2020 2020 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! The 2020 is led by spice and herbs - think black pepper, rosemary, and thyme. On the palate, you'll find the quintessential cherry and red fruit, with smooth tannins and a dry finish.
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 2020 was the earliest we’ve ever picked it. While we normally 100% destem the grapes, the stems just smelled delicious. We tossed in about 10% to add to the fermentation to give the wine a bit of zest. 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 July 2020 unfined and unfiltered. While it is normally released in the Fall, we felt the wine needed the extra time in bottle pre release. It’s an exciting offer in our Spring 2022 release.