Varietals: Sangiovese 85%, Ciliegiolo 10%, Syrah 5%
Color: Clear, ruby red color, with purplish highlights
The southerly cousin of Brunello and Chianti, “Morellino” is Maremma’s local name for Tuscany’s premier red grape, the Sangiovese. Maremma is a southerly coastal stretch of Tuscany with superb quality potential. The classic ‘zone’ for Morellino is the small hill town of Scansano, which has winemaking traditions dating back to Etruscan times. Still, the wines, fashionable today in the cafes of Rome, have remained a relatively well-kept local treasure. Compared with more northerly Tuscan DOCGs, Morellino di Scansano has a warmer and more temperate climate, producing wines in a riper, rounder, savory style.
Poet and wine columnist Harry Eyres wrote, “Morellino is a sensualist’s wine, not a conundrum for intellectuals; loose-limbed, not tightly structured. If you think of Romans as a hedonistic lot, as I tend to, then you’ll think of it as a louche Latin wine rather than a warlike Etruscan one.”
Our translation: this is a seriously sexy, big, bold Italian Sangiovese wine.
On the nose the wine is complex with notes of violet, plum, cherry, cinnamon stick and cocoa powder. The supple but structured palate has vibrant acidity, with integrated medium tannins, and softly layered red currants, juicy dark berries, black pepper, earth, and a hint of leather. The finish is long, spicy, and high in minerality. Pair with meaty stews and pastas, lamb, wild game, hearty mushroom dishes, or aged cheeses. It’s also fabulous with a blackberry tart with vanilla crema, and a balsamic reduction.
Pair with meaty stews and pastas, lamb, wild game, hearty mushroom dishes, or aged cheeses. It’s also fabulous with a blackberry tart with vanilla crema, and a balsamic reduction.
Recommendation: Drink now through 2018, 87 pts.
Suggested retail price: $25