The history of sangiovese is obviously the history of Tuscany, the iconic variety of my home region, but it also the grape that more than any other takes on different aspects according to where it is grown.
Precisely because of this characteristic, and in view of the choices I had, I began, in the early 1990s, to identify the various types of sangiovese that have always been cultivated here in San Miniato, evaluating each particularly on the basis of their viticultural performance rather than their winemaking potential. The goal was always the same, that my wines had to be the spontaneous, unforced, and natural outcome of efforts spent largely in the vineyard.
This was my first project, and it took some four years of work. At the end, I selected the two clones of sangiovese that I am still working with today, since they responded best to my desire to advance from producing straightforward wines to having in my hands a sangiovese capable of producing long-lived, complex wines.
I am not certain at this moment that I have obtained all that this grape is capable of giving in these terroirs, and I will probably never achieve that certainty, since one in this profession never finishes learning, but it is certain at least that sangiovese, here in San Miniato as well, has exhibited another of its many faces, yielding wines of extreme originality.
The decision to interpret the variety according to its natural bent has once more bought good results, and sangiovese in San Miniato has expressed itself with impressive balance, qualities gained directly from the grapes themselves and not from winemaking manipulation. But its characteristics are quite different, from a sensory point of view, compared to those that I have always considered the classic examples of Sangiovese in Tuscany, namely the great wines from the provinces of Florence and Siena.
The first obvious difference resides in the colour: thanks to this area’s clay-rich soils, all of the wines from this terroir display intense hues, even the Sangioveses that are notoriously light-coloured in other areas. The acid grip is quite intense as well, but this is taken for granted in a wine that must age long and well. The most significant difference, in my opinion, however, is in the nose and in the type of tannins, which are rich in all Tuscany Sangioveses.
The aromas that predominate in the young wines are those of fruit and roses, and change during each year that the wine ages, while the tannins are the smoothest and juiciest in all Tuscany.