Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Altesino, Rosso di Altesino, Vendemmia 2006, Montalcino, Italy

One would hope to learn something new everyday - and hopefully for me it has to do with wine. While checking out the label of tonight’s wine I noticed to word “Vendemmia” on the label. After a quick Google search I found that it is the Italian and Spanish equivalent for Harvest or Vintage. Duh, it sure does make sense as it is next to the vintage date on the label.

And how is the wine? As good as it gets for $13.98!

A delicious blend of 80% young Sangiovese Grosso and 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon - a “Mini-Super Tuscan” of sorts, this is one of my favorite wines under $15. The Rosso di Altesino wine sees no oak and is typically aged in stainless steel tanks for 6-8 months. By young Sangiovese Grosso, I mean the fruit from Sangiovese Grosso vines likely 6-12 years old and not up to the quality standards used in the highly regarded Brunello di Montalcino’s that come from this and other estates in the village on Montalcino, Italy. Brunello di Montalcino is 100% Sangiovese Grosso. A Rossi di Montalcino is 100% young Sangiovese Grosso, the more complex stuff goes into the Brunello. In a general sense, anytime you blend Merlot or any other non-native Italian varietal from Tuscany (i.e. Cabernet or Syrah) with native varieties (such as Malvasia, Canaiolo Nero, or most commonly Sangiovese) the wine can not be called Brunello or any other DOCG designation, but are commonly called Super Tuscans. For more details on the Italian wine designation system, see a past blog of mine here.

Color: Dark red and ruby

Aromas: Typical Sangiovese: tart cherry, some flower notes, some violets, a bit of leather and touch of spice

Palate: Well balanced, excellent fruit, mild tannin and that perfect acidity that Italian wines get so right! Bright cherry, some dark flowers, a touch of leather and plum detail the flavor spectrum.

Finish: Clean and refreshing, nice fruit some tannin on the back and acidity drive the finish.


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