Why feature Tuscany's signature red wine in the dog days of Summer? The simple reason: tomatoes. Late August is peak tomato season, and there's simply no greater match than Sangiovese and this deceptively humble veg. The grape's signature acidity and dusty, earthy tannins can take a simple pasta pomodoro, caprese salad or classic BLT to soaring culinary heights.
We've put together six of our current favorite Sangioveses for your late summer table. From classic, crowd favorite Chianti, to bold, aged Brunello, there's a perfect August Tuscan wine experience for you. We hear they pair pretty well with grilled steaks too!
*THIS WEEK ONLY: 10% off the Sangiovese six-pack!* Original price:$322 Discounted price:$290 Prices include tax.
Monteraponi, Chianti Classico 2017 $34.99 A genuine, true and charming expression of Radda in the heart of Chianti Classico. Equidistant between Florence and Siena. The vineyards are at high altitude, and the wines are carefully made in a very natural way, which is to say no added yeast, nutrients, or malolactic bacteria are used. Just careful, thoughtful and traditional winemaking. The 2017 is a vigorous but easy drinking red wine aged for 16 months in big oak barrels. Scents of red fruits, leather, violets and spice lead to a medium-bodied, mineral-laden finish. If you love Montevertine, you're sure to fall for Monteraponi.
Cerreto Libri, Chianti Rufina 2010 $36.99 Who says Rufina can't age? One sip of Libri's 2010 will prove those naysayers wrong! Fattorie Cerreto Libri is an 80-hectare farm run biodynamically by Valentina Zanfei. The grapes are always fermented in concrete tanks and are only filled up to about 75%, which leads to a pseudo semi-carbonic fermentation. New oak is never used for aging and sulfur is never added during vinification or at bottling. World class, perfectly aged wine for less than $40? Try finding THAT in France!
Il Borghetto 'Montigiano' Toscana 2016 $33.99 It's no secret that some of the best Italian producers craft wines outside of DOCG/DOC laws. You won't see 'CHIANTI' sprawled across one of Il Borghetto's Burgundy-sized bottles, but you haven't experienced this Tuscan region without a sip of Antonio Cavallini's detailed and ethereal expressions of Sangiovese. Antonio organically farms 5 hectares of vines in a hilltop town in Chianti and takes a very minimal approach in the cellar: no pumps and native yeast fermentations in large, open concrete vats. 'Montigiano' shows the youthful, herbal, lifted side of Sangiovese with a tingly bitter finish – this practically screams for a Labor Day spread of grilled steak and veggies.
Campi di Fonterenza, Brunello di Montalcino 2014 $94.99
Fonterenza is arguably the smallest winery in Montalcino – to say we're honored to carry this wine would be an understatement. Italian sisters Margherita and Francesca Padovani grew up vacationing on a family-owned farm since the 1970s. This reminiscent parcel of land is now home to 4 hectares of biodynamically-farmed, high-altitude Sangiovese surrounded by woods and olive groves. Of their vines, only 1 hectare is used for their top bottling, Brunello di Montalcino. The clay and schist soils lead to a rich and mineral-driven palate, balanced by a pop of pure red fruit. Wildly fresh yet softened with age, it doesn't get more beautiful than this.
Casanuova delle Cerbaie, Brunello di Montalcino 2008 $59.99 This back-vintage beauty is in its prime, proving that with wine, patience is a virtue. Casanuova delle Cerbaie is a well-situated, renowned estate on the north slope of the Montalcino hill. Their Brunellos are traditionally beautiful, and woodsy and savory in style. With 4 years of aging before its release plus additional years of bottle age, it's complex, detailed and ethereally scrumptious. Heady aromas of brandied cherries, orange peel and mushrooms are followed by a fresh and velvety palate. Smokey and savory, this calls for decadent burgers or steak – don't forget the mushrooms on the side.
Podere Sassi 'i Sogni' Lazio 2017 $34.99 When in Rome...drink Podere Sassi! Dashing Roman native Leonardo Sassi has a story (and wines!) that will make you fall in love with this once-forgettable region. Leonardo poured his life into progressing his family's humble bakery, which showcases classic Roman flavors fueled by his family's countryside farm in northeastern Lazio. Life on the farm fueled his desire to rehabilitate his family's old vines and plant new parcels, paving a bright future for himself and his loved ones. For now, he is borrowing clean fruit from a long-trusted neighbor; 2017 was his first vintage. 'i Sogni' is made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% Montepulciano and Cesanese: fresh, elegant, vibrant and humble, just like Leonardo. No SO2 added.
To order, reply here or call the shop at 843.576.4845.