The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2011

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Page 79 of 124

ITALY Where Sangiovese Is Sangiovese LABELS FROM EMILIA-ROMAGNA MAKE VARIETAL SELECTION EASY by Becky Sue Epstein Sangiovese is considered indigenous to Emilia-Romagna. B oth on- and off-premise, customers are asking for Sangiovese. Many U.S. consumers are unaware this grape is the major component of the famed Tuscan wines of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, but this gives Emilia-Romagna a marketing advantage over neighboring Tuscany: Its Sangiovese wines are varietally labeled with the name of the grape right on the bottle. Sangiovese is considered indigenous to Emilia-Romagna, hav- ing been cultivated here for at least 500 years. It grows mainly in Romagna, in an area that rises gently in a northwesterly direction from near the Adriatic toward Bologna, reaching an altitude of about 1,500 feet inland. Sangiovese wines made here are very approachable, and drink well in only a few years—though many will age well for a few decades. Sangiovese di Romagna has been a DOC since 1967; this wine must be at least 85% Sangiovese. From the finest vineyards, wine classified Superiore can be released in the spring following harvest, while the Riserva wines need only two years of aging before release. The first “modern” producers established their wineries here in the 1980s, so many winemakers have had their updated vineyards and wineries for ten, 20, 30 years—long enough to get to know the grapes and what types of wines they are capable of. Offering distributors and the public tastes of Emilia- Romagna’s wines, the 6th annual “Vini ad Arte” exhibition was held in Faenza in February, sponsored this year by several organizations, including Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna and Consorzio Vini di Romagna, as well as the founding Convito di Romagna, a consortium whose eight member wineries—Calonga, Drei Donà/Tenuta La Palazza, Fattoria Zerbina, Stefano Ferucci, Poderi Morini, San Patrignano, San Valentino and Tre Monti—are all worth getting to know. april 201 1 / the tasting panel / 77 PHOTO COURTESY OF ENOTECA REGIONALE EMILIA ROMAGNA

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