Grape of the month: Sangiovese
The grape can be found everywhere throughout Italy, but the wines from the Chianti, Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano region are the most famous. Its name is believed to be derived from `sangius Jovis', meaning 'the blood of Jupiter'.
Sangiovese is a late ripening grape and needs a warm, dry ripening period. Otherwise it will taste dry and firm. That is why this grape thrives best in warmer regions such as Tuscany, the south of Italy and on the Italian islands. The grapes have a very thin peel and are sensitive to botrytis. Wines made from Sangiovese often have a bright, translucent color with aromas of cherry, plum and herbs. In the taste you can discover especially many and different types of fruit (like in pinot noir), with a nice acidity. When ripe, it tastes very intense, softer and fuller and gives the wine a very long, persistently fruity and slightly spicy taste impression. The Sangiovese is a grape with great class and good storage potential. After many years, rather tertiary tastes such as truffle are being developed, with `a walk in the forest' in the nose.