A Helpful Guide About Sangiovese Wines



Sangiovese is the numero uno grape in Italy. There is no other variety, white or red, that is made or grown into more wine than Sangiovese.

The name of the variety originated from the Latin words sanguis Jovis, which means “blood of Jove.” You might know him as Jupiter, a Roman God, which is equivalent to the Greek’s Zeus. The wines’ color ranges from copper-tinged to brick red. Also, Sangiovese wines can be somewhat concentrated.

 

 

Regardless of the region where the grape is grown, Sangiovese is a savory varietal, exhibiting subtle hints of tomato and cherry flavors. In this post, we’ve outlined what you need to know about this grape varietal and rounded up some of the best Sangiovese wines. Read on to know more!

Grape Characteristics

Did you know that the Sangiovese grapes are rarely grown outside of Italy? Because of this, few wines are as purely Italian as Sangiovese.

 

The Sangiovese grape is known as a chameleon, effortlessly changing its properties or features to suit the environment. More often than not, there are various mutations of the Sangiovese grapes all over Italy, resulting in unique, distinct tasting wines.

 

From the tannic, dark wines of Brunello di Montalcino to the subtle floral strawberry notes of Montefalco Rosso, Sangiovese wine always have something to offer for all of us. Below are the prominent characteristics of the Sangiovese grape:

 

  • Oak influence usually manifests in vanilla and cedar spice.
  • The evident flavors are plum, earthy, violet, blackberry, blueberry, and cherry.
  • 13 to 14 percent alcohol by volume
  • Medium-bodied
  • High-tannin
  • High acidity

Taste

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied, dry red wine that leans towards tighter tannins and towering levels of acidity. The sumptuous, mouth-watering flavors range from fruity to rustic, relying upon how and where the vines are grown.

 

But you can expect balanced streaks of sweet tobacco, peppery tones, spicy-oaked gradation, earthy and smoke herbaceousness, red, black, sour cherry to be clearly visible in a bottle of Sangiovese wine.

 

Opt to serve a bottle with a slight chill as it can tame the tannins and tone down alcohol, letting the florals and fruit to shine.

Best Sangiovese Wines

The following are some of the best Sangiovese wine labels you need to know.

Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina

This wine is made of 95 percent Sangiovese and 5 percent Colorino. Colorino, as the name implies, adds color and polyphenolic structure to the wine because of its thick skin. The result of this mixture is a medium-bodied, smooth, aromatic wine, filled with plums and red fruit on the palate.

Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco

Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco is a blend or mixture of 15 percent Merlot, 15 percent Sagrantino, and 70 percent Sangiovese. This wine offers robust aromas of vanilla and plums since it’s thick and heavy in color with purple and burgundy tones.

Kirkland Signature Toscana

This Sangiovese wine offers an enticing, pleasant aroma of some dried herbs, vanilla, baking spice, and black cherry. It is a smooth and tasty wine with a long, dry, and delicious finish.

Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia

Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia is a blend of 90 percent Sangiovese and 10 percent other red grape varieties from Tuscany, Italy. This wine is aged for at least a year in tonneaux and barriques. And another three months in bottle before it gets released.

Food Pairing

Because of the medium-body, good character, and natural acidity of Sangiovese wines, it can be paired with a wide variety of food. But classic Italian foods like pasta and pizza are best to pair with Sangiovese wines.

 

Also, this wine is the best partner with aged Provolone or Parmesan cheese, pork chops, roasted poultry, and grilled steak.

How to Buy

Although the name of the grape used to make the wines is called Sangiovese, the bottles are sold with region names. And the most popular region that cultivates this grape varietal is Chianti, Tuscany, Italy.

 

Thus, search for bottles with names “Chianti” DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) as it is the most prominent wine region in Italy and carries at least 80 percent Sangiovese in the wines produced. If you want a wine with complexity, more spice, more body, then Chianti Classico might be right for you.

Takeaway

Sangiovese is the most widely planted and well-known red grape variety in Italy. It is an over-particular, thin-skinned grape that’s likely to stay longer on the vine. Thus, taking its time to mature and ripen.

 

Even though this varietal is planted and grown all over Italy, it is in the region of Tuscany, Central Italy, that’s deemed the rustic home of this grape. Also, because it’s grown in many areas, the taste can be very different. Aging, blending, tradition, climate, and region can all influence the qualities of Sangiovese wines, as well.