For our anniversary I opened up this wine to pair with a simple dish of pasta and meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce, hoping to dress up a simple family dinner on our special day.
The 2004 Luna Sangiovese Reserve was purchased at the winery on my 2006 Napa Tour. Unabashedly American, this is not your Nona's Sangiovese! Bright cherry red, this wine had an exquisite nose of roses and musk, very ripe blackberries and cherries, cedar, leather, coffee grounds and minty tea. While very nice, the palate simply wasn't up to the nose, in my opinion, as sharp acidity and jammy overripe fruit overpowered my palate at first. To be fair, this wine settled down over the evening, with more elegant spicy chocolate and blackberry fruit, but still slightly awkward. Despite its heavyweight alcohol content, this was not as overpowering as you might think. Overall, it was a rather confusing wine that needs a few more years in the cellar to show its real stuff.
Price: US$60 (winery)
As an aside, I try to be style agnostic when I review wines. While this was an excellently crafted wine (my wife raved about it), it may be the first time you hear me say "not my style". Unfair, perhaps, as this wine is way to young. But contrast it to the elegance of the L'Ecole No. 41 wines enjoyed last night, or any Chianti at this price. Try for yourself - I am sure there will be much disagreement with me on this.