How many Chianti lovers do we have out there? Well, did you know that Italian Chianti is primarily made up of the wine variety: Sangiovese (said "san-gee-oh-vay-see")? That's right! Some Super Tuscans are made up with Sangiovese and then pumped up with traditional Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, but traditionally, Chianti consisted of Sangiovese.
Many other producers around the world are now marketing their own Sangiovese varietals. I found one in Pennsylvania that I thought was quite approachable. Read on to find out more!
2008 Sangiovese by Maiolatesi Wine Cellars
The D-2010 Scale
2008 Sangiovese by Maiolatesi Wine Cellars (Pennsylvania, U.S.)
Appearance (10 points possible): brick red color, with brick red edges, and clear - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Strawberry, spice, toasted oak, dried straw/hay, and herbal. - 16 points
Taste (10 points possible): Light bodied red wine. Palate falls towards the middle to the back. The beginning of the palate is somewhat missing. Fresh flavors of fruit initially hit palate, but is then dominated by toasted oak flavor. Tannins all fall to towards the back of the palate. Finish lingers with a toasty, spicy oak finish. To me, this is very Italian-style Sangiovese that has had some oak aging. - 8 points
Balance (5 points possible): The tannin structure is a bit "angular," and you can feel this in the astringency that lingers on your palate for quite some time. Otherwise - everything else is there and in good shape. - 4 points
Finish (5 points possible): Again, a lot of drying tannin in the back (this would be perfect for those heavy Cab drinkers that are looking for something lighter) with lingering flavors of toasted oak and spice. - 4 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): Light green bottle, Nomacorc, tannish-colored label with matching gold foil capsule. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about the label. The white strip across the center always makes me look a second time to see if there's a white label over top of the background. Maybe that's a good thing because the producer gets you to look twice! However, I'm also not a fan of the gold foil capsule here - I'd prefer something that matches the subdued label. And there's no back label. I find myself often looking for a back label more and more these days. It's a perfect place to add some "exrtras." - 7 points
Other (5 points possible): There's no extras on this bottle! - 3 points
Total Points: 87 points
Overall Thought: I like the fact that this a Pennsylvania Sangiovese and it shows up to everything it should be. (Remember, the point system is so subjective!) There is some real varietal character in this Sangiovese and it's a nice, light red wine that can be shared among those just starting out to enjoy dry reds and those that already enjoy heavy red varietals like Cabernets, Zins, and Malbecs.
Food Pairings: There's really no doubt about it. This is the PERFECT pasta wine. Every time I open this one, I'm always thinking of spaghetti, ricotta stuffed manicotti, or stuffed shells smothered in a red sauce.
Cost: I actually don't know the cost, but I can update when I find out!
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1 - I'm going to say that it's really not out of the budget. :)
Where to buy: Check out Maiolatesi Wine Cellars website for more information and future purchasing!