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In fashioning an exceptional 2007 Estate Sangiovese Pietra Santa continues its unequivocal success with the mercurial Sangiovese varietal. The recipient of many awards, including the Best of Class from the San Francisco Chronicle, Pietra Santa’s 2007 Sangiovese reveals elegance and power along with an added dimension of complexity that too often eludes other California Sangioveses. With a blend of 92% Sangiovese and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon Alessio Carli has once again fashioned a wine to captivate the senses. Tantalizing aromas of Bing cherry, crushed cranberry, and wood smoke, well up from the 2007 Pietra Santa Sangiovese to delight the nose. On the palate this Super Sangiovese continues to work its magic by offering up well-integrated fruit and spice flavors, a smooth texture, and a long, lingering finish reminiscent of Tuscany’s finest red wines. Often compared to Chianti Classico Reserva and Tuscany’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Pietra Santa’s 2007 Sangiovese is an exceptional wine in its own right. Moreover, it is downright delicious to drink. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording this youthful Sangiovese an hour of aeration before serving.
Although traditional Tuscan fare and assorted Southern Italian specialties provide outstanding companionship to Alessio Carli’s exceptional 2007 Estate Sangiovese, many of Pietra Santa’s own recipes are equally impressive. Alessio Carli’s Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce, the Blackburn family’s Beef Barley Soup, and Grilled Marinated Tri-Tip Steak, with Roquefort Butter are just a few of the winery’s favorite pairings with their Sangiovese. Risotto Fratacchione, a traditional Sienese dish made with lean sausages, Arborio rice, and a healthy dollop of Parmigiano-Reggiano, also offers wonderful companionship to Pietra Santa’s Sangiovese. Roasted game birds served with onion foccacia and sautéed vegetables provide good company, too. Traditional favorites such as lasagna, cheese or meat tortellini, and lobster ravioli will do justice to this wine as well. Roast pork with polenta; grilled rack of lamb, served with garlic mashed potatoes; and lean cuts of beef provide other wonderful choices with Pietra Santa’s rendition of Tuscany’s classic grape variety. Enjoy!
Pietra Santa is a family run estate producing outstanding artisanal wines and olive oils. It is located 25 miles from Monterey Bay in the beautiful Cienega Valley. Founded in the early 1850’s by Frenchman Theophile Vache, it is now owned by the Blackburn family. Pietra Santa fashions an array of delicious wines, thanks to the acumen of Italian winemaker Alessio Carli and the estate’s unique terroir. The estate’s proximity to the coast emits cooling maritime breezes that temper the summer sun, resulting in a long growing season and vibrant balanced wines. Moreover, the winery is located on the San Andreas Fault, which has created soils rich in granite and limestone that naturally lower vineyard yields and add distinctive flavors to the wines. The winery was named Pietra Santa, Italian for “Sacred Stone,” in honor of these exceptional soils.
Although Pietra Santa spans more than 400 acres spread across Cienega Valley, adjacent bench lands, and nearby Gabilan Mountains, only 120 acres are devoted to wine grapes. Each of the winery’s nine grape varieties benefits from the estate’s varied terrain. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio enjoy steep, terraced hillsides where they thrive under the bright morning sun as well as cool, afternoon shade. Meanwhile, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese are grown on the moderate bench land, while Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are planted in the deepest parts of the valley to receive maximum sun exposure. Pietra Santa’s oldest vineyards date to 1905.
What is perhaps most impressive about Pietra Santa is how winemaker Alessio Carli brings out the best in each of Pietra Santa’s varietals. Tuscan by birth, Alessio first learned to make Chianti with his father. He then went on to study agronomy at college and later earned a graduate degree in enology. In Tuscany, he spent two years at Fattoria Il Castagno where he supervised the fattoria’s production of both wine and olive oil. He also served as Assistant Winemaker at Badia a Coltibuono, one of Chianti’s most celebrated estates, before coming to California in 1990. He has worked exclusively with Pietra Santa since 1998. His expertise with Sangiovese, an indigenous Tuscan grape, is second to none. However, choosing one progeny over another at Pietra Santa is akin to “Sophie’s Choice.” From our experience Alessio’s olive oils are quite exceptional as well. In short, Pietra Santa is one of California’s rising stars, and its wines are not to be missed.
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