Tuscany offers us a virtually inexhaustible range of extraordinary wines. The next we will discuss is the Morellino di Scansano DOCG Sangiovese-based red wine, which has not yet received the recognition it deserves. However, though this excellent wine lives in the shadow of some world famous Tuscan neighbours – Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino – it is beginning to gain more and more fans worldwide.
The Morellino di Scansano wine region is located around the medieval village and commune of Scansano, which covers a 25 km square area in the Province of Grosseto between the Ombrone and Albegna rivers.
The name Morellino comes from the local synonym for the favourite grape variety of Tuscany – the Sangiovese.
The viticulture of the Scansano region dates back to Etruscan times. The first document to mention the wine of Scansano dates back to the 12th century in which the high quality of the wine is praised.
The region has been producing excellent wine throughout the years, but it was virtually unknown until a few decades ago. Since 1970, when the Super Tuscan phenomenon appeared first in the Maremma region (Sassicaia, Ornellaia), the Morellino wines have received more attention. The growing popularity of the Super Tuscan wines has drawn more focus to other wines from the Maremma region, so demand for Morellino di Scansano wines increased significantly.
Official recognition came in 1978 when Morellino di Scansano gained DOC status and it achieved a promotion to DOCG recently in 2007.
According to the regulation of production of the Consorzio a Tutela del Vino Morellino di Scansano (Consortium for the conservation of the Morellino di Scansano), the grape used must be cultivated in the Province of Grosseto, between the Ombrone and Albegna rivers. The Morellino di Scansano wine must be made of at least 85% of local Sangiovese grape and it can comprise a maximum of 15% of other black grape varieties.
Morellino di Scansano doesn’t need to age in wooden casks and can be released in March immediately after harvest. The aging period of the Riserva is 2 years, and it has to age in oak for at least one of these years.
It is hard to define in general the flavour, aroma and structure of the Morellino di Scansano wines, as it greatly depends on the ageing and grape varieties used. Usually, the regular Morellino wines are fresh and fruity, while the Riserva wines are more full-bodied and richer.
The Morellino di Scansano is an excellent companion to the typical cuisine of Maremma, either as an appetiser or main course.
The best is to try it out yourself if you happen to be in the region. And please share your views on it with us!