I've procrastinated long enough, it's time to get down to my first wine review. I wish I could say that is was worth the wait - for me, something tells me you all had better things to do than worry about when my first wine review was coming - but it wasn't.
Let's go to the beginning. A new wine store recently opened in the shops surrounding on our picturesque, very New England-ish town common. I had high hopes for my first wine from this shop, but I had my two year old daughter with me (they're only open until 6pm, closing well before my husband gets home from work) and I was a bit distracted. So I was only too happy to take the suggestion of the woman behind the counter. A 2004 Fattoria di Vetrice Chianti Rufina.
I was all Hey, I like Chianti! and for $11 I was pretty happy. So I brought the wine home. The wine is produced by the Grati family in the Rufina region of Tuscany, in the hills around Pontassieve. I was even more thrilled then because I've been to Pontassieve twice and was familiar with the area.
I started to do a bit of research on the web about this wine and there was... Nothing. Well, next to nothing (I couldn't even find a picture of the actual label, that one above is a different vintage). And that was a foreshadowing of what this wine was to be like. As soon as I took a sip and swallowed there was...
It is a Chianti Rufina, after all, and not a Reserva, and the very first taste was enough to bring me back to those warm days in the Tuscan sun. But like a good vacation it was over too fast. The fruit explodes quickly in your mouth but there's no finish. And the tannins were a bit too overpowering for the fruit. I don't mind that fuzzy tongue feeling you get from heavy tannins as long as the wine is worth it. This wasn't.
As my husband put it, "It is what it is. For eleven bucks it's not bad." And we weren't eating when we were drinking this wine (long day + cranky child = pass the alcohol NOW). Maybe a good port salut cheese would have helped this wine a bit, but we didn't have any (damn).
For my hard earned $11 dollars I'd like a bit more. This wine, in my opinion, would have been great - fantastic even - in a carafe as the local house red in a trattoria in Sienna. But those cobblestone streets have a way of making everything better, even a sub-par wine. It's not horrible, it's very drinkable, but I'll forget its name as soon as the last drop is gone.