Fine Wine for ≤ $9.99 – Perazzeta Sara Sangiovese

It’s not often I find myself stuck on L.A.’s Westside with an hour to spare, but today I did and Wine House beckoned.  Ahhh, Wine House.  For an aspiring wine ponce like myself, it is Mecca and Disneyland.  Like a good book or record shop, it’s a pleasure to get lost within its racks and before you realize it, an hour has slipped by, barely noticed.

When confronted with such orgasmic sensory overload, the wise seek the Oracle.  I explained my $9.99 or less rule to a very helpful fellow named Lance, who gladly walked me around the store and talked to me mostly about Italian and Spanish wine.  He says as far as bang for the buck, Spain and Italy are hard to beat.  I left with four bottles (and some delicious-looking guanciale cured pork) for $37.25.

Perazzeta Sara Sangiovese 2009 Tuscany, Italy

First up is what Wine House has labeled a “Small Vineyard Discovery.”  Lance explained these are specially selected once a year from tiny, mostly family-run vineyards and are only available in limited quantities.  Perazzeta Sara is a Sangiovese from Tuscany.  As far as I know, I’ve never had a Sangiovese before.  I’m not too clever on this stuff, so take this uninformed opinion for what it’s worth.  I’d put it somewhere along the lines of a Zinfandel or Cabernet.  But it’s not really like either.

The bouquet is very pleasing.  Rich and jammy, with lots of cherry and perhaps a nostalgic hint of flavored tobacco.  It smells yummy.  It’s a bit of a tricky sensation in the mouth as it’s bright, yet silky smooth.  There’s a strange dichotomy at work here.  It’s complex, yet incredibly drinkable.  Sophisticated yet earthy.  According to the label, the vineyard lies on an ancient sea and the soil is covered with sea shells, which they claim adds depth and character.  I’m not nearly informed enough to speak on the subject of “terroir,” but I won’t argue the fact that this wine does have a pleasing depth of character.

Two concluding poncey thoughts– First, most of the time, I like drinking wine alone.  This bottle is practically screaming at me to share it with someone.  Second, I’m not very good at pairing wine with food.  I know there’s an art to it, but I’m just not at that level yet and can’t bring myself to pretend to be.  However, though I’m drinking it by itself right now and it’s delicious, I keep thinking how wonderful this would be with a juicy steak.

It doesn’t happen often, maybe once every 30 bottles or so, I’ll accidentally run across a wine that I feel is worth two or three times the paltry sum I’m willing to cough up.  This is one of those times.  Perazzeta Sera’s Sangiovese would be a very good wine at $25 or $30.  For $9.99, it’s exceptional. 5/5 stars.

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