Sangiovese

Sangiovese is the famous grape of Tuscany. It is the primary component in Chianti and Chianti Classico and the sole component in Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Aromas of cherries and red plums are typically accompanied by some earthy qualities, such as underbrush. Old world versions tend to be rustic and have a little rustic funkiness and sometimes some farmyard and balsamic notes. Foothills versions are generally a little cleaner but with a very interesting and complex fruitiness. (We on the Somm panel knew Sangio’s were good in the Foothills, but we were rather blown away by how good).

FOOTHILLS WINO SANGIOVESE OF THE YEAR

2015 Amador Cellars Sangiovese
$30

Amador Cellars shocked us all with this outstanding Sangiovese that won our Panel's blind tasting. This family-run winery in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley is making some of the most consistently great wines in all of California. This Sangiovese is subtle but complex; clean but full of earthiness; and weighty but uplifting. 

OTHER FAVORITE FOOTHILLS SANGIOVESE

2015 Vino Noceto Riserva Sangiovese

$32

The barrel-select Riserva from the quintessential California Sangiovese producer is simply amazing. Sweet cherries comingle with various flowers, Italian herbs, Roma tomatoes, and baking spices in this masterful testament to complexity. This wine, perfectly balanced and crisp, can be paired with anything or savored all by itself.

2014 Cooper Vineyards

$30

And you thought Cooper Vineyards was all about Barbera! Wrong. They have 90 acres planted to several varieties, and this 2014 Sangiovese is a show-stopper. Red fruit, roses, violets, thyme… earthy and musty… a nearly perfect Sangiovese. 

2015 Vino Noceto Saniovese

$22

This is the non-reserve version of the Riserva discussed above. Vino Noceto is the long-standing, foundational home to Sangiovese in the Foothills (and the entire state for that matter). This Sangiovese is dark, dank, and brooding in a delightful Old World way. Cherries, plums, roses, licorice, and a hint of balsamic combine to make this an amazing Sangiovese, especially for the price! Note that Vino Noceto also makes versions solely from dedicated blocks in their vineyard. These dedicated versions are also amazing, but we chose to taste the versions that are most often on the tasting menu.

2016 Via Romano Sangiovese

$39

This up-and-coming winery in El Dorado county’s Apple Hill/Camino sub-region is making some excellent Italian-inspired wines. Sun-dried tomatoes and herbs spring from this 2016 Sangiovese along with violets that have been pressed and dried between the pages of an old book. Fruit comes alive on the palate along with a cleansing acidity. 

2012 Cedar Creek Ranch Sangiovese

$32

Winemaker Karen Wood and her partner refer to each of their bottles as their babies. They certainly raised this one right. Full of florals and herbs and with wonderful acidity, this baby is ready to fly the coop. Available at the winery or for sale at Amador 360 in Plymouth.