Drink Review: Sangiovese

February 17, 2011

I honestly wasn’t going to post a drink review this week, partly because yesterday’s blog about pruning and tomorrow’s book review would have flowed better if I didn’t. Also, when it comes to wine, I’m pretty much just a drinker, and even with my best intentions, it is difficult for me to focus on it, let alone review it, so it takes something really different to get me to comment on a grape wine.

About a year ago, I had my first Sangiovese wine at The Rusty Grape Vineyard, and I really liked it. A few weeks ago, I had another one up in Woodinville, WA, and I thought, “Man, I hope Washington Farmers plant more of this stuff, cause I haven’t met a Sangiovese I haven’t liked yet.” Last weekend, at the Wine and Chocolate Weekend, I had another one at the Heison House Vineyard, and The Rusty Grape Vineyards again with a few blends they did with the grape. All wonderful.

My sweet husband, having heard what I said in Woodinville, decided to by a bottle of Sangiovese at the local grocery store for Valentines Day. He went in, talked to the wine steward, and together they decided on Mayhill Winery. I think Maryhill is trying to become one of the big winery players in Washington, up there with Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Valley. I sometimes read the Oregon Wine Press, and Maryhill, a Washington Winery on the boarder, always takes out a full size ad on the last page. They offer concerts in the summer with well known musicians, and definitely make themselves a wine tourist destination. They also made the first Sangiovese wine I didn’t like.

“This is going to sound odd, but it tastes burnt. I normally would not think to use the word ‘burnt’ on a wine.” I told my poor husband. I thought about it – what would cause a burnt flavor? The toasted oak barrels. Oh my – they over oaked the wine; that is to say, they left it in the barrel too long, and the characteristics of the barrel now dominate the wine rather than letting the wine dominate. I felt really bad for my husband. I mean, I normally just drink grape wine with so little thought, and with this wine, I couldn’t help but keep thinking, and I was thinking about how bad it was because some humans messed it up.

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