Most people favor either Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo, and I’ve always been surprised that Sangiovese doesn’t figure into the mix more. In a way, it’s the closest wine to Pinot Noir; at its best, deeply flavored with freshness and firmness in balance all supported by rather obvious soil tones. Sure sounds like Pinot Noir, so what’s the big difference?
Mostly that there is a lot of crappy Sangiovese out there and far too few taste like what I just wrote. Of course, there are some wonderful exceptions. Sangiovese, like many Italian varieties, remains an Italian specialty. Yes, other regions have started producing solid versions of grapes like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, but the climate and soil is simply not right. Then again I’m biased, but I am writing this up, so here goes!
Photo courtesy ShaharEvron via Flickr/CC