05/09/07 – Sangiovese

By Jesse on May 9, 2007


I hope you’re all as thrilled as I am about the impending trip up the coast to Paso Robles.  I was at a tasting this weekend at which several vineyards were recommended to me as being particularly excellent.  Those who have suggestions or questions regarding the trip, please e-mail me or attend the meeting, and we’ll be sending out an informational e-mail with all the specifics you need to know on Thursday.

Also, this is my last meeting before I take off for the sun-baked shores of Gold Coast, Australia.  It kind of worries me, as well — I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone two weeks without any wine club.  Well… actually, I guess it was this past Christmas.  But before that, it had never happened!  Hopefully, it never will again, because you people are basically my children, in a lot of ways.  Responding to the craigslist ad was the equivalent of me birthing you.  Anyone who’s interested in hosting (and running) a meeting in my stead, let me know or come to this week’s affair.

On Wednesday, we look at Sangiovese, one of the true classic varietals to recently achieve success in America.  (Please enjoy this page from a website called “pizza today” featuring a very brief introduction to the grape.)  Sangiovese is the main red varietal behind the classic Italian red Chianti, made in Tuscany, and famous in years past for being bottled in those straw-covered bottles that people would make candle-holders out of, a la “Lady and the Tramp.”  These days, the best Chiantis are those that are labelled “Chianti Classico,” which, according to some website, refers to the most ancient area of production of the Chianti region… also, the wine contained therein is at least 80% Sangiovese, rather than 75% for regular Chianti.  Sangiovese is also used to produce several excellent wines from elsewhere in Tuscany, notably Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano — please feel free to bring any of those as well, as they’d likely be excellent.  Anyone who’s enough of a badass to know what a Super Tuscan is (it won’t say those words on the bottle) should definitely bring one… if you think you’re truly that badass.  There.  I threw down the gauntlet.

Sangiovese is also put to excellent use elsewhere in the world, particularly in Australia and in California.  The Wine Varietals index has a great Sangiovese entry that discusses some of the grape’s classic flavors and also lists appellations in California that produce it.  I’d love to get a good variety of Cali bottles and a few classic Italians for comparison.  I, myself, will be bringing a very unique bottle indeed… please bait your breath appropriately.

We’ll be meeting at Noah and Sasha‘s apartment in Santa Monica.  Bring a bottle of Sangiovese, a chair or cushion if you’re feeling ambitious, or a Super Tuscan if you’re feeling really ambitious — and we’ll see y’all on Wednesday at 9pm.