Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sangiovese 2007

While shopping for Thanksgiving this year, I came across a Virginia Sangiovese 2007 from Afton Mountain Vineyards. A 2007 release? Already? Could it be?
Having recently sampled our own 2007 and finding it happily fruity and delicious but still maybe a bit young(?), I had to get this bottle to compare our own against something of commercial quality.
There was immediate anticipation of the match-up: Two wines, same grape, same Mid-Atlantic region (them west of Charlottesville in the Blue Ridge, and us South of Washington close to the Chesapeake Bay), same year.
So it was we popped the Afton Mountain Sangiovese cork over Thanksgiving dinner...and...

There is something in both of these wines that someone tasting blind could, possibly, draw a conclusion that they are borne from one in same grape variety. I also think there is a distinct difference between these and their Tuscan counterparts. Both MA wines have strong red fruit flavor of cherries. Yes, that's a hallmark of Italian Sang, but all the IS I've sampled always hinted at cherries. These MA Sangs actually, well, sang out "cherry". I'm sure in Italy the wines do the same, but I'd guess they keep those wines for themselves and the stuff that makes it across the pond is merely a semblance of the original, like making a copy of a copy of a copy: All the basic information is there for sure, but the elegance and clean lines are gone, lost in the translation from original to copy to copy-of-the-copy.