PICK of the RACK: Field Stone Winery | Sangiovese | Lucio’s Block | Alexander Valley | Sonoma County | California | 2010 | $25 | 88 pts

http___www.fieldstonewineryAromas: raspberry; pink grapefruit; touch of tea
Character: medium-bodied; moderate tannins; bright, medium-high acidity; vivid, savory, and refreshing; creamy texture; subtle oak
Flavors: Rainier cherry; dried cranberry; red bell pepper; accents of dried basil, cinnamon, & chocolate
Food Pairing:  medium-sharp cheeses; tomato-based pasta dishes; pizza; grilled salmon; roasted lamb

Throughout this spring and summer Wine on the Barrelhead will be holding several wine tastings focusing on wineries and wine regions we’ve developed a fondness for during our wine travels over the years.  While enjoying a little “preparatory tasting” last night, we seized upon this beauty of a Sangiovese from Field Stone Winery in the Alexander Valley AVA of Sonoma County.  It’s one we just had to recommend as a “sneak peek” in advance of our upcoming tasting of other Field Stone red wines, since we found it to be ideal for springtime sipping.

This is a friendly and refreshing red, offering gentle aromas of red raspberry, tea, and pink grapefruit that segue into vivid flavors of Ranier cherries, dried cranberries, and red bell pepper, all accompanied by savory accents of dried herbs, cinnamon, and chocolate and just a smidgeon of sweet, vanilla-tinged oak (it was aged  in American oak for 16 months).  The wine was produced from the Sangiovese clone “Prunaio,” which was developed by Chianti Classico producer Fattoria Viticcio and introduced to Field Stone’s red, rocky soils in the 1990s.  (“Lucio’s Block” of Sangiovese vines at Field Stone is named for the late Lucio Landini, founder of Fattoria Viticcio.)   It is, indeed, a wine that pays homage to its Old World ancestry while proudly distinguishing itself as a fine expression of New World Sangiovese.  And like Chianti Classico and other renditions of Sangiovese in Italy, this is a versatile food wine that will pair nicely with semi-sharp cheeses, tomato-based pasta dishes, pizza, grilled salmon, and roasted lamb.

Field Stone's Barrel Cave
Field Stone’s Barrel Cave

Availability:  Field Stone produced only 328 cases of the 2010 Lucio’s Block Sangiovese, so you’re not likely to find it at your local wine shop.  You can, however, order it directly from the winery by visiting them virtually at www.fieldstonewinery.com.  If you find yourself in Sonoma County, venture into Alexander Valley and visit Field Stone Winery; its vineyards date back to the late 19th Century, the stone façade subterranean tasting room and barrel cave are charmingly rustic, and it is family owned and operated (three generations’ worth).  For a glimpse into Field Stone’s history, estate, viticulture, and winemaking, view their short video at: http://www.fieldstonewinery.com/video.asp.

Stay tuned for Wine on the Barrelhead reviews of other Field Stone wines.

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