Friday, September 22, 2023

Drinking "Hidden" Italy: Poggio Stenti


With late September's plethora of perfect tomatoes, it's been sauce season*. We make so much we freeze it, too, so any evening's pasta can elevate with a blast of the bounty. 

*While I grew up in northern Jersey, I'm just too Slav through-and-through to call it gravy.

That means digging out the right wine to match from the cellar, of course. That's how I came to open a bottle of the 2018 Poggio Stenti Tribulo, a Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG. This is a wine that's very farm-based; the estate's 30 hectares contains vineyards, an olive grove and barley, spelt and wheat crops. So think integrative farming--done 100% organically--and some real terroir. Of course Montecucco isn't exactly a region many know (and only partially because the English language function on the consortium's website only works on a few of the site's pages). It's south of the more famed Tuscan regions like Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and closer to the Mediterranean (not that there's much sea influence). 

Even at five years in bottle, it opened a bit grippy to almost chalky, as Chryss put it, but with air it softened up some, while still packing Sangio tannins. The fruit presented raspberries leaning into blackberries, with maybe a quick nap of balsamic vinegar. But this isn't a fruit bomb, not with its suggestions of tar, earth, black pepper, anise. It grew more complex as the night went on (and don't you want your nights to do that?). 

Our tomato sauce was very pleased.

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