Posted February 09, 2009 in Wine, Wine Everywhere
Is Sangiovese or Tempranillo in California a good idea? You will find a number of people who say to leave well enough alone and let the Italians and Spanish have their day (grape) in the sun. They say these grapes in California makes for a bland, uninteresting wine with no “terrior.” Are they right? I personally don’t agree, but I have had several Cal/Italian and Cal/Spanish wines which are uninteresting at best. But, just like in golf, there is always the one wine or shot that makes you want more.�
Ted Glennon, wine director at ENO in Del Coronado, will be leading a class on Tempranillo on March 14th. He will explore the central coast versions and compare them with the more traditional Spanish style. Contact Ted soon because the Del classes fill up quickly. All the information is available under the ENOversity tab at the top of the page. Let us know what your favorites are. Personally, I think some of the Spencer Rolonson tempranillo wines are fantastic from Madder Lake. Just like a top tier Rioja but with that laid back California style.
The Chicago Intercontinental location will be featuring the Terra Valentine Amore over the Valentine’s Day week. Predominantly Sangiovese, this is definitely not the old dried cherry Chianti we all remember from the fiasco bottles of years ago. This is a big wine more in the Maremma style of the Tuscan seaside. Fruit forward with a touch of vanilla. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. Does it compare to the traditional Tuscan wine? The lines between traditional and the fruit forward style are getting a little blurry in Italy, especially in Tuscany. While I favor the earthy, old style, I realize it is not for everyone. Moving from a California Cabernet Sauvignon to an older, traditionally made Chianti is not an easy move. I believe there is room in the wine world for both types. Moving from a California wine to an Italian Merlot from Maremma is a logical step. It may lead to further exploration in the wines from Central Italy, eventually ending up with the Brunello.The lesson here is to be open to the idea of grapes grown outside the traditional areas. Sometimes you can really find some great wines at affordable prices. Moreover, you can use the experience to further define what style of wine you like and what direction your wine education is going. Stop by one of the ENO locations and try one of the new world version of the Old World classics. �