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Wine students! Here's an excellent explanation of what makes Sangiovese different from other red varietals. Most of the comments about Italian sites apply in Napa Valley, too, especially the challenges of growing distinctive Sangiovese.
This is a big week for little Villa Ragazzi. Dan Berger said in his Feb 23 newsletter Vintage Experiences "this is one of the finest Sangioveses I have ever tasted from a California producer." The Napa Valley Register wrote today that I talk about Villa Ragazzi "with the enthusiasm of the 20-something who started Domaine Chandon." The phone is ringing, emails are piling up, my head is spinning.
Today we tasted several cheeses with visitors from Vancouver and Houston to see which showed best with our Sangiovese, and vice versa. Many thanks to our FB friends for their suggestions! This small jury of six (two highly prejudiced toward Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese) agreed that the winning cheeses were a Spanish goat cheese, Garrotxa, closely followed by Pecorino Toscano. There was a love/hate relationship recorded for the match with Parmigiano-Reggiano and blue (we only had Gorgonzola on hand so this may require further study), and the Fontina and Taleggio didn't make the cut. No one spit out the wine, in spite of our professional exhortations. Stay tuned for the next wine-cheese tasting.
How I wish we had one to offer! Maybe next year.
If you're in any doubt about how wonderful this kind of wine can be, read this delightful description and try to tell me you don't have an urge to jump on the next flight to Thailand. "Delicious and seductive, Monsoon Valley Sangiovese Rosé is the first ever bottled wine in Thailand [made by a woman, no less] ... . The characteristic of the Sangiovese grape is quite evident with aromas and notes of amarena (sour) cherry, tea, liquorice, plum, and violet. A wine with a tannic “bite”, it is structured like a serious rosé and can pair well with chicken, heartier fish dishes, or Mediterranean dishes as well as Thai curry."
Closer to home, try the Gargiulo or Swanson Napa Valley Rosés of Sangiovese. Happy Valentine's Day!
I am Villa Ragazzi's default blogger and wielder of the blue pencil.