Blind Wine Tasting Notes: Sangiovese

Our monthly group got together one recent Friday night to taste six Sangiovese wines. Finding a bottle of Sangiovese was relatively easy to find at the area’s many wine merchants, unlike the shopping tribulations we experienced last month trying to find a good Barbera. Of our six wines, 3 were from California, and 3 were from Italy. The group agreed that though Sangiovese makes for a good red table wine, especially with food, the finish is short-lived.

I’m fairly certain that most of us in the group favor bolder, long-finish wines. But of course one of the reasons we taste together is to develop our knowledge of those wines we would not ordinarily choose to drink.

Each of the wines listed below are ranked top-down, most favorite to least favorite; each is followed by the wine’s heat (alcohol content). If no link exists for a particular label, that label is most likely no longer available.

I’ve added a new figure in the left column: the actual group score for each wine using the Wine Scoring Sheet our group developed. You can see that there was one clear favorite: the 2002 Altamura from Napa Valley.

My purchase was the 2001 Picchetti Sangiovese, an old wine as Sangioveses go; there were two ’01s in our tasting. Despite its “age” and mild finish, the Picchetti scored well in this tasting, ranking second with the group and also my second favorite. Unfortunately, this wine appears to be no longer available in the usual online outlets. However, this tasting affirmed the appeal that Picchetti wines have for me in general; I should disclose that I’m a member of their wine club.

Group Ranking
+4: ‘02 Altamura
, Napa Valley 14.2
+1: ‘01 Picchetti, Central Coast 14.8
0: ‘03
La Fortuna, Rosso di Montalcino 13.5
-1: ‘02
Conti Contini, Toscana 13.5
-2: ‘03 Seghesio, Alexander Valley 14.8
-2: ‘01
Terrabianca “Campaccio”, Toscana 13.0

Winehiker’s Ranking
‘02 Conti Contini, Toscana 13.5
‘01 Picchetti, Central Coast 14.8
‘03 Seghesio, Alexander Valley 14.8
‘02 Altamura, Napa Valley 14.2
‘01 Terrabianca “Campaccio”, Toscana 13.0
‘03 La Fortuna, di Montalcino 13.5



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