The great grape of Italy. Found throughout the country, especially in the central regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Montepulciano. Sangiovese has many synonyms including Sangiovese Grosso, Brunello, Morellino and Prugnolo Gentile. Sangiovese has an affinity for limestone soils, but it can also be found as the base of many an Italian wine such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Rosso Piceno and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. When yields are high the resulting wine is light and fruity with an element of earthiness. Cool and wet vintages can bring tough and tannic wines, while hot years can produce wines of considerable weight, power and finesse.
The best and most famous examples of Sangiovese can be traced to the town of Montalcino where Brunello di Montalcinos can be some of the finest and most long-lived red wines on the planet. Other fine examples hail from Montepulciano, Chianti Classico and Maremma. When blended with international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Sangiovese has created a niche as part of the wines called "Supertuscans." During the 1990s there was an increase in the amount of Sangiovese produced in California, with varied success.