Learn about Sangiovese — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino wines.
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese wine plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name, Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
Sangiovese Tasting Notes
Sangiovese wine is a dry, red wine with a medium body and qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese Food Pairings
Sangiovese wine is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Sommelier Secrets for Sangiovese
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.
Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 1996Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
La Famiglia Sangiovese 1996Sangiovese from California
Terra d'Oro Sangiovese 1996Sangiovese from Sierra Foothills, California