2019 2019 Sangiovese
SANGIOVESE is widely-known at the base grape of Chianti wines from Tuscany. The grape, who’s name is derived from Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter”, is the workhorse of Central Italy and may date back to Roman winemaking. A millennium later, it has become a varietal planted worldwide, including about 1500 acres in California. The Raft Wine interpretation is an approachable sipper of this classic varietal.
Sangiovese is such a great wine for sharing. It is approachable, yet with a tannin structure to stand up to many different foods - we think it’s the perfect pizza and pasta wine! On the nose, the first thing right off the bat is a note of earthy bing cherry - like a cherry still on the tree perfectly ripe just waiting to be picked. In the glass, it’s color is a beautiful true ruby red, as you swirl it practically sparkles! On the palette, it playfully dances across your tongue, but then those Italian tannins set in to be a great balance for food.
Butte County may not be known for wine grape plantings (only about 160 acres planted), but this vineyard is a welcome sight amongst the orchards of walnuts and paddies of rice. When first visited, it echoed the time spent in the Hunter Valley, Australia in climate – warm and humid. But when presented a barrel sample of this Sangiovese, we knew it would be a welcome addition to the Raft Wines lineup. Organically farmed on Conejo clay loam, it produces a lovely crop of Sangiovese that is always one of the first picks of harvest.
The Sangiovese in 2019 gave us a little more hang time on the vine, and for the first time we picked in September. Cap management was very gentle to not be too hard on the tannic seeds and it spent 14 days fermenting natively. The free run and press were kept separately for 8 months then racked together and kept for another two months. All barrique aging was in neutral French oak barrels.
The wine was bottled August 13, 2020 unfined and unfiltered.