Donna Laura – Ali Sangiovese di Toscana 2018

Sangiovese is a fundamental Italian grape, used as the foundation of all Chiantis, Chianti Classicos, and Brunellos. It’s also highly regarded in its own right, and often mixed with other grapes – like Cabernet Sauvignon – to create what’s called a Super Tuscan. And this one – 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon – is just delightful, the perfect complement to a bucatini- (likely the world’s best pasta) in-marinara-sauce entrée. From Doug House, the proprietor of Chain Bridge Cellars, where I found the wine, “One of our favorite experiences at the tasting table is when we try a wine and immediately think, ‘Wow – that tastes a lot more expensive than it is!’ That’s exactly what happened when we tried this ripe, plump, and very pleasing Tuscan Sangiovese and what we think you’ll say, too. The fruit is all from Chianti Classico’s famous Castelnuovo Berardenga region, with 10% barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon adding depth to the rich, ripe, cherry/berry Sangiovese. The fruit to really sings out and shines, but there's no lack of food-friendly structure.” Wine Spectator agreed, more or less, awarding the wine 89 points and describing it as "a delicious young red, exuding cherry, strawberry, almond and tobacco flavors. Solid, with a pleasant astringency cleansing the moderately long finish. Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon." Suckling agreed, bestowing a 92-point rating on the wine, and characterizing it as "a fresh, fruity red that is reserved and linear on the palate with medium body, firm, fine and silky tannins and a flavorful finish." This really is a wine to buy by the case, for just your own cellar or for sharing with friends who like the idea of getting a case discount. In this case, that discount could bring the price of this wine down to the stupefyingly low price of $7.98 a bottle.

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