The Best – Bar None!
Did you know that Naggiar Vineyards grows the best Sangiovese grapes and makes the best Sangiovese wines and blends – bar none? And … that we have been at it – while winning awards for Sangiovese varietal and blended wines – for some 10 years?
Not bad for a small, family owned vineyard in the little known Sierra Foothills. This is especially true considering the long history of Sangiovese in the wine world.
Sangiovese is a red Italian varietal that has been around since the 16th century and its name comes from the Latin “Sanuis Jovis” or the blood of Jove, referring to the Roman God Jupiter. (No pressure on a humble little grape to live up to a high standard, huh?) This favorite varietal of Italian food lovers and red wine enthusiasts first came to California in the late 19th century but really didn’t come into favor until the 1980s with the success of Super Tuscans – the big, bad Sangiovese blends that exploded on the wine scene like July fireworks. Very food friendly with its moderate alcohol level and fine acidity, a good Sangiovese or Sangiovese blend can accentuate bland foods, stand up to tomato based pastas and pizza, and still clean-up well enough for holiday roast chicken and other dishes with lots of basil, thyme, and sage.
But enough of the 411. What is the secret behind Naggiar’s Sangiovese? It’s a simple, yet often overlooked, trifecta of deliberate conditions. One, all our grapes are estate grown – that means they are all grown on our own 135 acres. We can, like a helicopter parent, monitor the grapes’ every move. Two, we grow a wide array of varietals which gives us many blending grapes – again all estate grown. A wine without blending grapes is like a chef without spices. Three, our terrific consulting winemaker, Derek Irwin is a UC Davis trained enologist, experienced winemaker and consultant, and all-around wine magician.
As Mike Naggiar is fond of saying, “There are two absolute truths in winemaking – great wine starts in the vineyards where the wine grapes are grown and harvested … exceptional quality grapes make a great wine … blended wines make better, more complex and nuanced wines.” Again, that trifecta of deliberate conditions emerges to make Naggiar stand out.
The trifecta theme continues with our starting line-up of wines crafted from Sangiovese grapes. Our Sangiovese single varietal is full of the aromas of black cherries, red plums, thyme, bay and cinnamon followed by bright acidity with a lingering finish of black pepper and toasty oak. The acclaimed Mistero is a proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Syrah that creates a lovely, seductive, ruby red wine. Finally, the grand-dad of Team Sangiovese – Il Nonno, the Italian grandfather who is a moody, dark purple, Super Tuscan powerfully well balanced with a lingering, long finish.
The bottom line? Get out there and “try and buy” our Sangiovese and Sangiovese blends. Here’s a sampling of some folks this year that did just that …
Judges at the Los Angles International Wine Competition awarded our 2013 Sangiovese a Gold Medal and Best in Class Award followed by Silver Medals from the judges at the California State Fair Wine Competition and the Orange County Wine Society Awards.
A Gold Medal at the Pacific Rim Wine Competition, a Silver Medal at the California State Fair, and a Cellar Selection with 92 points was given to the 2013 Mistero.
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition awarded the 2012 Il Nonno a Gold Medal and the Critics’ Challenge International Wine and Spirits Competition did the same along with 92 points.
And it’s not just the experts that are talking about our Team Sangiovese. Melissa Cabral from Good Day Sacramento exclaimed “ … OMG it’s AMAZING!!” after tasting our 2013 Sangiovese, gifted to her by Mike Naggiar after her live report on our inaugural Fully-Guided Vineyard Tour.
The best Sangiovese grapes and the best Sangiovese wines and blends – bar none. Indeed!