The Mil Piedras line of wines from Benvenuto de la Serna includes five offerings that are each 100% varietal, and one blend. My first experience having these wines was at a large tasting about 3 months ago. I made a note to revisit them. I wanted to see if the positive impression they left me with the first time around was accurate. The Viognier I have already reexamined was even more impressive than I recalled. Today I'm looking at their Sangiovese, which is certainly a fitting varietal for a transplanted Italian winery owner to produce. The 2006 Mil Piedras Sangiovese is produced from 7-year-old Estate vines. 1600 case of this wine were produced and it sells for around $10.
The nose of this wine is full of cherries, light vanilla and cedar notes. The first sip reveals more cherries, strawberries and spice notes. Without question cherry is the dominant flavor of this wine. Not surprising, as that's often the case with this varietal. Those cherry notes are a little richer and slightly brighter than what one might expect from similarly priced Chianti. The finish features linger spice notes and an emerging earthiness. Modest alcohol and excellent acidity make this a wine that shows best with food. I found it to go very well with a wild mushroom Risotto.
What stands out most to me about this Sangiovese is how smooth and elegant it is for such a modestly priced offering. As with the Viognier it over delivers in its price category. With some exceptions, Sangiovese made outside of Italy can be a dicey proposition. Sangiovese made away from it's native home has often big made in an over the top, extracted style which I don't feel suits it. This offering from Mil Piedras is a nice every day value made in the grapes more suited, fruity but balanced style.
Imported by: H & S Specialty Imports Inc.
Up Next: A Malbec from Mil Piedras.
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