The wines of Tuscany far exceed the tomato sauce-loving wines of Chianti. Throughout the region Sangiovese takes on aspects of the terrain, capturing the influence of the sea or the earthiness of rocky rolling hillsides.
Polizano Lohsa Morellino di Scansano ($20) hails from Maremma area of coastal Tuscany. Sangiovese, or Morellino as it is known locally, enjoys the maritime influence of the sea, bringing briny minerality to the powerful wine. Blending 85% Sangiovese with 15% Ciliegiolo, the wine opens with smoky, dried tobacco and ripe cherry aromas.
The Ciliegiolo variety was almost an extinct grape, but in the last 20 years, it has seen a revival in Tuscany and Umbria, giving freshness and approachability to the blend. In years past the approachability of the wine was immediately enjoyed, delivering ripe red berry and cherry flavors, melding with woody herb, toasted hazelnut, and a touch of chocolate. Those flavors did present themselves in the current vintage, it just took a bit of time in the glass for the wine to open revealing the earthy beauty of Old World wine.