2006 Couples & Co Sangiovese
What we say
Rejoice, Operatives, for today marks the return of Mitch Cosentino to our roster of superb wines. We are thrilled to welcome Mitch back and we are thrilled to showcase his fantastic 2006 Sangiovese today. If you are a fan of Mitch Cosentino and his wines, you’ll fall in love with this Sangiovese!
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is so excellent that we issued this special alert! With its excellent pricing, it also made us wonder if we needed to create a new category of alerts for wines that are both Superb and an excellent QPR…
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Mission Codename: Long Live the King
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Mitch Cosentino enjoys the distinction of being The Wine Spies’ top-selling winemaker of all time. Send Agent Red to infiltrate Mitch’s winery, return with an ample allocation of one of Mitch’s signature red wines, his Couples & Co. Sangiovese, by M. Cosentino
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Couples & Co. Sangiovese, by M. Cosentino
Wine Subject: 2006 Sangiovese
Winemaker: Mitch Cosentino
Winery Backgrounder: Mitch Cosentino Winery enjoys the distinction of being one of our top-selling winemaker of all time. Mitch’s wines are varied, distinctive and always delicious.
Varietal Backgrounder: The most widely planted grape in all of Italy, Sangiovese is used in everything from blended inexpensive table wines like Chianti, to the finest Super Tuscans. Italian immigrants introduced this varietal to the U.S. in the 1800’s. First plantings of this grape in the Sonoma County region were in California. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes on this great wine, followed by his interview with Mitch Cosentino, to learn more about today’s fantastic wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest ruby red with a darker but perfectly clear heart. Color maintains a deeply concentrated look, from the center of the wine, right out to the fine ring of ruby that encircles the edge of the glass. Tall, skinny legs move very slowly down the gllass after a hearty swirl.
Smell – Balanced and bold, with dark mixed berries and smoky orange peel that mingle with clove, cinnamon and dark plum. Just below these, soft oak and earthy minerals support the fruit and spice.
Feel – Fast and smooth on the entry, the tender initial feel of this wine is quickly replaced by a more full-bodied experience. The wine seems to become increasingly dense as you hold some in your mouth. Swallow your sip, and enjoy a spreading warmth and dryness that begins at the tip of the tongue and then gradually works its way outward, drying the cheeks and puckering the lips.
Taste – Dense and layered, with dark plum, bramble, black cherry and blackberry leading the way. These are quickly joined by red cherry, smoky orange, brown spice and black pepper.
Finish – Long and delicious, with flavors that evolve as the dynamic feel of the wine works its magic. Leading with fruit and ending with spice, smoky orange and black pepper.
Conclusion – This is a balanced but boldly delicious wine that delivers on so many levels. Leasing with fantastic aromatics, we found ourselves inhaling the wine, long before ever even taking a sip. When we did sip the wine, we were impressed by the complexity and depth of the wine. Where some Cali-born Sangiovese can be somewhat one-dimensional, this wine drinks more like a complex Brunello than a Sangio, delivering great depth and bold fruit. The wine is big, but it also possesses an easy-drinking quality; The wine is approachable, friendly and very tasty. Pair with a grilled pizza, a spicy pasta dish or a hearty grilled steak.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Mitch Cosentino
WINE EDUCATION: Self Taught and 33 years of practical experience
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker for Cosentino Winery from 1980 to 2010,
Consultant to various wineries and growers from 1989 to present.
Founder-Winemaker of pureCru Winery and Wines from 2009 to present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Flavor and balance
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1980 Merlot and a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon and a Blanc de Noir Sparkling wine all released in 1982 under the brand of Crystal Valley Cellars/Cosentino Wine Company.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mitch. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Couples & Co. Sangiovese today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MITCH COSENTINO: No problem, I am always willing to help someone make a new discovery for the purposes of good over evil.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MITCH: No primarily “divine misguidence” telling me that I needed to learn about and pay attention to anything about wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MITCH: Several notable winemakers like Myron Nightingale and Ed Sbragia of the old Beringer days, John Parducci, John Daniels thru his old Inglenook Cabernets and others from the 60’s, and 70’s.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MITCH: I won’t make a wine that I wouldn’t enjoy myself, but otherwise the wines are made for the pleasure of all with food primarily.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MITCH: This will be a surprise to any that think it is “just a Sangiovese”. It isn’t. This is a complex more Brunello style wine that you will find to be a very versatile red wine that can be enjoyed by itself but it will go with a wide range of cuisine, not just Italian
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MITCH: Too many to associate it with one pairing it is hard to find something it doesn’t go well with. But if you like pizza, pasta, pork chops, and Tri-Tip beef that will get you started.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sangiovese grapes used in this wine so special?
MITCH: This is a blend of 60% Napa Sangiovese and 18% Bordeaux varietals (Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec) and 40% Lodi (Sangiovese). The two regions really work well with each other.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MITCH: Making new blends and bottling.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MITCH: Have fun, experiment and explore the possibilities.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MITCH: More exciting things to come!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Mitch Cosentino’s Couples & Co. winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
CHAIRMAN’S AWARD and GOLD MEDAL – 2010 Riverside International Wine Competition
GOLD MEDAL – 2009 Los Angeles Intl. Wine & Spirits Competition
GOLD MEDAL – 2010 American Fine Wine Competition
GOLD MEDAL & Jefferson Cup Nominee – 2009 Jefferson Cup Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Balanced and bright with an intensity, density and character commonly found in Italian Brunellos.
This Sangiovese is an homage to their Italian heritage from which both come. This first vintage is already a Gold Medal wineer in its 1st competition just prior to release. Balanced and bright with the intensity, density and character more common in Italian Brunellos. Ideal with a wide range of cuisine.
About The Winery:
Three wine lovers from the central valley join an award-winning Napa Valley winemaker to found pureCru, a winery producing small quantities of unique blends.
“I had been reminiscing about a small, hands-on entity where I could do it all myself again, like I did in the beginning.” Mitch Cosentino
Celebrating 30 years of winemaking and with more than a thousand awards to his name, Mitch Cosentino is making another dream come true with his launch of pureCru Napa Valley.
Mitch Cosentino – Cosentino began making wine in small lots in Modesto, California in 1980. Ten years later he moved the Cosentino Winery operation to the Napa Valley, where he continued to make many award-winning varietal and blended wines.
Cosentino has a gift for identifying fruit sources and is highly skilled and artistic in determining blends. He’s a big believer in the hands-on, old world use of punched cap fermentation, a labor-intensive, hand-crafted method of winemaking. When it comes to the small lots Cosentino puts into his pureCru blends, this “micro” approach to winemaking allows him to better control the delicate process from the vineyard to the bottle.
Mitch and Fred Couples – Cosentino is also a noted golfer, which led him to a partnership with Fred Couples and the creation of Couples & Co, a pureCru brand.
Couples initially discovered a taste for fine wine in his twenties, coinciding with his first golf tournament win. “I have enjoyed learning about wine for more than 25 years,” said Couples. “I’ve met many people in the wine business and have discovered that winemaking is an intricate process.”
After doing an in-depth tasting of preliminary blends with Cosentino in 2008, Couples knew he had found the right partner. “Mitch is a great winemaker,” said Couples. “I thought it was the right time and place to put my own name, along with Mitch’s, on a label.”
Vineyard Designation: California
Aging: Over 2 years of oak aging