by Fred McMillin
for January 13, 1998
Plum's the Word
"Our '95 Sangiovese offers juicy plum flavors."
The Rest of the Story: A student in my Fort Mason class asked if the above description meant Montevina had added plums to the fermenting grapes. Answer: No, the winery means that the 100% grape wine has flavors that remind the taster of plums.
To illustrate the difference we compared the 100%-grape Sangiovese with "Plum Yum," a wine made entirely from fully-ripe Pacifica plums by non-commercial winemaker Jim Nofziger. "Grossman's Guide to Wine" says California plum wines are quite successful, and Jim's is a fine example. Plum Yum has won at least one fruit wine Best of Show for three years in a row. Happily, Jim reports there are 80 gallons of the '97 under preparation. Most of it will be given away for Charity Fund Raisers. Jim's number is (415) 355-2065.
As for the comparison, Plum Yum has surprising depth. It even garnered some Best of Tasting votes in my class. However, the Montevina Sangiovese scored even higher ... in fact, it's the best $12 Sangiovese we've tasted in the last six months.
Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the WineDay Annex
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