This is the first time I’ve ordered from Laithwaites and I’ll definitely be going back for more. Out of the eight bottles that arrived yesterday, I couldn’t resist getting into this one first as it impressed me at one of Decanter’s Italian Wine Encounters, plus – apart from Lambrusco – I’ve not yet had the pleasure of sampling any exciting wine from one of Italy’s most renowned gastronomic hotspots: Emilia Romagna. This vast and mainly flat agricultural region is towards the northern end of central Italy – north east from Tuscany and Chianti. The better wine tends to come from slopes towards the eastern end of the region.
So why the excitement over this wine? It’s a full flavoured (but not particularly full bodied) concentrated Sangiovese with that trademark high acidity but manages to be soft and juicy at the same time thanks to its gentle tannins and ripe red fruit flavours. On the nose, it smells of candied red berries, then in the mouth it opens up into an array of redcurrants, red cherries and perfumed blackberries. There’s definitely a hint of violets in there as well as a smudges of vanilla and mocha, which contrasts well with the tangy red fruit.
Food wise, Sangiovese is often classically paired with tomato based Italian dishes because of its high acidity. With this aged Riserva, which is more complex than basic Sangiovese, it deserves something with a number of flavours going on, such as Tomato, Basil & Red Onion Tart.
At a glance
- Style? Medium to full bodied red wine
- Where is it from? Emilia Romagna, Italy
- What’s the grape? Sangiovese (Romagna Sangiovese)
- Tastes of? Candied red berries, violets and vanilla
- What food would complement it? Italian food – pasta, pizza, anything incorporating tomatoes