Monday, February 25, 2008

Falesco Sangiovese Umbria IGT with Tomato Pasta

Sometimes I just want a pasta dish. Tonight, I didn’t want the typical canned spaghetti sauce. How about something a little more like what Grandmother would make?

I started with three Italian sausages. Cut the sausage into one inch chunks and toss into a large pot. While the sausage is browning, cut a large onion into a dozen or so wedges. Cut up a bell pepper in one inch chunks. I want this to be a chunky sauce.

I have some huge carrots. This one could have been a prop in a whodunit movie. Yeah, it was that big. Coarsely grate this so that you have about two cups or so. When the sausage is browned, throw the onions in and brown them until tender and slightly caramelized. Peel two cloves of garlic, slice and toss them in. Throw in the carrots and let them cook down a bit. The carrot and onion will add enough sugar to the sauce to make it sweet. Add a cup of red wine, whatever you have left over.

Spice up this with oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, fresh bay leaf, and a little ground clove. Yes, a little ground clove. Grind up a teaspoon or two of fennel seed. You’re going to love it. Okay, all this goes into a big pot to simmer with a large can of crushed tomatoes. When you think you've got it ready, get your favorite pasta ready.

Why did I go through all of this fuss? Because I’ve got a bottle of Falesco Sangiovese Umbria IGT that we picked up at the Vineyard Italian tasting.

Umbria is in central Italy. It has been in the last 10 years that Sangiovese has become a varietal wine. With reduced yields, paying attention to terroir and subtle barrique-aging, Sangiovese is really becoming a well respected grape. These wines from Umbria and Tuscany can be quite rich, lush, dark purple, spicy and fruity. Add the complexity of barrique-aging and you have a tasty wine.

This wine scored 90 points Wine Spectator and 86 points from the Wine Advocate. “Holy inconsistent wine scores, Batman!” But the real question is, would you like it?

Sangiovese Umbria IGT

Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 13.0%
Price: $13.99

Color: Purple
Intensity: Dark
Aromas: Blackberry, cherry, slightly floral, earth, allspice
Flavors: Strawberry, cherry, elderberry, anise, allspice, clove, oak
Body: Full
Sweetness: Dry to off dry
Tannins: Leather
Finish: Long

Summary: The first thing we noticed about this wine is that it deep, dark purple. Absolutely beautiful. Fruit forward, complex, leathery tannins evolve into a long spicy finish of allspice. Very delicate oak notes here from the barrique-aging. Taster B exclaimed an approving “Oh My! This is good.” So if Taster B (generally antipathetic to my Italian wine infatuation) can get excited about this wine, well, it’s got to be good. We bought two bottles and I think that we can leave the second one for a year or so. It has the tannins and a technical cork.


Dr. Debs said...

You had my attention with "it started with three sausages." I am mad because I passed this wine up last week. Should have bought some.

Taster B said...

This was some nice Sangiovese. I feel compelled to explain my usual 'antipathy' to Italian wine: Many of the Super Tuscan wines I have tried had a bretty character I wasn't fond of. I started to think maybe it was Sangiovese I wasn't a fan of but, nope, that's not it. Maybe all those other bottles really were just bretty. Or maybe they had high putrescine levels but I'm just guessing at that.
I can get into a certain amount of cheese smell in a wine but, when it crosses over into band-aid aroma then I'm not down with that.

The Spunky Mommy said...

This sounds wonderful! With no Italian blood in me, I'm always interested in what others are whipping up. Irish food just doesn't catch the attention the way this does. Looking forward to reading more in the future - thanks for sharing and we really enjoyed dinner last night!!!