The next non-traditional wine in our ongoing series of non-traditional wines of the Northwest is a Sangiovese. As with all wines from this series, all wines were sent to us complimentary from wineries that wish to showcase their work.
Like the rest of our non-traditional varietal reviews, we have consulted the experts at Wikipedia for the following fun facts.
Sangiovese is an Italian variety that is best known as the main component of Chianti. "Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavors of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky flavors when aged in barrels."
"In Washington State, winemakers are seeking out locations that can highlight the varietal character of Sangiovese. These young plantings in areas such as Walla Walla and Yakima Valley have so far produced wines with a spicy and tart cherry flavors, anise, red currants, and tobacco leaf notes. Other areas in the United States with sizable plantings of Sangiovese include the Rogue Valley in Oregon, the Monticello in Virginia and Texas Hill Country in Texas. In Canada, there are some plantings of Sangiovese on the Niagara Peninsula."
We don't mean to sound like a broken record, but once again our good friends from Pend d'Orielle Winery in Sandpoint, Idaho came through by suppling us with our only review bottle of Sangiovese. Their 2005 Sangiovese Terrior Series is supplied by 100% Kestrel Vineyard grapes in the Yakima Valley. At 186 cases produced, this reserve series wine is one that won't be around for very long.
Upon pouring this wine, the first hues one notices is a big presence of cranberry, a little bit of boisenberry, and a hint of earthiness. After reading the publicized tasting notes, it appears what we picked up as cranberry was supposed to be pomegranate. Either way, one can expect tart red fruit coming through.
After tasting, our senses of smell came through in a very accurate way. Big tannins hit the palate with a very welcoming levels of tart and fruit on the finish. This wine would be perfect for food pairing with a red meat pasta or a big juicy steak, but also also holds its own if not paired. More simplistically, consider this mellower than most cabs from the region if that helps.
All things considered, this is yet another phenomenal wine from Pend d'Orielle. As a bit of editorial commentary, I'd also like to point out that Pend d'Orielle has been an incredibly delightful surprise. I don't think any of us at The Oregon Wine Blog expected to be blown away by Idaho wine, but winemaker Steve Meyer has proven us pleasantly wrong. That's not meant to say that Idaho isn't capable of producing great wine either, however, more to point out how relatively young the state is when it comes to world-class wine making. Looks like we'll have to find an opportunity to make it out to Sandpoint.