Sangiovese isn’t just Italian!
Sangiovese is the primary red grape of Italy’s (Tuscany) three famous regional wines Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Montepuciano. Yet, you can find excellent Sangiovese and Sangiovese blends in the US as well.
On the whole, Sangiovese grapes are not easy to grow, even in Tuscany. They mutate quickly and iare difficult to ripen. However, the vines are adaptable to the regions of the US where they have been planted. The type of vine used in each area is partly dependent on the micro-climate conditions that affect ripening.
The US Sangiovese wine flavors are similar to those of the traditional Tuscan wines. When tasting the wine, you will find many flavors. The fruit flavors and aromas are cherry, raspberry, red plum, and prune. Its floral flavors ranges from rose, chamomile, marjoram, thyme, and caper. Their earthly flavors ranges from truffle, mushroom, and smoke. While its wood or oak flavorings are cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, coffee, and cedar. Not to leave out the other familiar favors of tar and leather. When pairing with food, its moderate alcohol carries with it a sharp backbone of acidity, and has a very balanced level of tannin. These allow it to be paired with many dishes.
Sangiovese goes well with tomato based sauces, fresh herbs, rich thick soups, mushroom dishes, and a variety of cheeses. The Sangiovese’s rustic personality allows it to be paired with an array of cheeses, especially the milder blue veined cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Cambozola.
The local US wine industry has blossomed in quality, quantity and recognition since the beginning of the new century, and much of that is due to northern Italian grapes, pinot grigio with the whites, and sangiovese, barbera and nebbiolo with the reds.
Among the available US sangiovese and sangiovese blends are Chaddsford’s Due Rossi, Kennett Square, PA; Bagetto’s Rosso, Santa Cruz, CA; Valley of the Moon, Sonoma County, CA; or Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, CA – all very lovely wines.
Sangiovese may be tough to grow, but it’s so easy to drink whether it is in the form of a California Rosso or traditional Chianti. I and wine lovers all over the world now have great choices, both domestic and foreign Sangioveses, and great places to enjoy them.
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