Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Washington Sangiovese vs. Chianti

The Giro d' Italia is going full gas coming into the conclusion of one full week of racing.  The 8th stage finished in Tuscany on Saturday.  Gianluca Brambilla took a solo stage victory after going on a long range attack.  Not only did he win the stage, he also moved into the Maglia Rosa taking the overall lead in his home country's grand tour.

This week's matchup honors the brash style and panache' of riders willing to put it all on the line for a chance at victory.  Washington Sangiovese takis on a long range challenger from Chianti.

Mellisoni Vineyards 2013 Sangiovese v. Travignoli 2006 Chianti Rufina Riserva

Tale of the Tape

Mellisoni Vineyards 2013 Sangiovese

100% Sangiovese from the Mellisoni estate vineyard on the South Shore of Lake Chelan.

Sample provided by the winery. 

Travignoli 2006 Chianti Rufina Riserva 

100% Sangiovese from the Chianti Rufina DOCG.

Aged for 20 months in Oak Barrels.

Purchased from Garagiste for $16.71

Round 1.  First Opening

The Mellisoni Sangiovese is getting straight down to business!  This luchador is big, bold and going for the early submission hold.  The nose features dark cherry, dusty leather and earth notes.  The palate also shows black cherry with chewey tart dried flower petals and a finish of dried flowers that shows off some solid acidity.

The Villa Travignoli is light on its feet and easily avoids the powerful Mellisoni Marauder's moves.  The nose is dark and lightly smoky with notes of currants, pie cherries, dried herbs and candle wax.  The palate has notes of dried pie cherry, herbal character and light white pepper spices backed by good tannins and acidity on the finish.

Travignoli avoids the heavy duty Mellisoni attacks and takes the first round. 

Round 2.  One hour after opening

The Mellisoni Sangiovese is building some serious balance and power.  This luchador is staring down the Chianti Challenger with a  show of confidence and power.  The nose is showing dark dusty cherries and light herbal menthol spices.  The palate is similar with notes of dark cherry, white pepper and herbal spices with a dry spicy tannin fueled finish.

Travignoli is fighting for its life.  The Chianti Challenger is counter attacking with a nose of dark funky mineral driven cherries and a palate of dark cherries, dry spices and herbal tobacco leaf with plenty of tannin on a super dry finish.

The Mellisoni Marauder takes round 2 built on a powerful attack.

Round 3.  One day after opening

The Mellisoni Luchador is continuing to build on its power base.  The nose is bringing the power with notes of dark currants, black cherries light herbal smoky notes and menthol spices.  The palate is adding to the mix with dark cherries, dried flowers and light menthol herbal spices followed by a dry finish that is still flashing some stylish acidity.

The Travignoli Chianti Challenger isn't backing down with a defiant flash of aggression.  The nose is displaying notes of dark cherry, forest floor and olives.  The palate is following suite with dark cherries, herbal dried tobacco leaf and white pepper spices wrapped up with a dry acidic finish of light herbal spice overtones.

The final round was close, but Mellisoni took the points, and the match, with a slight edge based on its consistent attacking style.

Wrap up and overall observations.

Both of these wines are tasting real good right now.
The Travignoli has 10 years of age on it and appears to easily have many more years of life ahead of it.  This Chianti champion features plenty of Chianti and Sangiovese character with nice acidity that screams for pairing with food.

The Mellisoni Sangiovese took a while to get warmed up.  When it did, there was no stopping this Lake Chelan AVA marauder.  This Sangiovese stands on its own and also shows the robust character that would allow it to pair up well with a rich Italian style meal.


  1. always the best from Mellisoni. The Barbara is fantastic as is the Sangiovese.

  2. Cant wait to experience the sangiovese this coming weekend! Rob & Donna Mellisoni here I come.
    Wine club member!