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Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Snooth GTI - Sangiovese - post your notes here.

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 26, 2009.

Sangiovese is one of my favorite grapes. A very food friendly profile that combines high acid, small but grippy tannins and a touch of astringency makes for wine that are perfect for pairing at the table.

Brunello, Chianti, Vino Nobile, Morellino, ton's of Rossos and varietal wines from the west coast will make this a great GTi.

I'll kick off the Sangiovese GTi with

This opens with a big, wiry nose with subtle spice tones setting off the wild berry fruit. There are nice complicating notes of graham cracker, hot iron, smoke, shoe polish and a touch of milkiness in the background. Rich yet very vervy in the mouth. This is packed with fruit and structure but is a bit tight right now though the finish reveals succulent red fruits/ frutti di bosco notes. Real vibrancy on the long finish. Texturally this is great even now, balanced and almost plush yet with superb structure lurking. Give it 3-4 years then drink it over the following dozen. 92pts

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Reply by syrahlover, Jan 26, 2009.

The one Sangiovese that really stands out for me is from White Cottage Ranch in Angwin. I like wines to be smooth and reserved, not in your face and loaded with tannins. This Sangiovese is fruit forward, yet smooth. Really elegant and food friendly.

I've been hearing alot about the winery in the rumor mill. I think they sold it so I don't know what the future for White Cottage Ranch Sangiovese looks like!

Reply by Derek67, Jan 26, 2009.

We has a 2003 Seghesio Chianti Station last night. These are very old vines of Sangio in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County. The family blends in Canaiolo and a couple of white grapes to make a killer chianti style wine. If you ever find a bottle buy it.


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 27, 2009.

Great start here. Funny that the first notes are never what I expect. We got a great pair of Californians though. The Chianti station is about as close to Chianti as one can get and still be in the US. Really fantastic wine I agree. I've heard of White Cottage but never tried the wines but it sounds like a winner!

C\Keep em coming!

Reply by Eric Guido, Jan 27, 2009.

Well i'll go with a Rosso Di Montalcino from 2006. Talenti

A brilliant ruby red color. Aromas of Chocolate covered raspberry candy, vanilla and dusty dried flowers. Very interesting nose. Cherry and Strawberry fruit fight for the center stage on the palette with hints of clove and minerals. Medium length and slightly disappointing finish with a bit of alcohol which leaves this wine seeming out of balance.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 28, 2009.

Nice one Eric. I'd guess a year or two might help the Talenti integrate.

Reply by Eric Guido, Jan 28, 2009.

I agree, it was certainly a big step above a typical Rosso.

Well since Sangiovese is something I enjoy quite a bit and own a good amount of I figure I'll stick to it this week.

Fubbiano, I Pampini 2003 - 90% Sangiovese and 10% Teroldego. I've enjoyed this wine on a number of occasions. Tonight it was at an odd stage but very enjoyable.

A hard wine to wrap my mind around. Firstly, it's a medium red color and a bit hazy. The nose explodes with brambly fruit, I might think it was a Zin if I didn't know better. Raspberry Jam and a bit of bell pepper also pop up on the background. On the palette it changes with time in the glass, at first it came across as a big juicy wine with blackberry and caramelized sugar but within an hour you start to pick up tobacco and the wine becomes more jammy with chewy tannins. The finish is nice and long with hints of plum. Overall a very enjoyable wine.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jan 28, 2009.

My first Sangiovese of the new GTI! This one comes straight from the bins at Astor:

Valdellecorti Chianti Classico (2004)
Ripe red cherries and tar on the nose with a bit of crushed flowers. Palate is nice and rustic -- red berry flavors and lots of acidity. Quite refreshing with a nice finish of tar leather and tannin.

My 300th Snooth wine review... Here's to 300 more!

Reply by Philip James, Jan 29, 2009.

Nice milestone! Greg also blew past 1,000 while i had my back turned. My position in 3rd place as one of the most prolific reviewers is in jeopardy

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 30, 2009.

Nice Mark, That Val delle Corti is classic stuff!

Well we had a dirty dozen last night so here's a little run down, full notes at

And a dirty little run down
Simple, basic Chianti - no flash all zing.
Basic Chiant Classico, some flash and some zing nicely combined
A step up from basi Chianti Classico - some flach, not enough zing, typical of the vintage
Pure Sangiovese, delightful and delicious
Structured and complex, this really improved over the course of the evening
Nice and polished but where's the love, no love in this wine, still serviceable
Whoa, intense stuff, this goes to 11 but it maintains freshness, super modern yet very complex
More please. This rocks, with great balance and superb drinkability, keep it coming!
This did not rock,it resembled a rock. perhaps an off bottle but this seems more like a late harvest zin.
Smooth, rich and fruity, this has broad appeal but it's not my style
This fell apart like a Yugo in salt water. Gaping holes just burst open leaving this rusty and hollow.
This shared alot with the Martin & Weyrich just more of it, give this a year in the cellar and it should be killer.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jan 30, 2009.

Snooth Wine Friday -- of course with a Sangiovese in session...

Fontodi Flaccianello Della Pieve 1999
A very mature wine. Warm, smooth and silky with well crafted tannins, subtle tar and oak, and just the right amount of acidity. Black cherries, tobacco, a tiny bit of medicine on the finish. Wonderful sun baked fruit on this one -- I can imagine that Tuscan warmth as I drink it, and I really want to have a bit of pasta right now.

