Sangiovese (san-jee-oh-vay-zay): a red grape varietal native to Italy and grown in many parts of the country. In fact, it is the most widely planted red grape in Italy. The best known expression of Sangiovese is from Tuscany, where it forms 85% of the blend in Chianti Classico wines. Chianti wines, which follow a different, less expensive and less laborious method of production have a much lower proportion of Sangiovese, normally about 70%. Harshal Shah explains the grape.
It is an officially recommended variety in 53 provinces and an authorised planting in an additional 13, according to Oz Clarke. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Sangiovese di Romagna are all Sangiovese-dominant wines.
The grape variety itself produces wines that are often light to medium-bodied with aromas of sour cherries and strawberries, often with a suggestion of spice. Sangiovese benefits from oak-age. It is a wine that had moderate noticeable acidity and pairs well with – surprise, surprise – italian cuisine that comprises of tomatoes and herbs.