Sangiovese grapes are common in the Tuscany, are the most planted red grape variety in Italy, and are popular for the production of Chianti wines. Sangiovese flavors and aromas are strong in fruit, especially tart cherries, with floral notes.
Other characteristics of wines made from Sangiovese grapes include firm tannins and high acidity. The exact flavors and aromas of any particular Sangiovese wine depends heavily on where the grapes are grown and how the wine maker creates the wine.
Sangiovese literally means "blood of Jove" and this was one reason why many have believed that Sangiovese grapes are among the earliest cultivated by the Romans — and perhaps were even cultivated by the Etruscans. Modern DNA research has found that Sangiovese grapes are a cross between Ciliegiolo grapes from Tuscany and Calabrese Montenuvo grapes from southern Italy. Today Sangiovese grapes are used to produce a variety of wines throughout Italy.
Sangiovese Grapes & Chianti Wine
The name Sangiovese is unfamiliar to most Americans despite how common the grape variety is in Italy, but that doesn't mean that wines made from Sangiovese grapes are uncommon or unfamiliar — it's just that the wines aren't prominently marked "Sangiovese." In fact there are lots of Sangiovese wines available, more than ever before, with the most common being Chianti. Most Chiantis are made entirely from Sangiovese grapes, so a good Chianti will provide a good Sangiovese experience.