Monday, October 1, 2012

Tasting Morellino di Scansano

 
I attended a Morellino di Scansano wine tasting and seminar hosted by the Texas Wine School along with members of the Consorzio for the region last Wednesday evening. Morellino is the name of the Sangiovese clone in this southern Tuscan appellation. This DOCG is set back from the coast in the hilly area of Maremma where the grapes achieve a high level of ripeness resulting in a rounder and sometimes more savory style of Sangiovese than in the big Tuscan appellations to the north. The wines of Scansanso can also be very fruity and easy drinking. This crowd pleasing quality means that much of it is consumed locally and not a huge amount has made it into the Houston market yet.
The wines must contain a minimum of 85% Sangiovese and is produced in three different styles: a fresh, fruity style that can be released March 1 after harvest, First Selection which has been elevated in wood for a minimum of 4 1/2 months and Riserva which has been aged for at least two years with a minimum of one of those years in wooden barrel. Most of the wines fall in the $15 to $20 price range.
We tasted seven different wines over the course of the evening and, to quote James King who taught the class, the common trait of the wines in the tasting was that "Each has character but without power and weight" making for some very drinkable wines.

Moris Farms: Morellino di Scansano 2011
(90% Sangiovese with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah) 13.5% abv
Young and fruity. Aromas and flavors of fresh black fruit- berries and cherries. Very simple yet balanced with medium- body, acidity, tannins and length.

Provveditore: Morellino di Scansano 2011
(100% Sangiovese) 14% abv
Still simple but more complex than the first. An interesting nose- iodine, forest floor and a savory note. Sour cherry flavor, medium body and silkier tannins, medium+ acidity with a longer length.

Fattoria le Pupille: Morellino di Scansano 2010
(85% Sangiovese with 15% Alicante & Malvasia Nera) 13.5% abv
Aromas and flavors of black plum and cinnamon with medium- body, medium+ acidity, ripe tannins and a medium+ length finish.

Massi di Mandorlaia: Morellino di Scansano "I Massi" 2010
(85% Sangiovese with 15% Alicante and Malvasia Nera) 14.5% abv
Aromas of wet stone, strawberry, cherry and violet. Red fruit flavor with medium+ body, grippy tannins, acidity and length. The first of the four where you sense longer oak aging.

Tenuta Pietramora di Collefagiano: Morellino di Scansano "Petramora" 2010
(85% Sangiovese with 15% Merlot) 14% abv
Aromas  and flavors of cured meat, smoke, oregano and a salty minerality with medium body, medium+ acidity, velvety tannins and a long herbal finish. This was my overall favorite.

La Selva: Morellino di Scansano "Colli dell'Uccellina" 2009
(85% Sangiovese with 15% Merlot) 14%abv
Aromas of dark berries and cherries and fennel. Flavors of plum, raspberry, licorice with medium+ body, smoother tannins and bordering on high acidity with a bit of a black pepper finish.

Massi di Mandorlaia: Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2008
(85% Sangiovese with 15% Alicante, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) 14.5% abv
Aromas of sage, leather, vanilla and cured meat with similar flavors with medium body, acidity, medium+ grippy tannins with a long meaty length.

Overall, I found each one to be interesting and drinkable and worth seeking out. Each would work well with Italian cured meats and cheeses, pizza and just about anything that you would serve with tomato sauce.

Related post at DoBianchi