The Sangiovese di Romagna D.O.C. should be very easy to market and sell. After all, it has one of the few official Italian denominations that is easy to understand: Sangiovese is the grape variety and Romagna is the region (Emilia-Romagna) where the wine is produced.
That it is not flying off the shelves of wine shops around the world is due, in part, to the fact that many consumers have yet to realize that the silky textures and bitter cherry flavors that they appreciate in such famous wines as Chianti and Brunello comes from the Sangiovese grape. Another contributing factor is that few wine magazines and wine shop owners are willing to promote wines that come from beyond the borders of the more popular regions of Tuscany, Piedmont and, more recently, Sicily.
So, my friends, I am here to tell you to try Sangiovese di Romagna wines. Those from the best producers are luscious, satisfying, versatile and long lived. They also often offer excellent value for money.
Here are the notes on my favorite Sangiovese di Romagna wines tasted on February 21, 2010 in the town of Faenza (in the region of Emilia-Romagna).
2009 Sangiovese di Romagna “Thea” produced by Tri Monte. Vibrant fuchsia-infused cherry red. On the nose a soft weave of ripe fruit revolves around a firm, fine acidity. A warm plumy fruit on the palate. An idea of dark chocolate. Long satisfying finish.
2009 Sangiovese di Romagna “Pietramora” produced by Fattoria Zerbina. A soft, deep rose sheen over rich ruby. On the nose a tight weave – silky texture – cherry-like fruit, a touch of minerality . Very silky on the entry then it expands on the middle-palate becoming almost velvety. A fine ripple of ripe cherries, a light touch of prunes. Lively, uplifting mineral zestiness.
2009 Sangiovese di Romagna “Pruno” produced by Drei Dona Tenuta La Palazza. A Christmasy spicy fruit shot through with uplifting steely notes. The fruit is on the plumy side. It develops a velvety texture on the finish. Long. Satisfying.
2005 Sangiovese di Romagna “Ari” produced by San Patrignano. Silky texture. A fresh appealing knobbly blend of blackberry, bitter cherry fruit. Satisfying finish.
1997 Sangiovese di Romagna “Pietramora” produced by Fattoria Zerbina. An involving fruity warmth. A very inviting wine. Gives smooth, sensual pleasure. An amalgam of ripe cherries, plums with a firm undertow of tar. A fine wine.
I tasted the following wine at my home on February 10th:
2000 “Graf Noir” from Drei Dona Tenuta La Palazza (made form primarily Sangiovese, Negretto Longanesi and Cabernet Franc). A very rich, softly diffused ruby with a warm near-brown sheen. A fine supporting acidity surrounded by very ripe berry fruit – cherry, raspberry, wild berry fruit. A silky texture that caresses the mouth. (Forgive me but that is what I felt.) A fine, soft weave of fruit (cherry, very ripe plums) and an almost minerally zest. Long, flavorful finish. Satisfying.
For notes on other Sangiovese di Romagnas I sample at the tasting or for a look at the life of a professional wine taster go to my site: www.patriciaguy.com