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Sangiovese - Seghesio Winery from the
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Tignanello Estate
You can find this exact wine at Appellation Wines on Dalry Road in Edinburgh for £30 per bottle
Sandy Ramsay, W’est Solutions

March 2011 


This month's article was prompted by a conversation I had with one of Edinburgh's top sommeliers. When he asked me what was my favourite Italian varietal I replied, Sangiovese and he responded “rather common isn't it?"

“Perhaps" I replied diplomatically, “but when grown in different regions and if it responds well to climate, soil and the winemaker's techniques, the result is usually quite unique." 

Thus Sangiovese is a little like Pinot Noir. Tricky but can be exceptional.


It is known by many different names such as Brunello, Prugnolo, Morellino, Gentile, and Nielluccio. It is the only varietal allowed in Brunello di Montalcino and is the base varietal in all Chianti wines. My love for it comes from the 'Super Tuscan' wine Tignanello made by Antinori.


Sangiovese is widely planted in Umbria, Lazio and Marche but can be found in the far reaches of the north and south of Italy. Traditionally it is a slow and late ripening and can be harvested as late as October. The richness and longevity in hot years is a bonus as Super Tuscans are based on this type of harvest. A cool, slow ripening autumn can lead to high acidity and hard tannins.


A Sangiovese to be reckoned with is that from the Seghesio Winery from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma, California. This winery imported the varietal in 1910. Edoardo Seghesio immigrated from Piemonte, Italy in 1886 and worked in the wine business over 16 years before he made his first wine, Zinfandel, in 1902.


The Sangiovese from Seghesio exhibits hints of dark fruit, spice, and anise on the nose. On the palate this wine is incredibly complex, deep in blueberries and cherries, and structured with the right amount of acidity and ripe tannins.


You can find this exact wine at Appellation Wines on Dalry Road in Edinburgh for £30 per bottle; something special to add to your cellar or a little treat with your next barbecued meat dish. I hope it too becomes a favourite wine for you.




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