Friday, January 14, 2005

Pietra Santa Sassolino

Pietra Santa, Sassolino Cienega Valley 1998 ($12) -- I first tasted in Park City and paid $44 and loved it. Of course, the company and food were great and may have colored my perception. I thought this wine was from Italy when I ordered it from the menu as it was listed under "Italian Varietals" and was proclaimed to be a "Super Tuscan", but it is from California although that designation is not listed on the bottle. Here are the winemaker notes for the 1999 vintage:

"Sassolino" means "little stone" in Italian, a reference to the Pietra Santa estate's gravel-rich soils. The 1999 Sassolino's ripe, juicy raspberry and blackberry fruit mingled with cinnamon, allspice and vanilla oak notes in this enticing and deeply gratifying blend of Bordeaux and Tuscan varietals. It is ready to enjoy or cellar, delicious with food of by itself.

The color was lighter than I remembered and I suspected that it too may have turned, as had two other wines I sampled today from the same delivery, but the nose was pleasantly appealing with complex fruits and the taste was elegant, smooth and had a good finish. I enjoyed this wine as is and would think that it would be great with food , as it was that night in Park City. I had vowed to find this wine upon returning to Cincinnati and I did. It gets better! This wine is now marked down from $20 to $12, and I just ordered the last 9 cases!


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