Italy's most planted grape varietal, Sangiovese is the pride & joy of the Tuscan Chianti region. It's a sensitive grape that produces dry & acidic red wines while picking up a variety of flavor profiles based on the terroir. You have acidity & light red berry driven Chianti wines, but at the same time, have tannic & intense wines such as Brunello
It is a savory red wine, winemakers always strive to achieve a balance between the fruit & earth components of Sangiovese. You can expect promimant cherry & roasted tomatoes notes; as well as oregano, coffee & balsanic vinegar in savory styles
Target herb & tomato based foods to pair with Sangiovese, as that would bring out the fruity notes in the wine. Pizza anybody?
Sangiovese is one of those "terroir expressive" grapes that reflects the terroir in which it's grown very much. You can get everything from fresh & tart wines from Chianti, to dark & tannic expressions from Brunello di Montalcino. It's ageability depends on the regional style & ageing process.
TUSCANY, ITALY & OTHER ITALIAN REGIONAL STYLES
Tuscany is a must visit for anyone interested in wine. It's responsible for some of the most recognised wines in the world, and it's picturesque landscape of rolling hills create the perfect conditions for producing high quality wines. It's flagship grape is of course the Sangiovese grape, from which popular names like Chianti, Brunello & Super Tuscans are made.
Chianti would be by far the most well-known Sangiovese-dominant region, covering about one third of Tuscany. Being in the northern region, it showcases Sangiovese's bright tart fruit & acidity, and does not have long aging requirements. There are some barrel aged versions which would be more dense. Chianti Classico is a sub-region where more consistent high quality Chianti is produced.
Montalcino produces some of the fullest & longest ageing Sangiovese. Brunello or "little dark one" is the star Sangiovese clone in this area, and comes from both Brunello di Montalcino & Rosso di Montalcino, the "baby Brunello". The style for Brunello di Montalcino was created by Biondi-Santi in the 1860s, and is likened to Barolo. Full-bodied, tannic & complex, it can be so aggressive in youth that it has the longest ageing requirements to soften & mellow out; at least 4 years with 2 years in oak. Modern versions in new oak tend to be more concentrated, while traditional versions in old oak tend to be more earthy.
MORELLINO DI SCANSANO
Super Tuscan wines are often made with a blend of Sangiovese with French grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. These often come from the Maremma region, within the Morellino di Scansano DOCG.
Carmignano or Montalbano region are Sangiovese based with 10-20% of Cab Sauv & Cab Franc. It creates wines that blend the profiles of Chianti & Montalcino.
You can also find regional styles from Umbria, Campania & Romagna.
Outside of Italy, you could find Sangiovese in Argentina, USA & Australia. These would often be punchier & bolders, as well as more fruit forward. Selected regions also produce a dry Rose based of Sangiovese