From: Tuscany, Italy
Blend: Sangiovese, Alicante
Taste: A medley of fruit, baking spice and the terroir of Southern Tuscany equal a strong presence in the glass, offering up cherries, pomegranate, plum, spices, earth, savory herbs like thyme and marjoram, and florals like violet and peony. You’ll taste the wine's minerality from the Maremman soils, refreshing acidity, and a slightly rounded structure with an oceanic, saline-tinged finish. Generally, Morellino di Scansano is also less tannic than other Tuscan wines, with a more moderate body. You might even say that it has a more rustic profile, which may be due to the integral role it has played in the local cuisine. The cultura contadina, found throughout the Maremma region, has long meant nourishing, hearty food and grape vines that could thrive close to home.
Pairing: When it comes to food pairings, Morellino di Scansano harmonizes with the regional dishes of Maremma, such as acquacotta, a hearty vegetable soup, scottiglia di cinghiale, a wild boar stew, and maiale ubriaco, pork chops slow-cooked in red wine. Additionally, this versatile wine complements pasta, lamb, mushrooms, dried meats like salami, pulled pork, various types of bread, and hard cheeses like pecorino or Parmigiano. Pairing this wine with this American version of their regional classic maiale ubriaco is worth the effort in the cooling weather. We also suggest swapping the pinot noir with a Sangiovese to create a slightly more robust flavor profile fitting the regionality and spirit of Tuscan cooking.
Braised Pork With Red Wine
By Mark Bittman
About. In the heart of Tuscany, where rolling vineyards meet picturesque landscapes, lies the story of a winemaker deeply rooted in the region's winemaking history. Antonio Sanguineti, the man behind the 2021 Antonio Sanguineti Morellino Di Scansano, has carved his path through the world of wine, drawing inspiration from the legends of Italian enology.
Sanguineti's journey began at the age of sixteen on his family's farm near Siena, where he took his first steps into the world of winemaking. His passion for the craft eventually led him to work alongside some of the most influential figures in Italian winemaking, including Carlo Ferrini, Stefano Chioccioli, and Franco Bernabei. However, it was his association with the legendary Giulio Gambelli that left an indelible mark on his winemaking philosophy. Gambelli, renowned as the embodiment of Tuscany's winemaking heritage, mentored Antonio and shaped his approach to winemaking. Together, they perfected Chianti Classico during the 1970s and 1980s, reaping accolades and awards that underscored their mastery.
Yet, life took a twist for Antonio as disagreements within his family led to the sale of the Pagliarese estate in 1995. Despite losing the vineyard, Antonio's knowledge and passion for wine remained undiminished. He embraced a circuitous path, turning to consulting work and forming partnerships that eventually gave birth to the Antonio Sanguineti brand. Today, he collaborates with friends, producing exceptional wines that reflect the essence of Tuscany without the burden of estate ownership.
Among his creations is the 2021 Antonio Sanguineti Morellino Di Scansano, a wine that embodies the essence of its terroir and Antonio's winemaking finesse. This wine hails from the Morellino di Scansano DOCG, a region less known outside Tuscany. It emerges from the commune of Scansano, perched atop a hill in the coastal Maremma district, where viticulture has deep roots, dating back to Etruscan times.
Morellino di Scansano stands out with its dark ruby hue, offering aromatic notes that are both savory and herbal. This wine embraces a fruit-forward style compared to its Tuscan counterparts, thanks to the local Morellino clone of Sangiovese (as you can glean from the name, this version of Sangiovese embraces cherry, Morello cherry, more than most). This clone imparts a denser fruit profile characterized by Morello cherry, wild berry, and pomegranate notes, coupled with gentle, sweet tannins. Surprisingly, this DOCG does not require oak aging, though it does mandate a minimum alcohol content of 12.5%, a distinguishing feature among Sangiovese-based wines.
The blend of Morellino di Scansano must comprise at least 85% Sangiovese, with the remaining 15% allowing for Italian staples like Canaiolo, Malvasia, and Ciliegiolo, as well as a touch of international varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Proximity to the coast ensures constant sea breezes, moderating the warmth of the region's southern latitude. The former marshland soils of Scansano offer a nuanced balance of calcareous marine sediment, contributing to the wine's acidity. Additionally, the volcanic topsoil in some hillside areas imparts a distinctive minerality to the wine.
While Tuscany is often associated with northern wines like Chianti and Bolgheri, Morellino di Scansano represents the hidden gem of the southern region. Scansano's charming medieval origins and its surrounding countryside, with vineyards, rolling hills, and hilltop villages, offer a tranquil setting away from the tourist crowds. Maremma's landscape transitions from coastal blue waters along the Tyrrhenian Sea to inland forests and vineyards, with protected natural areas adding to its allure.
The region benefits from a harmonious blend of sea breezes and warm sunshine, fostering ideal conditions for grape ripening. The rich soil, with its marine sediment and volcanic influences, imparts a distinctive character to the wines. Notably, the diurnal temperature variations, with warm days and cool nights, contribute to the desired acidity in Morellino di Scansano.
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