Bolgheri is located in the town of Castagneto Carducci in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is home to several wineries, including Podere Sapaio. Podere Sapaio produces two red wines and olive oil.
The 2008 Podere Sapaio Superiore was a red blend, composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent 18 months aging in oak barriques, and then an additional 12 months in the bottle, prior to release. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. The Italian classification was DOC. There were 2,500 cases of this vintage produced.
There are a number of Super Tuscans that rank among my favorite wines to drink. As I was looking over the wine list at Undici in Rumson, NJ (They have over 600 wines, solely from Italy. Check out the list under “Menu” on their website. It is pretty impressive.), I came upon the 2008 Podere Sapaio. Knowing the region, but not the wine, I decided to give it a try.
Given my success with other Bolgheri wines, I had high hopes for this bottle.
Prior to tasting, the wine was not decanted.
I first tasted the wine without any food. While it was good, the experience with food was much better. The palate was full of rich black and red fruit, with pepper mixed in. The wine was warm and spicy. The tannins were noticeably present, prior to tasting with food. Once the food arrived, it cut through the tannins nicely.
The finish was long with black fruit lingering.
My meal with this wine began with a Cicoria salad, which consisted of crisp escarole and Trevisano radicchio tossed in Sicilian olive oil, garlic, and anchovy oil, lightly topped with toasted bread crumbs. After the salad, the table shared some Jamon Iberico de Bellota from Spain. The jamon was served with a fig and some dried fig and almond crisps. My entrée was Agro Dolce. A grilled Berkshire center cut pork chop (about 1 ½ inches thick!) was topped with hot and sweet cherry peppers and Italian red wine vinegar with a side of crispy fingerling potatoes. The wine went fabulously with the entire meal.
The 2008 Podere Sapaio Superiore cast $140 in the restaurant. It retails in the $60-70 range domestically, although it is much cheaper in Europe. I greatly enjoyed this wine and need to find some more if it (at the retail level). If you enjoy the Super Tuscans, I would encourage you to try it.