2009 Sangiovese Alegría Vineyards
90 points - Ken's Wine Guide
Bright aromas of raspberry and cherry blend with hints of floral, earth, and mineral. On the palate, cherry, plum, and a touch of blueberry mingle with mocha, bitter chocolate, herbs, and a mineral essence. Threads of vanilla lace through the wine, while a hint of citrus appears in the spicy finish.
When we purchased our vineyards in 1990, we discovered Sangiovese inter-planted with Zinfandel in an old block planted in 1950 by Americo Raffanelli. We planted the west-facing slope of our Acorn Hill block in 1992 with cuttings from the 1950 vines along with a mix of six other clonal selections of Sangiovese and two other Tuscan varieties, Canaiolo and Mammolo. The field blend of clones and varieties provides a complex mix of flavors and spice. The Mammolo adds aroma (its name means “violets”), while the Canaiolo adds color.
We sometimes say we have Irish Sangiovese because new leaves emerge every year on St. Patrick’s Day. Fog and cool summer weather gives the vines a long growing season, which preserves acid while the grapes develop delicious flavors.
We fermented the grapes with Brunello yeast before pressing to a combination of Hungarian and American oak barrels. The 22% new Hungarian oak and 10% new Kentucky oak added creamy mocha and baking spice notes. We stirred the lees in barrel for most of the 20 months of barrel aging to enhance body and mouthfeel.