As I have posted before, I am not the biggest fan of Sangiovese grown outside of Italy. Not so much because the wines are not any good, but because they do not taste like Italian Sangiovese, and I have never had one that approaches being as good.
We recently got some wines shipped to us from Imagery Estate Winery. Included were a couple of bottles of their 2005 Dry Creek Sangiovese. I really like Imagery because they sell reasonably priced, very drinkable wines that come with great label art. In addition, they have one of the more interesting and fun tasting rooms.
So, I decided to approach their Sangiovese with an open mind and try not to make comparisons to its bigger Italian cousin. In that spirit, here are my thoughts:
The color is a brilliant, transluscent ruby hue. The nose is hard to pin down, but it has elements of smoke, sandlewood, cherry, fresh toast, and strangely, salami. I found it fairly pleasant, but Amy did not.
We did both like the taste, however. This is a very drinkable wine with a lot of fruit. It is dominated by cherry and raspberry, with some minor tobacco notes. It really is not complex at all, but it goes down well. The few flavors that it has are big and very pleasant. The finish is fairly short and has flavors of cooked blackberries and mocha.
We tried this with a variety of meats, cheeses, and olives. While it did not go well with the saltier items, such as parmesan and olives, it was nice with some salami and pepperoni that brought out some spicier notes in the wine. However, it was even better with some Camembert. The mild, buttery funkiness in the cheese brought out the fruit tastes very well.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable wine, and as is always the case, has a very nice label. That said, I was surprised when I looked up the price. $29.00 is a bit steep for this wine to be judged on the criteria I used. This would be a delicious table wine, but the price puts it out of that category for me. So, while it didn’t do a thing to change my mind about Sangiovese grown outside of Italy, I did very much enjoy drinking this.