Knowing the exalted reputation Valdicava has for its Brunello di Montalcino, I was enthusiastic about sharing a bottle of the celebrated winery's more accessible and affordable Rosso di Montalcino 2006 over a pre-Easter family dinner centering on a mixed plate of wood oven-roasted meats. (And yes, Easter fans, we included rabbit.)
Rosso di Montalcino is also 100 percent Sangiovese, just not aged as long as Brunello, and the wine turned out to be a perfect choice. It had plenty of rich fruit, balanced with a touch of earthiness and something resembling roasted meat in its own flavor profile. But what made it work was the texture. It felt open and unforced, with a delicious, straightforward, ripe cherry flavor competing nicely with those savory notes. Almost Pinot Noir-like, it finished long and satisfying, without extra weight. I rated it 89 points, non-blind.
The wine delivered flavor and elegance, which aren't always easy to find at the $30 price tag my local retailer charged.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the official blind tasting review for Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2006 (88, $40)
• Plus, find scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Rosso di Montalcino wines.