Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally, sangiovese that I like. A first time experience with Montevertine

I have heard tell that as it relates to really good, genuine, true school, real producers based in Chianti, there is now only one name: Montevertine. Granted, now that I think about it these words might have first registered while reading Reflections of a Wine Merchant by Neal Rosenthal, the gentleman who imports Montevertine. So yes, he may be necessarily biased, but the fact remains that I have not been as excited about any other wine from Chianti in a long, long time.

What I first noticed about the 2006 Montevertine IGT Toscano Pian del Ciampolo was the beautiful, translucent ruby color. It reminded me of a Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a young poulsard, or any other similarly bright colored, lighter vibrant style of wine. After nosing the wine, my hopes were confirmed: this would be young sangiovese the way I like it. Floral (really floral), red fruited, refreshing, slightly earthy, crunchy. None of the astringent, puckery tannins or lack of freshness that most of the sangiovese based wines I taste often show. Interestingly enough, I preferred drinking this wine on its own, as opposed to with my pasta dinner (wine without food, a decidedly un-Italian notion, I know). It probably had something to do with the tomato sauce, which always makes for tricky wine and food compatibility. That wine though! What a terrific bottle. I think I paid about $25 for it. Some specs on the wine: 90% sangioveto, 5% canaiolo, 5% colorino. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are in cement vats, followed by 18 months in used slavonian oak barrels. Hand harvested, gravity flow winery, non filtered, etc, etc. Git some!