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The last time we met a wine from the Thirty-Three degrees label was in a podcast, recorded with the winemaker, where we also briefly talked about the inaugural vintages of Malvasia, Petit Sirah, and Tempranillo. I meant to review the Thirty-Three Degrees 2014 Sangiovese late last summer, but life got away from me at the time. Better late than never, and considering the age-worthy nature of Sangiovese from Arizona in general, this isn’t a bad thing.

2014 Sangiovese

Here, the Thirty-Three Degrees Sangiovese stands against an old stone wall with memories of the past…

The Wine: The Thirty-Three Degrees Sangiovese was sourced from Todd Bostock’s Cimmaron Vineyard, in the heart of the Willcox AVA.  The wine was made using the standard bin fermentation method and pressed after 7 days macerating on the skins.    The 2014 Sangiovese was aged for 20 months in neutral French oak.  Tim White was the winemaker for this vintage.  This sangiovese is pretty dark; a rich garnet red.

The Nose: The nose of the 2014 Sangiovese opens with notes of cherry, red plum, oregano, rose petals, vanilla, and hints of roasted pecans and nutmeg. After decanting, additional notes of violets, pomegranate, fennel, and a slight hint of mint emerge.

The Palate: The Thirty-three Degrees 2014 Sangiovese is a fruit-forward, medium-bodied Sangiovese with high acidity and medium levels of tannins.  The palate of this wine opens with notes of cherry, plum, cinnamon, and violets, intermingling with rosehips, dust, tomato, and toasted pecans. Before decanting, the finish of this wine lasts for 47 seconds, filled with nutty, leathery tannins, cherry, anise, and dusty earth.  After decanting, additional notes of mint, plum, fennel, and myrrh emerge on the palate, and the finish lasts for 52 seconds.

The Pairing: Like any Sangiovese, the 2014 Sangiovese would pair very well with pizza: especially one with a hand-made crust, with red sauce, taleggio cheese, basil, and mushrooms. If you are of a carnivorous bent, throw some finocchiona salami onto this pizza for a fun treat.

Impressions: The 2014 Sangiovese from Hidden Hand is a bit of a more riper, New World style, in comparison to the many more Italian style versions of this grape coming from Arizona; it’s far more fruit forward, rather than earthy.  This is an excellent demonstration of the versatility of Sangiovese in Arizona. After drinking this vintage, I tried a 2007 Sangiovese from California that I suspect resembles what this vintage will become with a similar amount of aging: entirely juicy fruit and acidity, with the tannins having faded away.  Therefore, I do strongly recommend cellaring this vintage for a good 5-10 years.

Label Notes: The label was designed by Daniel Martin Diaz, and features a weeping eye with rays of light. I asked Daniel to explain the label he designed, thinking that it was partially a nod to Masonic imagery, (which makes sense, as the successor to this label, Hidden Veil, will eventually be sold in the old mason lodge in Cottonwood.) I was wrong.

Daniel writes: “Personally, the weeping eye signifies the pain and suffering one goes through for what they believe in. It could be working hard at something for years. Honing in a skill that eventually leads to success. Not a monetary success but, a spiritual success. A positive moral quest. Not religious with all the bullshit dogmas. But, a Zen success. The drip or drop could represent the Blood, Sweat, and Tears one goes through to achieve a goal. The eye is the ability in envision or manifest an idea into fruition.”