Fusion Wine

Some of Italy's most expensive wines are Sangiovese-Cabernet blends, so it should be no surprise that that trend has come to California.

Martin Bros. has been making a wine called "Cabernet Etrusco" ($16) for a number of years that is 15% Sangiovese.

Now Ferrari-Carano, which has 35 acres of Sangiovese at the 900-foot level of the Alexander Valley, has released a marvelous new wine it calls simply "Siena," which is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot. Winemaker George Bursick said the Sangiovese gives his Siena its aroma of violets and strawberry jam, as well as adding acid to the wine.

"We try to pick it very ripe," he said, "and still the acid is high." The wine ($24) has a remarkable combination of chocolate/cocoa and strawberry. Only 375 cases of the wine were made, but they will be available in fine wine shops in major U. S. cities. There were 500 cases of the 1992 Siena and more to be produced in the future.

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