Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stella Bella Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

We tasted this sample in Luvians on a slow, hungover Wednesday in January. Wines have to work hard on such days. They need to provide lift, they need to be authentic. We're bored already, we don't want anything else to bore us. 

Sadly, the Stella Bella bored us. 

It's nose was dense, brooding, quite powerful but undefined. It smelled like a big red. Blind I would have said it was Australian... and red. The blackcurrant from the cabernet overwhelms any cherry notes from the sangiovese. 

We spoke about the palate for a good 15 - 20 minutes. It was big, unctuous and again, blackcurrants overwhelmed some of the subtler notes. The sangiovese came through on the finish, with a green tannin bitter bite that stands as a hallmark for new world pinot noir and sangiovese that's been overextracted. That said, it isn't a terrible wine - it bears hallmarks of quality. But it's faults leave it exposed. There are better wines from this part of the world at this price. It's uniqueness, as a sangiovese blend from Western Oz, is undermined by it not being a good sangiovese from Western Oz. Most of our chat was apologetic, searching for plus points, rather than shouting about them. 

That's not a good sign.


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