Sangiovese

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      Sanguis Jovis, ‘The blood of Jupiter’ – there’s a name to be proud of. Italy’s most planted red grape, Sangiovese is best known in the form of Chianti – in a blend or on its own – and as aristocratic, single varietal Brunello di Montalcino. Delicate, with high natural acidity, Sangiovese’s flavour spectrum runs from sour and sweet cherries to strawberries and roses, often with a delicious bitter edge. While Chianti’s laws don’t stipulate wines must be 100% Sangiovese (it’s 70% for Chianti DOCG, 80% for Chianti Classico DOCG), winemakers increasingly seek to express the purest character of the grape. However, Brunello di Montalcino is where the ultimate expressions can be found. Look out for top producers’ Rosso di Montalcino (Stella di Campalto, Cerbaiona), or ‘baby Brunello’, made from either the same or young vines with less time spent in barrel – offering exceptional value. And if you are ever offered the Brunello di Montalcinos of the late Gianfranco Soldera, don’t hesitate; these are among the most sensual red wines on the planet, up there with the best of Burgundy.