I can't believe I haven't written about this wine yet - it is one of our favorites and I have probably had more of this than anything except the Artimino Chianti since we got to Florence. I was a huge fan of the 2001, a remarkable wine and a great value at about €14 a bottle. The new release is the 2003 and at only €10 and change it may be an even better bargain than the 2001 (if not quite as a superlative wine). We had a bottle tonight with dinner and it is just sublime. You can't believe it is a €10 wine when you are drinking it. Casale dello Sparviero is a small producer in the Castellina area, and the riserva is made from hand harvested 100% Sangiovese. It is fermented in stainless steel and cement vats and then put into oak for 18 months, followed by 6 months in the bottle before release.
This wine has an explosion of black cherry and fruit on first taste, with a smooth mid-palate hinting of leather and tobacco, and a complex finish of toasted oak, walnuts and almonds. The finish is smooth and long but with enough tannic structure to make it one to enjoy for several years to come. Just a great bottle of Sangiovese at a great price.