This wine hits both of the honig nails on the head. It tastes great after one night open on the counter (see 2daysperbottle), and it’s rated 89 points in the Wine Advocate (see the 89project).
It’s the 2007 Sportoletti Assisi Rosso, wherein Assisi Rosso is a DOC. One that does not appear in the Oxford Companion to Wine, the text for all WSET students. This wine has a record of 90-point reviews — in ‘01, ‘04, ‘05 and ‘06 — and it is delicious and affordable, priced under $20.
The DOC is centered around the Umbrian city of Assisi, famous for its saint, Francis, and applied to a rosso, a bianco, a rosato and a novello. The DOC calls for the rosso to be at least 50 to 70 percent sangiovese; this wine is 50 percent of that variety blended with 30 percent merlot and 20 percent cabernet sauvignon.The consultant is Riccardo Cotarella, who in 1998 was dubbed by Parker as the Michel Rolland of Italy. It’s a medium-deep bright ruby with purple highlilghts and youthful aromas of milk chocolate, plum, vanilla and cloves. It’s dry with a high alcohol content (a surprising 14 percent) that is balanced by lively acid, light tannins and clear fruit flavors of sour cherries, red fruit and some spice. It’s not too complex, but has a medium to long finish that stretches back on the palate. Get some.
As to why this wine gets an 89 rather than a 90, I think the fame of the winemaker, who consults all over Italy and in France, regularly attracts the 90 points. It's probably not going to get much more because it's made to be drunk young and simple and sell for less than $20. 2007 was a little too hot in Umbria and the wine shows it in the high alcohol. It obviously still works, but the other vintages showed better balance.