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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Palmina 2008 Undici Sangiovese, Santa Ynez Valley

Undici Sangiovese

Memories of beautiful Santa Barbara County in California came rushing out of this bottle when we uncorked it earlier this week. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a perfect opportunity for an impromptu dinner with friends. While dinner was being prepared, the Cabinator and I relaxed with a glass of this great Sangiovese from Palmina.

Palmina is a totally cool winery with a tasting room located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto in SBC. We visited there a couple years ago and did a whirlwind tour of area wineries with my cousin and her husband.

The focus of Palmina is Italian grape varieties grown in Santa Barbara County. To their credit, they don’t try to copy Italian versions of those wines, but instead translate the grapes to the unique growing conditions of SBC.

We were bowled over by the quality of wines we tasted there. This bottle of Undici, which means 11 in Italian, made the trip back to Ohio. Like an amplifier cranked to the maximum at 10 – this Sangiovese takes things a notch higher.

The wine is made with two Sangiovese clones – one for softness and the other for body and structure. Undici is aged for 30 months in neutral oak barrels and undergoes malolactic fermentation for added body.

That’s the technical side – but this is really a wine to experience emotionally. Undici is a lush wine with cascading layers of ripe red berries and plum. The wine has a bright flavor palette that coaxes images of a sun-dappled California hillside.

I paid $36 for this wine and it is a solid value at that price. The North American Wine Bloggers Conference is in Santa Barbara County this July – you can be sure I intend to restock my supply of Undici. Ciao!

Rating: 4 of 5  Value: 3 of 5

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