italian wines, tuscan wines, maremma, by dan taylor
For this post, I’ve called on my friend and sommelier, Valentina Boschi, for guidance on the best wines in the Maremma wine region:

As far as Italian wines go, the Maremma has some of the best tasting and best value for money tipples out there.

In fact they’re so good, they’re giving the old Chianti and Pinot Noir a run for their money. Why? For starters, there is a fantastic variety in the flavour and strength of Maremman wines.

Your Morellino di Scansano, for example, is heavy and strong – a great one for wild game. While your Ansedonia is light and scented – perfect for fish dishes.

Maremman wines are also well priced and well made. The region has a wine making tradition that goes back thousands of years to the Etruscans, who learnt the tricks of the trade from the Ancient Greeks.

The land over here is fertile and rich and its winemakers are generations in the making. Organic and local are king. That’s why so many Maremman wines have I.G.T, D.O.C and D.O.C.G ratings.

Here’s Valentina’s guide to three of the best Maremman wines: 

1. Morellino di Scansano

I like to call this the ‘Rebel without a Cause’ wine because it has completely swept the poor, over-saturated Chianti out of the way with its bravado and celebrity attitude. It became a D.O.C.G in 2007 and is regarded as the perfect expression of the Tuscan Sangiovese grape.

The standard Morellino is an intense ruby red. Its perfume is straight and intense and its taste dry in the mouth with even tannins and a slight bitterness.

Every September the Morellino is given its dues at the Festa Dell’Uva in Scansano.

Try it with:

  • cinghiale (wild boar)
  • porchetta
  • salami
  • game birds
  • wild mushrooms

.

Label to buy:
Terenzi makes a great bottle of Morellino di Scansano for as little as €9

2. Bianco di Pitigliano

The Bianco di Pitigliano is the Maremma’s most famous white. The Trebbiano grape that is used is grown in Pitigliano, Manciano, Scansano and Sorano, and is beautifully delicate.

In 16th century, Pitigliano‘s vast Jewish community made this wine in tall wooden barrels and preserved them in the tufa rock caves around the city. Non-kosher versions of the Bianco di Pitigliano are still aged this way.

The Bianco di Pitigliano has a slightly fruity aroma with a dry, lively taste and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Every September, all the cantine (wine cellars) in Pitigliano open their doors for the Festa della Cantina.

Try it with:

  • seafood
  • fish
  • vegetable soups like Acquacotta Toscana
  • vegetable pies
  • soft cheeses

.

Label to buy:
Vini Montauto makes a great bottle of Bianco di Pitigliano for €10

sangiovese, italian wine, maremma, tuscany

3. Sangiovese della Maremma Toscana I.G.T

The Sangiovese is a dark-berry vine common to Italy. It grows particular well in Tuscany and is prized for its high acids, firm tannins and balanced nature.

Characteristically, it has varietal aromatics of cherries, forest fruits and spices, lifted by subtle aromatic herbs. It’s intense yet elegantly structured with a reprise of the fragrant fruitiness and balsamic notes.

In the rest of Tuscany, the Sangiovese is used in the Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the venerable Chianti.

It’s also the heart of the so called ‘Super Tuscan’ wines that are sweeping the market at the moment. A Super Tuscan wine simply means the winemakers have had more freedom to mix Italian native vines.

Try it with:

  • grilled red meats
  • cured salami and prosciutto
  • soft cheeses

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Label to buy:
Rocca di Montemassi make a very good Sangiovese della Maremma Toscana for about €11

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