Reply by ttutony, Feb 1, 2009.

Here's what we had last night, nothing too fancy but not too bad either

Caposaldo Chianti 2005:
Nice nose with earth, pepper, and dark fruits. This wine definitely had some woody flavors to it and I really enjoyed the subtle peppery spice. Light bodied with easy tannins, this wine would probably drink well with a variety of cuisine. Not bad at all, especially considering the price ($10 here).

Reply by halfbottle, Feb 1, 2009.

Here's one for the masses, 2005 Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico Lenzi a steal at about $14 a bottle, a classic style Chianti at a great price. My wine seller (Vino in Portland, OR) is gonna kill me for posting this.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 2, 2009.

Nice pair of Chianti!

Hey halfbottle, perhaps Vino will love the press!

More to come!

Reply by ChipDWood, Feb 2, 2009.

Had a good Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano the other night:

Poggio alla Sala, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 2004

I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it was dramatically different than what I was expecting it to be. The Sangiovese grape, and in particular its robust flexibility, is really starting to grow on me as I branch out.

"A blend of 90% Sangiovese & 10% Canaiolo Nero. This is a luscious, "right-bank" style of a wine and a great example of how flexible the Sangiovese grape can be. Licorice and vanilla notes in the nose, rich and velvety on the palate with a beautifully well-rounded and lingering finish- it behaves much more like a reserve bottling than the table cuvee that it is. Drinks and behaves like a $30 but can be found for $25.

Poggio alla Sala also make a Reserve bottling of this wine, and after my experience with this one I may have to get my hands on a bottle for... further study."

It was also my first (documented at least) experience with the Canaiolo Nero grape. Color me deeply intrigued.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 3, 2009.

Nice one Chip,

Canaiolo is a fairly common blending grape for sangiovese. It adds some oomph and flesh. It's not terrible successful on it's own but work wonders in a blend.

Vino Nobile is a region that doesn't get it's due. Gotta work on that!

Reply by Philip James, Feb 4, 2009.

Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga (2004)

Tasted 1 day after opening (i nabbed it from Greg's desk the day after the Sangiovese tasting):

"Fungal nose of acetone and esters. Cherry, leather and chemicals. Strong drying tannins with a very woodsy finish. This is not a fruit lovers wine - its dark and chemically and oily."

Personally, not my style at all - I like my wines fruity, approachable and rich. This was a mean, lean, dirty, oily wine with some pretty pungent aromas - i bet Greg loved it!

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Feb 4, 2009.

Fattoria Di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva (2004)

Tasty enough Chianti Classico. I'm more of a fan of the finish than the nose or the midpalate. Dried figs and a bit of spice on the nose but it's a little too sweet smelling for my tastes... Palate has slightly flabby tannins, but some nice tar and black fruit flavors. Gotta say I'm torn, but in the end it's definitely drinkable.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 5, 2009.

Here's a brief rundown on the wines we enjoyed at Tuesday's PTP. I've just posted my full notes and the blog post is on the way but down and dirty here are my impressions.

1 - 2005 Cosentino Il Chiaretto California 14.8% $18

Not bad at all, a bit clumsy and rich but a good match for a grilled steak

2 - 2006 Ruffino Santedame Chianti Classico 13.5% $18

Bracing and clean, this speaks of Chianti but not too loudly

3 - 2007 Flora Springs Napa Valley 14.2% $15

This screams Sangiovese and is having a party in my mouth! Delicious!

Flight 2

4 - 2004 Podere il Palazzino La Pieve Chianti Classico 14% $20

Another bottle that talks of Chianti, this time alittle louder, well done if a touch modern.

5 - 2005 Ruffino Riserva Ducale Tan label 14% $22

Another wine that speaks of Chianti but like the song say, a little bit softer now. This could be better.

6 - 2006 Pope Valley Winery Napa Valley 14% $18

I don't know what this is saying but it's a wine that somehow appeals to me in a weird way. Plenty of wood paired with ripe, sweet fruit but balanced and well made, a pretty fine bottle.

Flight 3

7 - 2004 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 14% $20
This ROCKS! All sorts of things in here, fruit, minerals, things you find in basements, attics and barns. Elegant and screamingly old school Chianti . I love it AND it's a crazy value!

8 - 2004 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva 13.5% $30
This has all the elements to be very good but there is a bactirial/ msuty edge here that I have consitently found in 3 bottles. There might be clean bottles out there but I'm not risking it.

9 - 2004 Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva 13.5% $35

Super Chianti, richer and a touch more modern than the Monsanto but almost as satisfying. This has more stuffing and may turn out to be as impressive in time.

Flight 4

10 - 2005 Kuleto Estate Napa Valley 14.8% $20

This was cheating a bit since there is Cab in this. Still showed some Sangiovese typicity but this was a more muscular style of wine. Solid if a bit too youthful.

11 - 2004 Deerfield Sonoma 14,6% $25
The second time around this still reminds me of late harvest Zin. Perfectly fine but anonymous.

12 - 2006 The Midlife Crisis Winery Paso Robles 16.6% $20

A huge Sangiovese fruit bomb with huge alcohol. Certainly not for everyone but I can see how this may appeal to some folks. It's not for me though.

Reply by vigna uva vino, Feb 5, 2009.

Along with the Monsanto, the 2004 Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva was one of my favorites from the tasting this week:

Reply by vigna uva vino, Feb 5, 2009.

Another good one:

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