In case anyone follows my entries here, I'm sorry for the long break. I just got back from a two week vacation in New Zealand. It was an amazing trip, and I will compose a more detailed post with pictures when I have time. As much as I love New Zealand wine (even more now than ever), after 13 days of nothing but that, I was definitely ready for something different. So, I've been drinking a lot of European wine. Italy, France, Germany, and Austria have all been making appearances in the week or so since I've been back. I've been reveling in the variety and looking fondly at the 4 bottles I brought back from New Zealand with me, knowing how much I will enjoy them after a few weeks' break from those styles of wine.
When I heard that Sarah, our River Street Wine Buyer, put in an order for as much of this wine as she could get the night she tried it, and then after she spoke very highly of it the next time I saw her, I knew I had to get a bottle. It doesn't hurt that it's normally a $30 bottle and we got a deal that got the price down to $20. Montalcino is my favorite part of Tuscany for Sangiovese. There are definitely some outstanding examples from Chianti and elsewhere, but I love the flavor profile that Montalcino can offer. Just before my trip, I tried a $50 Brunello di Montalcino (the top category of wine from this region, Rosso being kind of a second, less expensive wine for these producers) that was disastrously underwhelming. That didn't leave a good taste in my mouth, so I'm happy to now find my flavor receptors back in the good graces of the Montalcino wine gods. So much so that this wine is exactly what I look for in a Rosso Di Montalcino. Here's the wine:
La Serena Rosso Di Montalcino ($19.99): Aromas of fresh and dried red cherries, autumn leaves, moss, cigar wrapper, and baking spice are all highlighted by hints of cocoa powder in this delightful nose. The palate is lively and mouthwatering, with the components from the nose finding perfect harmony and leading to a sustained, complex finish. This wine gets everything just right. It's very, very good, short on just the little bit more complexity which would bring it into outstanding territory. At this price, I think it's a steal, and I'd still be happy at the $30 suggested retail. I rarely buy multiple bottles of anything, but I think a 6-pack of this will be coming home with me very soon. I'm craving pasta and red sauce as I smell and sip it. More than that, I'm craving another sip of the wine. This will be a fun evening.