We spoke, in the last week article about the History of this variety of grape!
Now let's have quick look about the quality and the kind of aromas and taste that you can get from this amazing grape.
Sangiovese's aromas are mainly oriented to red and black fruits of which the main ones are black cherry, blackberry and plum. Among floral aromas, violet is the most characteristic one followed by the aroma of rose. Among these aromas the combination which mainly characterizes Sangiovese - although it is also shared by other grapes - is black cherry and violet. Other fruit aromas that can be perceived in Sangiovese are black currant, strawberry, cherry, raspberry and blueberry. Sangiovese is mainly aged in wood containers - casks and barriques - therefore spicy aromas will also be frequent - vanilla and licorice above all - as well as empyreumatic aromas such as toasted, coffee and chocolate. The intensity of these aromas depends - as always - on the use the producer makes of cask or barrique, and it is not rare to find Sangiovese wines in which the strongly toasted and woody character prevails over the typical aromas of the grape.
In wines produced with Sangiovese Grosso grape - such as, for example, Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - because of the longer period of ripeness before release, fruit aromas will be substituted by more mature aromas of jams, in particular black cherry jam, plum jam and blackberry jam. In these wines will also be perceivable a strong vegetal aroma - in particular tobacco - and with time will be appreciable aromas of underbrush, hay and mushrooms as well. In wines aged in bottle for a long time - both produced with Sangiovese Piccolo and Sangiovese Grosso - will be developed appreciable complex aromas where, besides jams, it will also be possible to perceive aromas of leather and hide. Moreover in Sangiovese it is possible to appreciate balsamic aromas - such as eucalyptus and menthol - as well as aromatic herbs such as mint and thyme.
The main gustatory characteristic of Sangiovese is represented by its high acidity, a quality which often needs proper wine making practices in order to make it less aggressive. For this reason wines produced with Sangiovese are aged in cask - and very often in barriques as well - in order to make them rounder. Even the content in tannins of Sangiovese is high and therefore the aging in cask contributes to diminish the natural astringency of these wines. These two characteristics often justify the choices of some producers - now almost a custom - who blend Sangiovese with other grapes in order to mitigate its character. Among Sangiovese's companions there are Canaiolo, the grape traditionally and historically added to these wines, Colorino wich gives a brighter colour, and Merlot, capable of making it smoother.
Now you just have to sit, taste and of course enjoy those kind of wines.
Give yourself a try!