Saturday, September 10, 2011

"The Finest Wines of Tuscany" - A Book by Nicolas Belfrage MW

After the producers in Moltalcino rejected the proposal this past Wednesday to change the "disciplinare di produzione" of their Rosso (see more here: Rosso di Montalcino shouldn't be blended with other grape varieties), I got inspired to talk more about Sangiovese... And couldn't find  a better for doing that than posting some excerpts from "The Finest Wines of Tuscany"
The book from Nicolas Belfrage MW


Here are a few quotes from the book:
  • A grape like Sangiovese will perform best where Mediterranean meets continental (climate)
  • Altitude is a great compensator for latitude. At a given latitude, you can have plantings from sea level than more than 3,300ft (1,000m) or anywhere in between. Sangiovese succeeds from around a minimum of 650ft (200m) up to around 2,300ft(700m)
  • Specifically with regard to Sangiovese, the ideal soil will be limestone-based, with a balanced content of clay and schist, perhaps a bit of sand (but not too much), and not too low a pH, so not too acidic. The most widespread soil type of central Tuscany is called galestro, a schistous, crumbly rock type containing elements of clay and marl.
  • The Maremma (the Tuscan Coast) enjoys remarkably mild winters compared with inland and has ever been compared weather-wise, with California, which is is much more south in latitude
  • Sangiovese is totally dominant in central Italy, being the amin grape in more than 25 DOCs of Tuscany, where it covers around 40,000ha (99,000 acres), or some two thirds of the total vineyard space
  • "The high fertility of Sangiovese cane's basal buds (those nearest the stem) offers multiple possibilities of choice regarding length of pruning and, consequently, forms of training." Professor Intrieri of the University of Bologna
  • Sangiovese ripens between the middle of September and the middle of October, depending on climate, clone, and other considerations.
  • Sangiovese is said to be quite adaptable to machine-harvesting thanks to the ease with which the berries become detached
  • The big difference between Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti or Vino Nobile is that Brunello, by law, is supposed to be 100 percent Sangiovese, so no blending is allowed at all
  • Brunello di Montalcino must be aged at least four years from January 1 following the vintage, two of which must be in barrel
You can buy the book here: The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy: A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers (Fine Wine Editions)

Long live Sangiovese in purezza!!!

Cheers,
LA

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