of the World
This is the third of our grape variety tastings showcasing examples across the world. In this session will be tasting eight fantastic and different expressions of Sangiovese from across its native home, Italy and also new styles from our very own backyard, Australia.
Sangiovese is native to Tuscany and is at home from regions all over Italy from Chianti to Lombardy and Puglia, and everywhere in between. It’s capable of producing easy drinking reds, as well as great age worthy and complex wines which may be blended with different local and international varieties.
The very first Classico area was created in 1716 by Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici, and which was enlarged in 1932, a change criticized as being over-generous and potentially damaging to the Chianti Classico name, and certainly varied in terms of terroir.
Nevertheless, this larger area became legally recognized in 1966 when Italy began formalizing its wine laws and DOC system. In a show of quality 1984, Chianti Classico was promoted from DOC to DOCG status.
Since the 20's bottles of Chianti Classico have been marked by the black cockerel logo or Gallo Nero in Italian. This iconic symbol has a romanticised and much-told legend.
In the 13th Century, the warring Tuscan provinces of Florence and Siena looked for a way to solve their ongoing border disputes. They agreed to a unique horse race. When the first cockerel crowed at dawn, each city would send out its fastest rider bound for the rival city. The point where the two riders met would mark the new provincial boundary. The Florentines gained a head start by starving their (black) cockerel to make him sing earlier than the well-fed counterpart from Siena. Consequently the two riders met only around 10 kilometers (six miles) north of Siena.
Sangiovese's characteristics can vary as much as Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo in its sensitivity to place. Today Sangiovese has been shown to produce extremely fine wines, and is an altogether nobler wine than has been shown in the past. Sangiovese can range in flavour spectrum somewhere between mulberries, prunes, spice, tobacco, sometimes leather and chestnuts. It tends to be savoury rather than sweet, and if not fully ripe can smell distinctly farmyard-like. Having said that, it is capable of producing unctuous sweet wines known as Vin Santo.
Wines on Tasting:*
- Paneretta della Chianti Classico DOCG
- Chianti Rufina / Senesi
- Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
- Fighting Gully Road Sangiovese
- Ravensworth Sangiovese, Canberra
- Vin Santo Isole e olena, 2008/09
Note - due to stock or vintage changes some wines may be substituted. This list is indicative of what may be on offer*