One of the best parts of this business is finding a wine that turns out to be something that you can happily drink for the rest of your life. Which is exactly what the Casamatta ($13, purchased) turned out to be.
How well made is this wine? The Wine Magazines and the Wine Curmudgeon agree that it's a terrific wine at a terrific price. And how often does that happen?
The Casamatta comes from a leading Tuscan producer, Bibi Graetz, who makes traditional Italian wines using some of the best New World methods. That combination produces a bottle that reflects the qualities that are the strength of Italian wine, like low alcohol and balanced acidity, but does so in a consistent, dependable manner that the hit or miss nature of too much Italian winemaking often can't do.
The Casamatta is made with sangiovese, so look for some sour cherry fruit, a firm acid backbone, and lots more finish than a $13 wine should have. It's almost embarrassing how much more interesting this wine is than similary-priced Chiantis from big-name wineries. Highly recommended. Serve this with everything from spaghetti and meatballs to roast chicken to cheese and olives.