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An inaugural vintage release, Niner Wine Estates’ 2003 Sangiovese was produced from Paso Robles’ eastern Bootjack Ranch vineyard that boasts the hearty red varietals the appellation is known for. This Sangiovese is the product of three different grape clones, harvested and fermented together, which is reminiscent of an old-fashioned Italian field blend. An impressive achievement for a first release, the Niner Sangiovese has garnered a number of notable awards including a Double Gold Medal from the International Eastern Wine Competition, a Critics Gold from the Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, a Gold Medal from the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, and a Gold Medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The wine opens with aromas of raspberry, blackberry and brambleberry bush, with a hint of spice and white and black pepper. With a bit of Merlot added to the final blend to round out the mouthfeel, this Sangiovese is dry in the front of the mouth, but turns out smooth, soft and plummy, with a touch of nuttiness. Fruity cherry notes linger on the long finish. [+]