Over the weekend we made a trip out to Yosemite. On our way we stopped in Jamestown, a cute Gold Rush town, around the halfway point. The wine tasting pass to Gianelli Vineyards was included as part of our Living Social deal for the weekend. (https://www.livingsocial.com/cities/15-san-francisco)
Gianelli Vineyards uses Tuscan grape clones for all their wines. We were so excited to continue our exploration of Italian varietals. There were many wines to try that day. See the list below for the order of our tasting:
La Dolce Vita-didn’t taste
There were two white wines, Vermentino and Bella Bianca. We have tried Vermentino a couple times now and we thought this one was a little lighter. The Bella Bianca was a blend of Fiano and Vermentino, we both found it to be smooth, somewhat fruity and had an oak influence, pretty nice.
The next set of wines were more light-bodied: Nebbiolo, Grenache, and Primitivo. The Nebbiolo was one of our favorites, so we purchased a bottle for a future Wine and Cheese Friday. We’ll tell you about it then. When we smelled the Grenache, it was dry, grapey and had spice aromas, maybe baking spice? I could also taste the spice while Neil noticed grape and cherry flavors as well as the alcohol. When Neil tasted the Primitivo, he said it was similar to others he’s tried, identifying black currant and blackberry. I smelled licorice and thought it was clean and tart.
The alcohol percentage must have been increasing in the following wines because we noticed it in most of them. We remembered Barbera and Sangiovese from some of our past tastings but had never heard of Aglianico. Their Niño wine was a blend of Grenache, Primitivo, Petit Sirah, and Barbera. I noticed a similar scent in the Aglianico and Niño, which reminded me of licorice, although Neil noticed the fruit and alcohol aromas. He said the flavor of the Aglianico was dry, tart, violet, and tasty. Neil also liked the full flavor and long finish of the Sangiovese. We both enjoyed the flavor of the Barbera so much that we took home a bottle for Wine And Cheese Friday. Two bottles in one day, yum!
The Montepulciano and Petit Sirah were both kind of strong but that could have to do with the number of wines we were tasting. I thought the Montepulciano had a clean flavor but I noticed the tannins so it wasn’t the wine for me. The Petit Sirah smelled great and was smooth but also smoky.
Our final wine was Dolcetto, which I have tried once before and I remembered liking it. I could smell fruit aromas that Neil identified as cherry and plum. It was smooth, tart, sweet, and reminded Neil of cherry cordials.
What a fun day of tasting Italian wines! Thanks Crystal for all the terrific information. It’s great to start recognizing some of the varietals and increasing our wine knowledge.
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