Sangiovese Di Romagna Wine Guide
Sangiovese di Romagna is the wine that sums up the colors and flavors of this rich and hospitable land. Romagna is Sangiovese, Sanzve’s – in the Romagna dialect – and legend has it that the name Sangiovese comes from Monte Giove, near Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna, where the monks during the Middle Ages produced a red wine that bewitched even Pope Leo XII. Whatever the story, what interests us are the progress that Sangiovese is making, giant steps.
While as regards the basic Sangiovese we have a wide range of drinkable, fresh wines, with aromas of blackberries and violets, the most significant changes concern the Sangiovese Riserva. Producers let the land do the talking and the use of barriques is more aware and less invasive, not to mention that very suitable small crus are being consolidated, which confirm constant qualitative growth year after year. Valleys, inlets, small oases and hills wedged into the Apennines, where a warm microclimate, cooled by the Adriatic winds, and very special soils create excellent conditions.
Production areas of Sangiovese di Romagna
In the area of Imola and Dozza Sangiovese takes on connotations of freshness and flavor, with wines that are never too structured, but pleasant, drinkable, fine, with a rich savory outfit, thanks to mixed soils, with clays, sand and limestone. In the Faenza hills, especially in the Marzeno and Oriolo dei Fichi crus, the wines are refined, very balsamic, more floral than mineral, with an electrifying acid-peppery vein and plenty of blackberries and violets. In Brisighella we have very long-lived rocky wines, with exquisite herbaceous notes, fine, with aromas of blackberry, licorice and raspberries thanks to the presence of clays in the soil.
At Bertinoro the wines are full, warm, and savory, with a very dense aroma and flavors – cherry, blackberry – and beautiful silky tannins, thanks to a soil rich in marine fossils. In Predappio, a rather heavy clayey terroir offers amazing conditions for Sangiovese. Here, in the heart of the Apennines, it can express itself with wines of powerful structure, sumptuous aromas of fruit in alcohol and spices and an incredible vivacity.
And as you approach the coast you feel the influence of the sea: in the hills of Coriano the wine becomes more fleshy, the tannin is more lively, the fruit prevails and the flavor becomes marine, iodized, with capers, thyme and tomato, instead of graphite and flint.
What does Sangiovese di Romagna taste like?
Sangiovese is planted throughout Romagna, from Bologna to Rimini, so it takes on different flavors and aromas, however, the watchword is freshness and there is no lack of classic hints of blackberry, mulberry, cherries, violet, iris, rose, thyme, marjoram, undergrowth, humus. In Sangiovese Riserva the fruit is more concentrated, it appears in the form of jam, alongside delicious ethereal notes of lacquer and kirsch, with a “toasted” background due to aging in wood. Sangiovese di Romagna must contain 85% minimum Sangiovese; the Riserva requires two years of aging.
Sangiovese di Romagna food pairings
Sangiovese di Romagna is a convivial wine, the king of the table, thanks to an agile body and a freshness that allows it to range from meat to fish and vegetables. When young, its light fruit lends itself to grilled meat, grilled mutton, eggplant parmigiana and, to disprove the rule that it does not want red wine with fish, we can combine it with bluefish and tasty fish soups such as caciucco.
When you have to combine a Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva, take into account the powerful structure, the intensity of the fruit and the tannins, so choose fatty, rich and succulent dishes.
Excellent with aged cheeses, Milanese risotto with ossobuco, tagliolini with truffles, polenta with wild boar stew and a juicy Florentine steak. With tagliatelle alla Bolognese, it is a must.