2004 Miner Gibson Ranch Sangiovese Mendocino California. $24; Andrea Immer Wine Club. 14.3% alcohol.
This is the third bottle in my first shipment from Immer, and a very nice example of a California Sangiovese. No one would mistake it for a Chianti -- much too rich, and without that unique "Italian taste note" that I personally find in almost every Italian wine -- the fruit would have drowned it out here.
Deep red color; deep hue; very good fruit and spice aromas; very good fruit tastes -- no cherry notes at all that I could detect; medium to full mouth feel; mild tannins and acidity, beautifully balanced; medium, complex finish. 4*.
Immer's note: "The Sangiovese has a very ripe strawberry jam scent and flavor, and lots of cumin and cardamom spiciness. These flavors make fireworks with the fruit salsa I serve with these grilled shrimp. I love this salsa as well served over fresh mozzarella cheese or grilled salmon."
SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE WITH SPICY STRAWBERRY SALSA Serves 4
2 minced garlic cloves
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
3 T minced shallots. divided
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 - 4-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning
2 C strawberries, hulled and diced
1 T aged balsamic vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T chopped fresh basil
Preheat grill to medium heat. Combine the first 4 ingredients, 2 T of the shallots and ¼ cup of the olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Line the shrimp up in vertical rows of 5, all facing the same direction, on a flat surface. Thread 2 wooden skewers, one at the headend and one at the tail-end through each row of 5 shrimp. So you end up with a washboard looking rectangle of skewered shrimp. Place the shrimp on a platter and brush them all over with the garlic mixture. Place the shrimp skewers on the hot grill and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallot until soft and fragrant. Turn off the heat and stir in the strawberries, vinegar and basil. Season to taste with lots of freshly ground black pepper and serve with the grilled shrimp.
I used this salsa with fresh mozzarella cheese and it was a perfect match, adding an interest dimension to both the cheese and the wine, quite extraordinary. Also, I used a reduced balsamic vinegar concoction suggested by John Ash and posted here in the past.