Best Sangiovese Wine


Sangiovese is indigenous to Tuscany, where is makes Chianti, the flagship wine of the region. Sangiovese is also the primary grape in the wines Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. The quality ranges from ordinary table wine (vino di tavola) to the impressive classico superiore. Sangiovese represents 10% of Italy’s entire vineyard acreage, the most-planted grape in the country, with 247,000 acres.

This grape matures and ripens slowly, and has a thin skin therefore it thrives in warm, dry climates. Limestone soil tends to produce more robust aromas in the finished wine. Chianti was traditionally a blend of about 70% Sangiovese, 15% of the red grape Canaiolo, 15% of the white grape Trebbiano and sometimes a dash of the red grape Colorino. Today, producers must have a minimum of 90% Sangiovese in their Chianti with no more than 5% white grapes. The white grape Malvasia Toscana, better quality than the traditional Trebbiano, is now also permitted in the blend.

The Latin name for Sangiovese, Sanguis Jovis (San Gioveto), translates to “blood of Jove or Jupiter." The first written reference to the grape was in 1722.

My reviews of these Sangiovese red wines are updated weekly. These Sangiovese red wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Sangiovese wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Sangiovese in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.

Cesari Di Romagna Sangiovese  Riserva 2003
Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Vintages Wine Panel: A dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) is added to this wine to add fruit intensity without interfering with the aromatic nature of the Sangiovese. The palate shows black fruits and violets. My note: This is a gorgeous wine with mouthwatering ripe red fruit aromas. Full-bodied with round, plush flavors. Sangiovese Riserva food pairings: roasted red meat, aged cheeses. Alcohol: 12%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $19.95 Score: 90/100

This Sangiovese Riserva was reviewed July 21, 2007 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 33399  Check Stock

Sportoletti  Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
D.O.C., Umbria, Italy
A terrific price for this Italian beauty. A kiss of sun-ripened cherry fruit wrapped in a smoky, dried herb blanket. Mouth-watering acidity makes it especially food friendly. This wine will have you sitting in a sunny piazza, enjoying the afternoon calm. This wine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hard cheeses, cold meats, roasted turkey with gravy, ostrich, roast veal, baked eggplant. Alcohol: 13%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2008‐2012  Price: $21.95 Score: 91/100

This Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed March 28, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 926857  Check Stock

Luce Della Luce Della Vite La Vite Lucente Merlot Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
I.G.T., Toscana, Tuscany, Estate Btld., Italy
Lavish notes of black raspberry, strawberry and cranberry on the nose, with a spicy, smoky cigar box suffusion on the finish. This full-bodied wine is silky and beautifully layered. It is a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: meatloaf, gourmet hamburgers, brillat savarin cheese, marinated chicken on grill, dark chcolate. Alcohol: 13%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2010‐2020  Price: $39.95 Score: 92/100

This Merlot Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed March 28, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 747030  55 in stock

Riscali Brolio Sangiovese Classico 2006
D.O.C. Chianti, Italy
Big oak on the nose but it's attractively mingling with the black fruit and it has more of a smoky warm aroma to it. This full-bodied, rich red would be perfect with many robust meat dishes. Violets, dark spices, black cherries, oak. Long, lovely finish. This winery sits on the border between the ancient cities of Florence and Siena in the heart of Tuscany. The family making this wine has owned the winery since 1141. Sangiovese Classico food pairings: grilled cheese sandwich, Mexican dishes, pasta bolognese, olive tapenade, breaded veal cutlets. Alcohol: 14%  750 ml  Price: $23.95 Score: 90/100

This Sangiovese Classico was reviewed March 24, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 3962  1 in stock
BC: 3962  754 in stock

Limited Edition Sangiovese 2006
Mendoza, Argentina
Evocative of a field of wild raspberries with other dark fruits. Dark chocolate infused finish. Made from grapes grown on 75-year-old vines. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $15.00 Score: 91/100

This Sangiovese was reviewed June 12, 2009 by Natalie MacLean


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Until the 1980s, Chianti was bottled in squat oval straw-covered fiasci. It was viewed a modest bistro wine rather than one for collectors. Then winemakers started experimenting with premium blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, creating what is now known as Supertuscans. These wines were not permitted the D.O.C. quality designation because they used grapes not permitted by law. However, the wines started commanding prices much higher than the traditional wines and eventually one of the most famous, Sassacia, was granted its own D.O.C. status. However, even today, it can produce cheap, thin wines or remarkably complex and concentrated reds.

In the late 1800s, Italian immigrants planted Sangiovese in California. (I profile the Serghesio family believed to have first planted these vines in my book Red, White and Drunk All Over.) Sangiovese-based wines have never succeeded in New World regions as well as have other transplanted European varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah/Shiraz.

Sangiovese’s signature aromas include black cherries, raspberries, blueberries, violets, black plums, prunes clove, thyme, anise and if oaked, smoke, tar and vanilla. The wine has a medium- to full-body, a supple texture and a pleasant bitter-tinged finish. It also has pronounced acidity, which makes it especially companionable to many Italian dishes with tomato sauce.

Drink Sangiovese with cheese, turkey, pasta, salami Toscana, light-fleshed fish (sole), veal, spicy sausage, pizza and truffles.