La Carraia’s Umbria Sangiovese: An Italian value
Over past year or so, there has been an increased migration in the wine offerings at our larger Phoenix area wine outlets (especially Total Wine, Bevmo, and Costco) from shelf displays to large pallets. Not that the shelf displays have disappeared, they have simply gotten smaller. Now most of the wine (by volume) is on the pallets.
Of course, the “pallet wines” are less expensive and many of them are “okay”, but there are always a few standouts, making it worth taking the time to look them over. Being that it’s not really practical to taste all of them, it is often a better plan to look over the labels and check for those you recognize.
One of these labels that comes and goes as a “pallet selection” is a nice Sangiovese made by La Carraia. It’s clever design is invokes memories of it being a house wine for many Italian restaurants. And these restaurants know what they’re doing, because La Carraia pairs well with spaghetti and red sauce or a meatball sub.
It’s bouquet of red cherries, a little leather, and black pepper is very inviting. La Carraia also has a very nice dark ruby color that sets it apart from a lot of house wines, its richer. Being a lighter wine in the mouth and containing a laid-back acidity, its character is like other wines from Italy’s Umbria region.
In short, it’s a good buy at under $15 and can be found for sure at Wine.Com and in Total Wine’s national inventory. It may return to Costco’s pallet area, but for now, the large format (1.5, 3 and 5 liter) bottles are stealing the show at Costco and Total Wine in prep for holiday parties.
Enjoy Sangiovese wines like this with your next Italian spread. Also, its color is quite appealing in a carafe and it will benefit from a little aeration to make the flavors expand a bit.