This indigenous grape of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Super Tuscan fame is the most planted red variety in the vineyards of Italy.
One of the oldest Italian grape varieties, the name of which derives from ‘sanguine Jovis’, the blood of Jove (Jupiter), it is the lifeblood of red wine production in the central Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria, although it grows in several other regions as well. If used for blending, common partners would be Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, or the native Montepulciano.
Most of the varietal wines are lean in structure, generally medium-bodied, although some are light or full-bodied, depending on where the grape grows. Despite being the predominant grape in Toscana, appearing in many appellations of the region, its wines are affected by the differences in terrain, climate, blending and aging.
Notwithstanding the multitude of variations, the principal characteristics of Sangiovese would include a medium intensity of colour, high acidity, firm tannin and aromas and flavours of cherries and herbs.