Unique Blends from the Sierra Foothills- Avanguardia 2008 Ampio

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

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