Wine Wednesday Uncorked: 2008 Benessere Estate Sangiovese

Well, it's another day here in paradise [aka, San Diego], yep the forecast for today, sunny afternoon, followed by late evening clouds and coolness. Not such a bad gig really, unless you live on the coast in May and June in San Diego, the marine layer hangs about most of the day obstructing all those wonderful views. But if you live inland like I do, it's quite the wonderful-weather pattern.

I entitled this post Wine Wednesday because that is when I popped the cork on this bad boy, I was busy cooking in the kitchen, preparing one of my favorite Italian dishes, called Manicotti.

I know many folks were involved on the Wine Chat channel on Twitter, having a grand old time discussing the myriad intricacies of Burgundy, with many lamenting the possibility of producers who may be swayed to turn to the dark side of the force; read that New World Style [oh-my]. No offense to my many wonderful friends there, but I had about a spoonful of interest in the topic, as for why, well at the moment the "why" is quite irrelevant.

Now let's get back to the topic at hand, a wonderful New World style of Sangiovese which the fetching Mrs. Cuvee picked out on her own. She found this gem while hanging out with friends in the Napa Valley, a girls weekend don't you know. Her selections show up via the FedEx truck on Wine Wednesday, I never normally do this but I was eager to taste the wine, she had chosen to bring home. I thought it was a bit funny she chose a Sangiovese to take home from a winery in the Napa Valley. I especially say that, considering the fact that she and I both are huge fans of Italian produced wines and frankly everything else pales in comparison.

Now that said, the wine seemed a bit frazzled when it arrived, so I socked it way in our rather cool pantry upside down in one of the many cardboard boxes that line the floor. As you can see I've spared no expense, putting together a secondary storage facility in my pantry. Fast forward many hours later and I'm uncorking a wine that had just arrived that same day, something I typically advise that you shouldn't do. 

But shunning my own so-called sage advice, I uncorked the bottle with reckless abandon [oh-my]. No, I didn't even decant it, just straight away from the bottle, to my open waiting glass, the anticipation had gotten the better of me, I took a fat-throaty "big-gulp" kind of slurp and wow I was impressed this is some damn fine juice. Well, well Mrs. Cuvee you did indeed choose well, this wine is very polished, like the shine on my "jump-boots" back in the day and oh don't ask what "day" or I'll drone on and on.

So after my first big-gulp, I took the time to smell the roses, diving headlong into the glass, wow and whoa together, fresh summer cherries kissing sweet cherries lying quietly inside a chocolate covered shell, dusted with espresso and a strong shot of vanilla.

On the second big slurp, this wine is bright with red fruit and chocolate, layered black cherry plays a drum solo and a bit of black fruit hit my mid-palate like flavor-wave. The acids are bright and refreshing, balancing the abundant fruit nicely. The oak-influenced vanilla notes show up on the finish and meld perfectly with the strong flavor of sweet milk chocolate-covered cherries, amid polished tannins. 

This is the style of wine, bringing all these components together to make this wine an easy food pairing champion and made in a drink now and drink often style. This wine sells for $28 at the winery; I gave it a score of 90 points and highly recommend you grab a few for yourself. Until next time folks sip long and prosper cheers!


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