il geneproThe Sassetti family has produced wines in the Montalcino region of Tuscany since the early 1900’s. They make a passable Brunello; the wine under review is their entry level Sangiovese. This wine does not meet minimal standards of modern winemaking. If you own a bottle, get thee to a drain.

It’s swarming with “brett”, the product of the brettanomyces yeast that causes band aid, sweaty saddles and barnyard aromas. When balanced and complementing other aromas, “brett” can add interest and depth to a wine. But in this wine the band-aid aroma is overwhelming. There is some black cherry and spicy anise lurking there but it’s hard to find with the plastic, chemical note so prominent.

On the palate, black licorice, leather and blueberry dominate but the acidity is hard and sour and the tannins bitter and abrasive with overt oak on the finish. I love rustic, Italian wines but I found this an utter disaster.

This is part of Total Wine’s Winery Direct program, which allows Total Wine to buy from smaller wineries at reduced prices. I seldom have the opportunity to shop at Total Wine; this purchase suggests I’m not missing much.

The only hope of getting through this bottle is to pair it with pizza loaded with cheese and something lean and hard in the headphones, like The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go.

Score: 78

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%