November 13, 2007

2005 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino

During the past few weeks I've been drinking a lot of the $20 and under wines, saving pennies for my yearly trip to Napa (only a few days away). While roaming around the bargain bins and hunting for good deals, I came across a great food friendly wine for about $18 bucks. Baby Brunello. Rosso di Montalcino. Rosso di Montalcino wines are made from the Sangiovese grape and are not subject to the same excessive aging of their bigger bro, Brunello. Brunello's are required by law to undergo aging in wood for at least 28 months before they are bottled which ultimately results in much darker, complex, expensive wines whereas Rosso di Montalcino's are young fruit driven wines that are not well suited for long term aging and meant to be drunk within a few years of release (seems I've had a lot of these lately). Montalcino is a sub region of Tuscany and takes its name from a variety of oak tree that once covered the terrain. I don't have too much information on Poggiarellino other than that it is a smaller, boutique style winery in Montalcino run by Anna and Loduvico Ginotti. This is a wine that is great with food! I had it with some very good homemade lasagna with basil leaves and crusty, garlicky bread and together, they were divine. I would love to drink this wine with a big chunk of aged Parmeggiano-Reggiano and just might buy a case to keep on hand for dinners as well. I'm not sure what the availability of this wine is across the US but I think it's worth trying to track down for the price considering what high quality Italian wines are going for. Good Italian wine without the pricetag of Barolo and Brunello. There's an old Italian saying... "Vino al sapore , il pane all'odore." This translates roughly into "Wine to the taste, bread to the smell." This wine will be a favorite to serve with food over the next year.

Tasting Notes: Nice dark color with a maroon edge to the rim, there are lots of earthy aromas and fruit coming across on the nose. Almost as if I'm smelling the terrior of Montalcino. Vibrant and slightly heavy but nicely balanced in the mouth, there is some lovely fruit - raspberries and dark cherry. Finishes mildly tannic.

Score: 88

Price: $18

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