I was really intrigued when I was approached by Avanguardia Wines, a Sierra Foothills winery, to do a tasting of some of their current releases. Avanguardia specializes in crafting proprietary blends from unusual grape varieties. Around 70% of the grapes they grow (they have 23 varietals) are of Italian origin.
The first wine I had the chance to taste was their 2008 Ampio, a blend of 67% Refosco and 33% Carmine. The Refosco is an indigenous red variety from the Friuli region of Italy. Carmine is a University of California two-generation cross of Carignane and Cabernet, which is then crossed again with Merlot. The Refosco and Carmine combined made for an interesting blend.
About the Wine- From the Winery
Avanguardia 2008 Ampio is a blend from the Sierra Foothills region of California. It has 14.1% alcohol and retails for $22. For more information visit www.avanguadiawines.com
Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine
Ampio pours a deep garnet in the glass. Aromas of cherry cola, liquorice, and spice invite you to take a sip. Tastes of sweet tobacco and sage mingle with candied cherry and crisp acidity. This unique, medium bodied wine finishes dry with a little bit of lingering spice. An unconventional journey for your taste buds!
My Wine Rating- B
Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with grilled pork, pizza with mushrooms and sausage, or linguine with cherry tomatoes and herbs.
*This wine was sent to me as a media sample