Castellare I Sodi S. Niccolo 2008
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Full-bodied, with firm yet fine-grained tannins, I Sodi di San Niccolo is a rich and elegant wine that offers supple notes of wild berries, blackberry, currants, and cedar, which are elegantly complemented by hints of vanilla and leather.
Pair with tomato sauce and meaty tomato sauces, fine cuts of steak, or roasted rack of lamb.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 I Sodi di San Niccolo is especially dark, powerful and brooding in this vintage. Black fruit, smoke, tar and incense are some of the many notes that flow from a structured, tense frame. The 2008 will test the readers’ patience, but it has the stuffing and pedigree to develop into a splendid wine. This is a fabulous showing, especially within the context of the vintage. Today, the 2008 looks to be a great wine in the making. I Sodi di San Niccolo is 85% Sangioveto and 15% Malvasia Nera aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028.
James Suckling - "Wonderful silky texture to this red with a beautiful currant and berry character as well. Full body, with caressing mouthfeel. A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Malvasia Nera. Better after 2013. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a historic wine that consistently delivers an elegant interpretation of Tuscan Sangiovese (blended with 15% Malvasia Nera). It opens with bright pulses of cherry and raspberry, plus a dark tone of leather. The palate is silky, fresh and long-lasting."
Wine Spectator - "Plum, cherry and chocolate flavors mesh with the rich texture in this red, with bright acidity and dusty tannins keeping it fresh and focused. Fine length. Sangioveto and Malvasia Nero."
International Wine Cellar - "Surprisingly deep ruby-red color. Blueberry, dark plum, coffee and tobacco on the nose, with pepper and vanilla nuances emerging with aeration. Moderately dense and sweet, showing modest fat but good intensity to its aromatic herb and blueberry flavor. A tad undifferentiated today, with the herb and pepper elements carrying through to the firm finish. Will this blossom in bottle? Certainly this is a very good wine for the leanish 2008 vintage; the malvasia nera seems to be front and center this year.
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The vineyards of this 46 acre estate are found in a natural amphitheater in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region. The story of Castellare is the story of Paolo Panerai, who entered the world of winemaking at age 37 after a career in Italian journalism. Panerai feels it is important to understand and respect the experience of the world's best wineries and to apply this understanding to viticulture in Italy. He has great respect for technology from other winemaking regions and chooses to utilize this technology to move forward while rediscovering and reshaping some of the great traditions of Tuscany.
The birds on Castellare's labels symbolize Panerai's commitment to environmentally sound cultivation. Herbicides are not used, nor are any systemic pesticides. Chemical treatment of any kind is shunned. Hunting is also prohibited on the property. As a result of these practices, the property has become a virtual refuge for wildlife, including many of the birds pictured on the labels. View all Castellare Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.