jamie goode's wine blog: So Sangiovese does rock, after all?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So Sangiovese does rock, after all?

Further to my comments on the Querciabella yesterday, some more thoughts on Sangiovese.

You know, I think Sangiovese is a grape that falls into the Serious rather than the Non-Serious category, despite what I may have said in the past. It's just that, for one reason or another, it frequently underperforms. Thinking out loud, it seems that even those grapes which are mostly Non-Serious, like Merlot, do have their moments (anyone for Petrus?), and when they do perform they can be stellar. But, generally, it's good advice to pass when offered a Merlot.

So I search my rack for more Sangiovese. I come up with the following:

Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva 2003
(9.99 Majestic)
Now I'm going to give Banfi the benefit of the doubt here, and put this wine's relative underperformance down to the dodgy 2003 vintage. Now this is a perfectly adequate Chianti, showing a muted, rather earthy nose which leads to a savoury, balanced palate with a bit of plummy fruit, some spice and a rather earthy, tannic finish. But it doesn't excite or thrill. It lacks something, but I can't quite put my finger on what this something is. 86/100

So I return to the Querciabella Chiantic Classico 2004. You know, I may have underrated this wine last night, even though I enjoyed it a good deal. It has so many different dimensions: acidity, tannin, fruit, spice, aromas, savouriness, length, bitterness. It's really alive. On tonight's showing, after being open for 24 h, I'd rate this as 92/100, with some upside potential.

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At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Shon said...

Sangiovese rocks, but only at a price. It's a finicky grape and I've had more failure than luck with it. But but but, in the right hands, and with the right food - I can't stress that enough - it deserves its place among the classics. A recent sampling of Isole e Olena's Cepparello 2003 allayed any of my nagging fears that Sangiovese is a big fraud.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I shall look out for Isole e Olena. And thanks for the food tip. We so often forget about context.


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