I can remember the last time I bought a fiasco. Pretty sure it was Ruffino–and probably NV–about 25 years ago. Nasty plonk, that. Been searching for a quality one for several years: had several importers assure me they existed and promised me them, but still waiting… Turns out Italian-specialist Palmina has decided to have fun with one right here in my neighborhood! A little over 3X what I paid for the Chianti, and worth every penny. This is Sangiovese at its purest form right here: not bogged down with Chianti-ness or muddled with Super-Tuscan delusions of grandeur.
Bright medium ruby in the glass–and I should add here I DID originally pour it into a short, heavy tumbler: it just seemed fitting. Drinking heartily from that vessel has its benefits, but went to a proper glass for the sake of this review. It wasn’t fair having basically no nose and a carefree, slightly-hot texture in the red-checkered-tablecloth scenario. Slightly musty earth and deep woodsiness in the nose, it is warm and serious, lacking the bubble-gum fruit of the cheaper examples. Dark cherry and green olive fill the ripe, California seriousness of this bottle, a little oak and cassis broadening and richening the distinctively new-world bouquet.
Serious red wine in the mouth. I was actually expecting–and maybe even hoping for–a bit more frivolity for reminiscence, but here they have put a solid wine in a playful jug. Ripe–while maintaining the spicy edge of the variety–it exudes round, full flavors of raspberry and apricot, all heading up a baseline of dark chocolate and black walnut. Decisive acidity adds a spritely zing, tingling the light tannin down into your pores for lasting memory. Find some of this lovely wine and make it the spotlight–and conversation-piece–of your next Italian gathering.
2017 PALMINA Sangiovese Santa Barbara Co. 13.5