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Fancy Friday: Sangiovese vs. Sangiovese Grosso

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

sangiovese grapes

Sangiovese and Sangiovese Grosso are two varieties of the same grape, and while they share similarities, they also have distinct characteristics. The primary difference lies in their clones and the resulting wines they produce.

Here's a breakdown of the differences between Sangiovese and Sangiovese Grosso:

Clones and Size of Berries:

Sangiovese: This is the primary grape variety, known for its medium-sized berries. It is the most widely planted red grape variety in Italy and forms the backbone of many famous Italian wines, including Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.

Sangiovese Grosso: This is a specific clone of Sangiovese. The term "Grosso" means large in Italian, and Sangiovese Grosso is characterized by larger berries compared to the standard Sangiovese. The clone is also known as Brunello, named after the famous wine Brunello di Montalcino.

Geographical Origin:

Sangiovese: It is planted throughout Italy and has different clones and variations depending on the region.

Sangiovese Grosso: This clone is particularly associated with the region of Montalcino in Tuscany, where it is the primary grape used in the production of Brunello di Montalcino.

Wine Characteristics:

Sangiovese: Wines made from Sangiovese are often characterized by bright acidity, moderate tannins, and flavors of red cherry, plum, and herbal notes. The style can vary depending on the winemaking techniques and the region.

Sangiovese Grosso: Wines made from Sangiovese Grosso, especially in the context of Brunello di Montalcino, are known for their full body, high tannins, and complex flavors that can include dark cherry, earth, and sometimes floral and spicy notes. Brunello di Montalcino wines are also known for their ability to age and develop complexity over time.

Aging Potential:

Sangiovese: Many Sangiovese wines are intended for relatively early consumption, but some premium examples can also age gracefully.

Sangiovese Grosso: Wines made from Sangiovese Grosso, particularly the renowned Brunello di Montalcino, are often prized for their aging potential. These wines can benefit from extended aging in the bottle, evolving and developing additional complexity over the years.

In summary, Sangiovese Grosso is a specific clone of the Sangiovese grape, known for its larger berries. It is closely associated with the production of the esteemed Brunello di Montalcino wines in Tuscany. While both varieties share common characteristics, Sangiovese Grosso tends to produce wines with greater structure, depth, and aging potential.

Check out these Brunello's for a tasting adventure to bring Fancy Friday: Sangiovese vs. Sangiovese Grosso full circle.

San Polo 2017 Vignavecchia made only in select vintages and is made from the estate’s smallest and most prized cru, reveals aromas of violet, earthy forest, and leather. The palate offers steeped prune, dark berries, licorice, and espresso with inviting tannins giving this wine a well-balanced silky finish. Retail $350

San Polo 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Reserva DOCG lush and fruity, featuring plum, cherry, strawberry and iron aromas and flavors. Bright acidity and dense tannins form the structure as this plays out on the long finish. Retail $220

San Polo Brunello di Montalcino Podernovi, San Polo’s new single vineyard Brunello shows a very earthy side that evokes savory spice, smoke and gamey aromas. The core of this organic wine is colored by black fruit and baked plum, but the wine is primarily driven by the aromas it has picked up during oak and bottle aging. Retail $140


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