Known as the grape varietal at the heart of Italy, Sangiovese is Italy’s most widely planted red wine grape. A dominant element of many classic Italian wines, especially Chianti, this grape varietal holds a special place in the hearts of Italian winemakers.

As a clear protagonist on the world’s wine stage, our team at Small Winemakers Collection believes that every wine enthusiast should make dedicate time to research and expose themselves to this beloved noble wine. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

Sangiovese: Exploring this Italian Grape Variety

While more subtle than that of Pinot Noir or Cabernet, the Sangiovese grape does not fail to leave a lasting impression. Indigenous to Italy, this grape has an innate ability to adapt and thrive in any environment. Due to its versatility, it is known as being one of the most diverse grapes used in winemaking. 

While this grape varietal is planted all over the world, Tuscany is by far the most notable Italian wine region to produce Sangiovese wines. It is believed that the origins of this grape date back to Roman times where it was first cultivated by Etruscans. While other theories suggest that its name derives from Sanguis Jovis meaning the Blood of Jupiter. 

Although its origins aren’t exactly known, what is clear to see is the lasting impact that this grape variety has had on Italian winemaking. Commonly used as a blended wine, Sangiovese is typically used in the production of Super Tuscans such as Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino

What Are the Characteristics and Profile of This Wine?

While these grapes are versatile and can adapt easily to their environment, Sangiovese grapes have clear characteristics regardless of the region they are grown in. These grapes are known for being light in colour, having thin skin, featuring fine tannins, and thriving in long growing seasons. It also has the ability to give a beautiful acidic structure when blended with other grapes. 

In terms of aromatic and flavour profile, wines made with the Sangiovese grape tend to be medium to full-bodied, dry, and highly acidic. They offer classic flavours of red berries such as red cherry, raspberry, plum, and strawberry. However, it also is praised for its more complex savoury flavours and aromas including: 

  • Leather
  • Tomato
  • Smoke
  • Clay
  • Tobacco

If your personal preference is for a wine that has a wide depth of flavour and offers sharp acidic qualities, choosing a Sangiovese wine, whether blended or not, could be a great option for you. In our opinion, there is a space for this intensely aromatic and flavourful grape variety in all wine cellars and collections. 

Sangiovese Food Pairings: The Best Dishes to Complement This Tuscan Delight

When it comes to Sangiovese food pairings, the bolder the better. This Tuscan grape has a big personality with strong flavours and textures. For this reason, it is best to pair with similar dishes so that one element won’t overpower the other. 

Consider pairing an Armilla Rosso di Montalcino 2018 with a bold cheese from Tuscany or a Spaghetti Aglio e olio. The high tannins in this full-bodied Italian wine will easily be able to cut through the fattiness of these dishes while adding balance. The Sangiovese grape also pairs perfectly with an indulgent salad of parma ham, olives, and sundried tomatoes. 

While it may be a grape at the heart of Italy, Sangiovese is one grape varietal that is winning the hearts of many wine connoisseurs across the world. Here at Small Winemakers Collection, this Tuscan grape is one of our favourites. Our online wine agents work with many international wine producers that use Sangiovese in their wine. 

Browse our selection of Sangiovese wine today.

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