Friday, October 21, 2011

Read My Lips "MORELLINO di SCANSANO" --a Hidden and Affordable GEM from Tuscany by Philip S. Kampe

The UNIVERSE of the WINE WORLD never ceases to SUPRISE me. As a student of wine, I realize how little I really know about the micro-wine regions of the world.

Yes, we all know Tuscany--its beauty, its wines and the sheer Magic that "LIGHTS UP OUR EYES" when we say the word, 'TUSCANY'.

ROMANCE is involved.

When we think of wines from Tuscany, naturally we think of BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO, CHIANTI, VINO NOBILE di MONTEPULCIANO and VIN SANTO.

NEVER has MORELLINO di SCANSANO entered our consciousness. Maybe we are not aware because the region is Italy's newest DOCG (2007). Maybe because SCANSANO is located in southwest Tuscany, close to the ocean and far from the normal Tuscan tourist route.

Not all roads lead to SCANSANO.

A little history:
MORELLINO di SCANSANO is an Italian red wine made in the hilly village of SCANSANO, in the MAREMMA, which includes a part of the coast of southernwestern TUSCANY. MAREMMA has an ancient (1500's), but obscure, tradition of winemaking. MORELLINO is the 'local dialect' and name for the SANGIOVESE grape varietal. Many people think the name MORELLINO comes from "MORELLO" (brown), the color of MAREMMANO horses. The name may also come from the MORELLO cherry. It's origin is still being debated.

MORELLINO di SCANSANO was granted DOC status in 1978 and was upgraded to DOCG in 2007. The wine has been produced for several hundred years and was very popular in the 1800's. It fell out of fashion. Both CHIANTI and BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO surpassed MORELLIONO di SCANSANO.

Today, MORELLINO di SCANSANO is overshadowed by CHIANTI, BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO and VIN NOBILE di MONTEPULCIANO, thus making it a very AFFORDABLE wine. The wine is released very young and should be consumed within a couple of years of bottling, while the RESERVA can be cellared up to 15 years.

The wines must consist of a minimum of 85% SANGIOVESE grapes, blended with up to 15% of other varietals. The wines of MORELLIONO di SCANSANO have soft tannins followed by hints of licorice and cherry. In 1978 there were TEN wineries making MORELLINO di SCANSANO. Today, there are ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO vineyards, according to the BOOK released by the CONSORZIO TUTELA MORELLINO di SCANSANO.

MORELLINO di SCANSANO does not have to age in wood and can be released in March after harvest, meaning that it can be found on the shelf with less than eight months of life. The wines are fresh and crisp. Prices generally run from $10 to $15 a bottle.

MORELLINO di SCANSANO RESERVA can be released on the 1st of January, two years after harvest. Of the two years, one year must be spent on oak. These wines have richer acidity and higher tannins. Prices for this wonderful wine run from $30 to $40.

The wines from MORELLINO di SCANSANO are TRUE VALUE WINES and should be DISCOVERED by everyone who loves Italian wines. The QUALITY is high and the price is LOW.

Recently, I had the opportunity to dine with several producers from the region and they opened my eyes and palate up to wines that seem to have not gained the necessary recognition they deserve.
What I learned was that the MORELLINO di SCANSNO is an obvious option to purchase for a meal rather than a bottle of Chianti. It is fresh, ready to drink and a total food wine. Softer tannins and cherry on the palate create a wine that can handle both pasta and wild boar. It is a wine, due to the soft tannins, that makes you want more and more.
MORELLINO di SCANSANO RESERVA is an elegant wine with richer acidity,more pronounced tannins and a VALUE option to Brunello di MONTALCINO and VINO NOBILE di MONTEPULCIANO.

The producers that I recommend for MORELLINO di SCANSANO are:
AZIENDA BRUNI (Imported by VIAS Imports)
AZIENDA AGRICOLA FATTORIA Le POPILLE (Imported by Winebow)
FATTORIA MANTELLASSI (Imported by Nardone Wine)
FATTORIA SAN FELO (Imported by CV Tuscany Wine Imports)
TERRE di FIORI-TENUTE COSTE (Imported by Wine 4 All)
AZIENDA AGRICOLA BARONCINI BRUNA (Imported by Margate Wine & Spirits Company)
AZIENDA AGARIA SANTA LUCIA di SCOTTO LORENZO (Impoted by Old Bridge/Guido & Son)
PAOLVS MOLINO (Imported by The Wine Hub)

MORELLINO di SCANSANO is my new red wine of choice. Pretty strange, considering only a week ago, I knew very little about the wines!!

To learn more about MORELLINO di SCANSANO, visit: www.ConsorzioMorellino.it

To order a THE WINE HUB recommended MORELLINO di SCANSANO, visit: www.bit.ly/nmlNMO

PHILIP S. KAMPE
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com


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