2010 Sangiovese Alegría Vineyards
Gold Medal - 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition
Aromatics of vanillin oak, tart cherry, and a mineral earthiness reflect the terroir in our Alegría Vineyards and the wine’s aging in well-chosen oak barrels. The soft yet full entry reveals integrated red fruit and rich oak notes wrapped in layers of nuanced spices with a minerally backdrop. Nicely balanced and easy to enjoy, this wine showcases a pretty core of spice and fruit that lingers on the palate.
In 1950, Americo Rafanelli planted Sangiovese in our old mostly-Zinfandel vineyard. Forty-two years later, we took cuttings from his old Sangiovese vines and six other Sangiovese selections to plant a new vineyard on the west-facing slope of our Acorn Hill. We included two other Tuscan varieties in the field blend, Canaiolo to add velvety texture and Mammolo to add the aroma of violets. Field-blending clones and varieties produces complexity of flavors and aromas.
2010—our 17th harvest from these hillside vines—will be remembered for a devastating August heat wave that destroyed some of the crop, limiting our production. Meticulous hand-sorting in the field, and again at the winery, was necessary to secure only the undamaged and evenly ripened fruit.
We fermented the grapes with native and Brunello yeast and aged the wine in a combination of Hungarian, American, and French oak barrels selected to compliment and elevate the character of the grapes. We stirred the lees monthly during 16 months of barrel aging to enhance body and mouthfeel. The new barrels—17% Hungarian oak and 17% American (Kentucky and Pennsylvania)—added vanilla, mocha, and baking spice notes to the cherry fruit.