leather and forest floor. With air and adds a nice mineral/rain water note and a hint of flowers. Very light fresh and pure with marginal tannins and juicy acids that are a bit hard on their own. Finishes with a touch of herb and sand. Correct and simple if a touch lean. 84pts

2- 2005 Volpaia Chianti Classico 13% $18
A touch meaty and first then turning very floral with a touch of wood spice, quite spicy fruit, black cherry, sweet almost red-hot cinnamon (-), very floral. Medium light on entry with nice acids and soft tannins. There is good depth of flavor with twisty herbal and mineral veins that offset the sour cherry/ red currant fruits. A classic austere character that is fairly richly flavored and finishes with nutty, slightly bitter amarena cherry tones. 88pts

3- 2003 Castel’in Villa Chianti Classico 13.5% $20
Tight on the nose with a touch of caramel and roasted red fruits, menthol and limestone, smoke. A touch of VA adds lift and the aromatics drift off towards dried herb and woodland scents. Elegant and balanced in the mouth with integrated acidity and finely polished tannins, a bit drying on the midpalate, actually quite so with a mineral, smoky forest floor character. Bracing, cleansing finish with some violet and menthol notes even a long touch of bitter almond but not much more. An interesting wine but it lacks freshness of fruit on both the nose and the palate. 87pts

Flight 2 - Other styles of 2006 Sangiovese

4- 2006 Nespoli Sangiovese di Romagna 13% $18
Very nice, earthy, floral, forest floor, complex and typical sangio scents, some soft warm wild cherries and a bit of dried orange peel round out the nose which turns sweeter and grapier with airing. . Lovely mouthfeel, precise, balanced, full of soft tannins and juicy acids supporting just ripe red fruits in an elegant and lean expression of Sangiovese. Cleansing cherry pit finish is moderately long with a distinctly earthy, leathery, herbaceous edge then turning more spiced on the finale. Classic with a touch of tarry anise. A touch simple but so varietal! 88pts

5- 2006 Perrucci Santa Cruz Mtn Sangiovese “Family Selection” 13.5% $28
Gentle aromas of wet sand, roasted herbs, sweet vanilla(-) ham(-) and strawberry jam filter up from the glass. There is also a minor note of brett adding a bit of sweat here. Cool and crisp up front with good acids and slightly aggressive yet not drying tannins support moderate notes of rosehips, sweet wild cherry, and floral flavors with a spearminty top note. Quite fruity on the finish with the well measured tannins and mouthwatering acid finale. This continued to improve through out the course of the evening. Good intensity 88pts

6- 2006 Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano 14% $15
Intense moss, oily herb and stone notes at first with a lovely blackberry fruit compote and spice tone that is a touch saline. A touch simple but nicely aromatic. Astringent and feeling a touch extracted in the mouth with good, intense bitter cherry fruit but the tannins are a bit out of balance, they are polished but prominent and give the wine a rather steely feel. Needs some food or 12-18 months to integrate. Deep cocoa and earth nuances help frame the fruit. Drying finish but also nicely spiced. Well made in a minor way. 86pts

Flight 3 - California’s Sangiovese terroir

7- 2005 Pietra Santa Cienega Valley 15.1% $18
Rather intensely herbal and sweet at the same time with a powdery,dusty granite/vitamin tone over a warm cherry coulis base. Turns a bit smoky and oily with air but that big herbal element remains the core here. Big sweet fruit on entry parried by great mineral notes and great mouth grabbing tannins that offer a lovely austerity. There is a fine green herbal streak running through this that keeps this from becoming too much. A touch of coffee cream and bitter chocolate gains traction on the back half along with a touch of citron, the red cherry fruit is a touch hidden at the moment. Nice clean and fresh finish with a touch of mouth puckering tannins. Mouthwatering with good structural length. 90pts

8- 2005 Martin & Weyrich Il Palio - Paso Robles 14.3% $16
Clean and clear fruit on the nose,, smoky and slightly cedary with great green herb and mineral tones and a touch of graham cracker. Adds a touch of rare meat and sage with air and develops lovely bitter cherry and dried strawberry tones. Smells complex and balanced. Rich fruit, lots of raspberry and mulberry fruit, hanging from a high wire of acid that is accented by a gentle blush of cocoa powder and a hint of almond milk. Rich yet so well balanced by bracingly correct acids and supported by fine, austere tannins, just love this mouthfeel. A touch candied perhaps but the sweetness is perfectly cut by the acid and slightly astringent tannins. Delicious with a fine finish that adds a bit of spice in good length with a red currant final. A great Value Buy this wine. 91pts

9- 2004 Deerfield Ranch Sonoma County 14.6% $25
Deep and dark with fresh turned earth and damp cigar tones, a bit of spicy wood, smoky and dark, a touch of coffee. VA and a bit chemically smelling with a late harvest Zin nose that recalls cherry cough syrup. Big in the mouth with a bit of a roasted character, good acid, modest but stiff tannins, wood tannins feel like. Dark indistinct fruit flavors, touch rasinny with lots of chocolate and coffee character, and a bit hot. Finishes a touch short. Stocky and sturdy but without varietal character. 78pts

Flight 4 - Modern Sangiovese

10- 2005 Stolpman Santa Ynez - 14.9% $30
Very ripe herbal tones, integrated oak, cocao, vanilla, lots of good wood notes makes this quite spicy if a touch hot. Fresh fruit is in there, slightly macerated and sweet smelling with a hint of amaretto lurking. Big acid right up front then a fairly plush and well integrated mid-palate with herbal and citrus notes adding complexity to the rather rich red cherry fruits with a slightly exotic wild edge to them. Noticeable but not offensive wood offers a clean brisk finish with woody tannins lingering. I think this would be better with less wood but it is very nice. In a particularly rich, smooth style. 89pts

11- 2004 Marleo Salustri Montecucco Rosso 13.5% $24
Smokey woody, coffee candy notes, not much in the way of fruit here, woody and slightly chemical. This really jumps the cliff with air turning decidedly beef brothy and devoid of fruit exhibiting a dusty old green coffee bean nose. Candied and dark in the mouth with a slinky feel that is elegant if a touch compact. Dark berry fruits, spice, earth and a surprisingly strong green walnut, green herb vein are obvious on the mid-palate until everything just disappears, reverting to darker, coffee, sassafras and licorice laden character. Finishes long with a bracing mineral note and then dark, indistinct fruit leather notes. Drying too. Better than the nose would indicate but still not worth the effort. 73pts

12- 2006 Miner Gibson Ranch Mendocino 14.1% $24
Lightly smoky, dried meats, integrated cedar, dried cherries, layered and high toned with a touch of brownie oozing in, Nice aromatics with a touch of green tea lurking, sweet spices, strawberry jam notes, really ripe red fruits and a touch of apricot, sweetness that blossoms with air. Lovely lithe mouthfeel that is fairly seamless even though this is big, rich and relatively packed with tannin. Bitter cherry and bitter almond fruit offset the tannins which are a touch astringent but refreshing, nicely integrated acids, dark cherry fruit, a touch of brownie again, and a little bit of citron peel, nicely assembled and balanced. Bracing, astringent finish, good length in a powerful style that isn’t overdone. A touch oaky and in need of a bit of cellar time but the fruit is deep enough to age well and there is plenty of intensity here. 92pts


Reply by Philip James, Jan 30, 2009.

Unlike most tastings where there are usually some scraps for the rest of the office to polish off the next day, I came in this morning to find the whole case empty! Greg informs me it was a good evening.

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