Sangiovese is Michael Barber’s favorite grape. It is the grape used in every Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and most reds served in Italy’s Tuscany region. Our winemaking style and philosophy is heavily influenced by Montalcino producers we gleaned from our time there, and we use traditional Italian styles of making wine (two hand punch downs per day, a two week max maceration, very little new oak, harvesting for acidity vs. sugar…) We wanted to make a sangiovese for the longest time, but it took a while to find the right vineyard to work with.
Finally, we are releasing a Sangiovese we can be proud of! The wine is made in a traditional Italian way, but it comes from a very unique and traditional Sonoma style field blend vineyard. That means that interspersed with the sangiovese are all sorts of other grapes that increase the blend and complexity of the wine (a very Sonoma County way of planting vines.) This wine is all three clones of Sangiovese (grosso, piccolo, prugnolo gentile) and a 6% mix of Malbec, Tannat, and Petite Bouschet from a vineyard planted on a sandy loam hillside of the Russian River Valley. It is a very pretty and elegant wine, with rolling flavors of bing cherry, bright acidity, and a classic Sangiovese finish of dust and tomato.
We call our son ‘The Big Little’ – if you’ve met him in the tasting room you know why! This wine is dedicated to him. We call it ‘Il Grosso Piccolo’ – ‘The Big Little.’ It also helps that Grosso (Big) and Piccolo (Little) are the two main clones of Sangiovese.