To me, there is a kind of triangle of styles with sangiovese in Australia. There is Coriole's well-made and well-marketed sangiovese from McLaren Vale, priced at under $20 rrp a bottle. There is the small-volume and high quality boutique sangiovese from Castagna in Beechworth, in the over $50 rrp bracket.
At the third point in this triangle is Pizzini, with their entry level sangiovese in the $25-$30 price range. Pizzini also do a super-premium Rubacuori version of their sangiovese at a super-premium price.
In the past, I have enjoyed vintages of the basic Pizzini sangiovese, but have never quite been convinced that it offers good value for money compared to the Coriole basic wine. With the 2008 Pizzini release, from a challenging King Valley vintage, I think I am changing my mind.
The wine opens attractively, with bright red fruits to smell. The fruit has real depth of flavour, especially through the somewhat sweet mid-palate. The acid and tannin profiles are varietal and settled, as is the oak presence. The fruit built in weight and length on the second night. For $27 a bottle, this is Australian sangiovese of genuine interest.
On the first night, this matched well with a 1kg t-bone steak done in bistecca alla fiorentina style. As the fruit put on weight for night two, the wine then matched well with a wet-roast of organic lamb leg, borlotti beans and rosemary.