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What Are You Drinking?

September 10, 1997

At a recent symposium on the Sangiovese grape, there were two wines that really struck me. One was an Italian, the 1995 Isole e Olena Cepparello, and the other was American, Atlas Peak's 1995 reserve Sangiovese. The first really made me yearn to be sitting in Tuscany somewhere; it had that purity of fruit, that nerve, that acidic structure that those wines depend on for their brightness. The second was not Tuscan, in fact not Italian-tasting at all. It was very much the California expression of the grape--lower acidity, riper fruit, a softer wine but still lots of Sangiovese spice and cherry, raspberry flavors.

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