In Love with Sangiovese
I imagine drinking good Sangiovese like the oral experience of excellent effleurage massage — a therapeutic practice that sweeps the fingers lightly over the body in long, lifting strokes that begin from the limbs and move towards the heart. The technique touches the skin without dragging against it, stimulating circulation while opening the muscles for more.
Sangiovese naturally carries beautiful acidity, lifted and vibrant without being aggressive. The tannins come in medium, and, when mature, offer long sweeping strokes that contact the palate without dragging. The texture of a deftly made Sangiovese gives the oral expression of pleasing, faintly erotic effleurage massage.
Il Poggione makes traditional Brunello di Montalcino, keeping its use of new oak to a minimum, and relying on only their older vines for the Brunello level wine. Younger plantings, with their brighter red and pink fruit expression are used for a lovely Rosso di Montalcino instead.
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino from Il Poggione opens with lifted, juicy red fruit aromatics and palate giving savory and smoke accents. With air it changes significantly over the course of several hours. I strongly recommend opening the wine at the start of the meal so you can taste it immediately and enjoy it as it evolves, rather than decanting it for later. With air, the red fruit character turns to, what my friend Meredith describes as, an almost-creamy fig soaked in espresso, originating however from the fruit itself rather than oak influence. The wine carries long juicy, and savory elements dancing on dark-earth mineral lines all the way through from open to the long finish. This wine offers nice structure, and that long stroking tannin so seductive in Sangiovese.
To read more on Il Poggione:
Talking with Il Poggione winemaker, Fabrizio Bindocci, during harvest 2013 in Montalcino: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2013/10/03/harvest-in-montalcino-visiting-il-poggione/
Listening to Il Poggione vineyard manager, Massimo Ricco during harvest 2013: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2013/10/04/harvest-in-montalcino-a-life-in-wine-talking-with-massimo-ricco-il-poggione-agronomist/
To read Janice Cable’s recent love letter to Sangiovese: http://www.insideiwm.com/2014/02/24/siding-with-sangiovese-italys-absolute-accept-no-substitutes-best-grape/
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