Chianti is the most popular Sangiovese wine. It’s grown in the hilly vineyards around the towns of Pisa, Florence, Sienna, and everything between. The wines are mostly Sangiovese but can have a splash of other grapes from Colorino and Canaiolo to the international varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The greatest Chianti comes from the Chianti Classico region; the wines are up there with the best in the world, but there’s well-priced Chianti made everywhere. Try the Chianti Classico “Lamole” from I Fabbri for a benchmark style. Brunello di Montalcino is a coveted wine made around the town of Montalcino. 100% Sangiovese, the wines are fuller and more age-worthy than the lively Chianti. Podere Fornacella is a well-respected producer with a hard-to-beat Brunello di Montalcino. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is another Sangiovese wine with an excellent reputation in Tuscany. Together with Chianti and Brunello forms the holy trinity of Tuscan red wines.
There’s no better way of ending a meal than with a glass of the sweet, historic Vin Santo. The amber-hued wine of luscious sweetness is made with Trebbiano and Malvasia white grapes, although other grapes are sometimes used, even Sangiovese. The grapes are picked and dried in straw mats to desiccate. The result is passified grapes of concentrated sweetness and acidity, perfect for making complex wines of all sweetness levels. Expect saffron aromas, dried fruit scents, a nutty character, and a caramel-like sweetness. Vin Santo is a pure delight. Find the Vin Santo del Chianti from Podere Gualandi to visit Tuscany without leaving home.