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TOSCANE : looking for the Sangiovese


World Toscane

TOSCANE : à la recherche du Sangiovese

Of course, I knew Tuscany for I had visited many great cellars with prestigious names. I didn't really feel like travelling in winter in a minibus with other journalists and sommeliers. Then I decided to go anyway, listening to the calls of my dear Italy and my dear Sangiovese. On the whole, it became a rewarding trip, well-organized by the International Federation of Wine Journalists and Writers, with the help of Filippo Magnani, Tuscan oenophile looking like a rock star, master of happy gourmet tours ( I asked Andy de Brouwer, a Belgian sommelier, for advice as his country seems to rediscover the charms of the Sangiovese. The latter almost lost its top position at the end of the last century because of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot being very largely used – and with strong media attention- by promoters of a vogue for body builded wines that American critics have soon called 'Super Tuscan'.

Tenuta Greppo

Bureau chais Biondi Santi

"The tasting I remember the most is the one at Caparsa Wine Estate. Lost in the hills of Chianti with 12 hectares of vines, Paolo Cianferoni, a little environmentalist, is a Sangiovese purist. It's obvious in the « Doccio a Matteo » 2003; this year of heatwave had an influence on wines almost everywhere on the Continent. The Sangiovese planted in altitude brings the right sharpness to this wine of rich complexity, focused on gamy flavours. The fruit is ripe. You can feel the presence of little cherries from the North, drowned in brandy, like in my grand mother's time. Paolo told me that a Sangiovese of good provenance likes to be awaited: the tannins get softer and the natural acidity preserves the wine. To match this wine, a partridge in a vine leaf and its deglazing juice perfumed with some Cognac, wild bilberries and a Maréchale compote of thin apple slices". Let's not forget: a very good white wine 2008, half Trebbiano half Malvasia ( The other wines I noticed during this trip are the following:

- Rosso di Montalcino 2006 «La Caduta» et Brunello di Montalcino 2004 de Caparzo (

- Rosso di Montepulciano 2007 de Il Conventino (

- Brunello di Montalcino 2004 «Manachiara» de Silvio Nardi (, my favorite with an excellent value for money.

- Brunello di Montalcino 2004 «Annata» et 1983 « Riserva » de Tenuta Greppo (, the most expensive.

- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2006 de Il Greppo (

- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2006 de Avignonesi (

- Chianti Classico 2006 «Bellavista» de Castello di Ama (, the prettiest nose.

- Chianti Classico 2007 «Berardenga» et IGT Toscana 2005 «Fontalloro» de Félsina (

- Chianti Classico 2006 et IGT 2006 «Flacianello» de Fontodi (

- Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 de Tenuta la Novella (, property of a Frenchman advised by Stéphane Derenoncourt.

- Chianti Classico 2006 «Castello di Fonterutoli» de Mazzei (

- IGT Toscana 2005 Villa Antinori et 2006 «Tignanello» d’Antinori (

Michel Smith