Sangiovese is a red wine grape varietal with its origins in Italy. Its name stems from the Latin 'Sanguis Jovis', 'the blood of Jove (Jupiter)'. It is the primary grape of central Italy from Romagna down to Lazio, Campania and Sicily. Around the globe, Sangiovese is traditonal known as the main component of Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. Though more recently highly respected for creating varietal wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna, as well as the modern 'Tuscan Trail-blazer' wines like; Ornellaia, Tignanello & Sassicaia.
Sangiovese wines have vibrant fruit flavours, such as rich cherries and mixed, dried spices - plus responds well to oak, creating complimentary flavours when barrel aged.

 

By the 16th century Sangiovese was well established. Recent DNA analysis suggests that Sangiovese's ancestors are Ciliegiolo (a well known ancient Tuscan grape varietal) and Calabrese Montenuovo - (an almost-extinct varietal from Calabria, the toe of Italy). There are thought to be at least 14 Sangiovese clones, of which 'Brunello' is one of the most respected. An attempt to classify the clones into Sangiovese Grosso (including Brunello) and Sangiovese Piccolo families is an ongoing process.
Sangiovese is very adaptable to many different types of vineyard soils - but seems to respond best in soils with a high concentration of limestone, which can result in elegant wines with generous aromas and palate character. The grape requires a long, warm growing season, as it buds early and is slow to ripen. A longer growing season gives the grapes the opportunity to fully develop palate richness, structure and length.
Wines made from Sangiovese tend to exhibit the varietal's naturally high acidity as well as having moderately high tannins and light to medium intensity of colour.
Sangiovese based wines have the potential to age well, but the vast majority of 'modern style' Sangiovese wines are intended to be more approachable and consumed relatively early. The wines with the longest aging potential are the 'Super Tuscans' and 'Brunello di Montalcino' wines that can age for upwards of 20 years in ideal vintages - enjoy.