While Tuscany may provide the most evocative illustration of Sangiovese’s prowess, it turns out this talented grape has many other homes too. Richard Baudains finds distinctive alter egos and wallet-friendly prices as he explores beyond its heartland
Sangiovese on tour: Baudains’ pick from further afield
Fattoria Zerbina, Pietramora, Sangiovese Superiore Riserva, Romagna 2011
Very young and still understated on the nose, but already there is lovely ripe violets and blackberry with gentle notes of graphite and sweet mint. Velvety tannins, fine and round; full bodied, beautifully balanced with fresh acidity. Long, elegant finish.
Price: N/A UK www.zerbina.com
Giovanna Madonia, Fermavento, Sangiovese Superiore, Romagna 2011
Great definition and lots of detail on the nose; sour berries, pencil lead, oregano and white pepper. Juicy, vibrant, with refined tannins and great intensity. Lovely balance and a long Sangiovese grip in the finish. The real article.
Price: £18.99 Essentially Wine
Balià di Zola, Redinoce, Romagna, Sangiovese Superiore Riserva 2011
Bright young ruby shade. Bramble jelly and red cherry, with hints of smoke and minerals. Nervy without being lean, this has a tight silky texture. Very long and tangy with a pure varietal finish. Great terroir wine from high vineyards.
Price: N/A UK baliadizola.com
Boccadigabbia, Saltapicchio, Sangiovese, Marche 2010
Intriguing herby-floral nose with notes of wall flowers, thyme, fresh capers, tea leaf and a savoury, mineral vein. Round, smooth, fleshy palate and velvety tannins. Long finish with hints of fig, bay leaf and a note of tar.
Price: N/A UK boccadigabbia.com
Bucci, Tenuta Pongelli, Rosso Piceno, Marche 2009
Mid-intensity ruby shade with a nose of dark chocolate, violets, lightly raisined fruit and a hint of savoury herbs. With smooth ripe tannins, this is discreet, with spicy oak at the end and a bitter herb hint to contrast the fruit. Deceptively easy to drink.
Price: N/A UK buccivineyard.com
Cantine Fratelli Pardi, Montefalco Rosso, Umbria 2012
Deep shade of ruby -purple. Powerful nose, with rich strawberry, glacé cherry, iris and aromatic herbs. Massive palate. Broad, deep and chewy with lashings of black pepper and a return of sweet red fruit at the end. Huge personality.
Price: £18 Vini Italiani
Drei Donà, Cuvée Palazza, Sangiovese Superiore Riserva Romagna 2010
Slightly austere on the nose, with earthy, meaty aromas and hints of spice followed by ripe, subtle fruit and touches of liquorice. Dense and richly textured, with lots of depth and power and a finish with minerally grip. Serious wine.
Price: N/A UK dreidona.it
Lungarotti, Rubesco Riserva, Vigna Monticchio, Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Umbria 2008
Delicate but very precise, fresh nose with violets, wild berries and touches of sweet mint. Ripe, tight tannins, with some oak yet to absorb; lots of depth and length, and a return of intense fruit on the finish. Classy, made to last; needs time.
Price: £34.68 Mondial Wine
Saladini Pilastri, Montetinello, Rosso Piceno Superiore, Marche 2012
Dark, saturated ruby shade. Sweet ripe fruit on the nose with light, well integrated touches of oak. Big, hearty dry palate with great volume and medium length, tannins smoothed out just enough. Spicy finish with energy.
Price: N/A UK saladinipilastri.it
Velenosi, Roggio del Filare, Rosso Piceno, Superiore, Marche 2013
Young, dark ruby-violet shade. Intense floral nose with distinct touches of white pepper. Punchy and direct, with great attack and an intense cherry jam finish. Superior winemaking. A great example of a toothsome Marche red.
Price: N/A UK velenosivini.com
Castello di Corbara, Lago di Corbara Sangiovese, Calistri, Umbria 2012
Rich on the nose with aromas of fig, bay leaf, dark chocolate and cinammon. Big mouthfilling palate, with a warm velvety texture, bags of ripe fruit and a peppery finish. Glossy modern wine from top-class, raw material.
Price: £12.25 The Drink Shop
Di Filippo, Colli Martani Sangiovese, Umbria 2012
Punchy and forthcoming on the nose, with dark fruit, tea leaf and eucalyptus, and a note of white pepper. Dry, chunky palate with lots of energy. Dry, ripe tannin finish with subtle fruit and herbs.
Price: N/A UK vinidifilippo.com