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by Fred McMillin
for August 22, 2000

 

Wanted: A Tender Touch


Prologue

1999—"Far too many bottlings of California Sangiovese are 'sweet' with cotton-candy-like fruit flavors." (Gaiter & Brecher, Wall St. Journal)

2000—"Oak, oak, oak, oak, oak. By the end of the California Sangiovese tasting, I felt like I'd been chewing on a grape-flavored barrel stave." (Bill Citara, San Francisco Examiner)


Portet To The Rescue!

President/Winemaker Bernard Portet  
Bernard Portet, (pictured), left Bordeaux three decades ago and established what became a world-class Napa Valley winery, Clos du Val (loosely, "little estate vineyard in the valley"). His wines are known for their thoughtful balance of aromas and flavors. For example, you can be sure his Sangiovese will not taste like a barrel stave.

Bernard has been producing small amounts of wine from this grape that's the heart of Italy's Chianti. Good news. It's been so well received, the 1998 has just been released nationally. It is one of the best Sangiovese my panel has ever tasted, so it's our...


Wine of the Day

1998 Sangiovese, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
Clos Du Val Wine Co., Silverado Trail, Napa, CA
Composition—100% Sangiovese (sahn-joh-vay-seh)
Tasting Notes—Ready to drink now, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Food Affinities—Medium intensity red wine for medium intensity food, such as your favorite pizza or pasta.
Contact—Office of Elizabeth Skemp, (707) 259-2231, FAX (707) 252-6125
Price—$26 range


Postscript—Skyrocket!

Tons of California Sangiovese grapes crushed:
1987 - 2
1996— 4,135
1998— 8,178
1999—15,347

Credits:
Research Assistance—Joe Lorentz
Wine Stats—Gladys Horiuchi, Cal. Wine Institute, Ph. (415) 512-0151, FX (415) 442-0742.

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 
 


This page created August 2000

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