2008 Sangiovese Alegría Vineyards
Very Highly Recommended - Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences
Gold Medal - 2011 American Fine Wine Competition
Very Good - Ken's Wine Guide.com
8.5 points (out of 10) - Alder Yarrow's Vinography.com
This wine offers the engaging and rich characteristics of a classic Sangiovese. Aromas of seductive vanillin toasty oak mingle with subtle cranberry and pomegranate and a slight mineral essence. Gentle tannins and firm acidity frame delicious flavors of spicy cherry and earth notes. Lingering mocha and vanilla, with just a touch of orange, finish the wine.
2008 marked our 15th harvest from the vines we planted on the west-facing slope of Acorn Hill in 1992. The hillside vineyard is planted as a mix of seven distinct clonal selections of Sangiovese (including a clone that was planted in our old Zinfandel vineyard in 1950) with two other Tuscan varieties, Canaiolo and Mammolo. The mix of clones provides a mix of flavors and spice, while Canaiolo adds color and Mammolo adds aroma. (Mammolo translates as “violets”.)
In our vineyards, Sangiovese is the first variety to start growing in the spring. We always have bud break on St. Patrick’s Day. Fortunately, the slope of the hillside and the high trellis protected the vines from the late spring frost we experienced in 2008. Fog and cool summer weather gave the vines a long growing season that brought out the subtle flavors that characterize our Sangiovese.
We introduced Brunello yeast after a three-day cold soak to maximize color extraction. Stirring the lees through 17 months of barrel aging enhanced body and mouthfeel. New Hungarian and Kentucky oak added creamy mocha and spice notes.
October 21, 2008
Brix at Harvest:
Aged for 17 months in 74% Hungarian, 19% American, and 7% French oak barrels; 33% new oak
March 30, 2010