Pronounced san-jaw-vay-zeh. A grape varietal, used in the production of red wines, originating in the Tuscany region of Italy. Also grown in the United States, Australia, and Argentina. Produced as a 100% varietal in the United States (CA). Sangiovese is the primary grape in the Chianti blend and also serves as a blending agent, along with Brunelli, in Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese is blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal to create Super Tuscan blends. Also blended with Pignaolo (grape of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano), Merlot, and Sangioveto (a clone of Chanti). Sangiovese Grosso is a clone varietal of the Sangiovese. The Sangiovese and Nebbiolo are the top 2 varietals of Italy.
Characteristics: Varies from charming to charm-less. Higher quality Sangiovese reds are smooth, medium to full bodied, moderate in alcohol, high in acid, moderate to high in tannins, with hints of spice and Leather. Mature Sangiovese are supple and rich with hints of cherry, vanilla, cinnamon and pepper.
Ageing: Most not long lived, less than 10 years.
Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 60-65º F.
Food pairing: Fish, poultry, lamb, pork, veal, pasta with red and/or meat sauce, hard, firm cheeses, and hearty beef and chicken stews.