2018 Sangiovese



A bed of ripe Strawberries on a summer morning
Liner notes: Sangiovese is the national grape of Italy, making the cheapest Chianti to the greatest Tuscan Brunello. Americans are still getting to know this delicious varietal that emotes roses and ripe strawberries. We’ve been making Sangiovese for 26 years, one of the first California wineries since before prohibition to label it as Sangiovese. The Sangiovese in this blend is sourced from two vineyards with very different terroirs. The major portion from Dan Sanchez’s Alpicella Vineyard near the crest of Sonoma’s Hood Mountain, which frames the east side of the valley. The smaller portion comes from the Santo Giordano Vineyard in the Carneros, a cooler terroir. It adds acid to the Sangio’s strawberry nuance, and complexity to the finish. At little of our estate Syrah was added to fill the bottom of the palate, anchoring the flavor with a touch of cedar and leather. A little Zinfandel accentuates the mid-palate and adds a touch of blackberry. At release it shows its youth and profits from aeration. Leave some for the next day and it will show what it will be like in another year.
Pairing: Sangiovese is a bit like Pinot Noir, it goes with almost every food. It downplays the acid in acidic foods, like tomato sauce, and raises it up in low acid foods, like root vegetables. It’s great with a sandwich (a Panini would be my choice). It is right at home as both a complimentary and a contrasting pairing.
Aging: Wine ages better in a barrel than it does in a bottle so we age our wines for you. They are delicious when they are released. We have some of our earliest Sangiovese from the 90’s and they are still very enjoyable. Clean Wine® makes for a long life.
The 2018 vintage was very good, which was a blessing after the challenging 2017 “wild fire” harvest. The weather was perfect, without heat spikes during harvest, or unseasonable rain. Yields were down due to smoke and fire losses in 2017, but the quality was very good. The wines from 2018 are full bodied, show strong structure and tannins and will be long lived.
Vinification: Whole berry fermentation tamed the tannins and helped express more fruit. After starting the fermentation on indigenous yeast, we inoculated with Brunello yeast, a traditional Tuscan yeast, which enhanced the more subtle fruit flavors. The last of the fermentation took place in oak barrels in our wine cave, adding nuance, and increased mouth feel. The small amount of unfermented residual grape sugar makes the wine rounder on the palate.

Technical Data

Blend: 66% Sangiovese, Alpicella Vineyard, 16% Sangiovese, Santo Giordano Vineyard, 10% Syrah, 8% Zinfandel

Stats: Barrel aged 42 months in 60% American and 40% French oak, 20% new. Unfined. Velcorin free. Vegan. Sustainably grown. Organically made. Alcohol 14.6%, Residual Sugar 1.1g/L. SO2 at release 12 ppm, histamines less than 5mg/L

2018 Sangiovese