The name Morellino is quite contested by those in the wine world. Some say it comes from a traditional dialect word used to describe the best horse in the pack – the “Morello” or “Morellino”.
Others think the name is linked to the Italian word for dark – moro. In this case, it could refer to the dark colour of the Sangiovese grape, a bit like the name “Brunello” stems from the brown colour of the Sangiovese Grosso.
To those in the know, this wine is defined as an excellent expression of the Sangiovese, the principal red grape of the Tuscan region, which grows exceedingly well in this territory.
The favourable pedoclimatic conditions of the area, characterized by warm days, cooled by marine breezes at night, are what gives the Morellino it’s extraordinary characteristics of softness and noble tannins.
The Disciplinary of the DOC has authorized the production of two types of this wine: the Morellino di Scansano and Morellino di Scansano Reserve. It even has it’s very own festival called the Festa del’Uva. It’s held in Scansano in September and is definitely worth a look, even if you don’t drink!
MORELLINO DI SCANSANO:
Primarily made up of Sangiovese (85% minimum) which is then mixed with other black berry varietals. These varietals are non-aromatic and have to have approved cultivation methods
Visual characteristics: An intense red ruby colouring, fairly concentrated with a tendency to garnet as it ages
Olfactory characteristics: its perfume is straight, intense, fruity with a gradual herby aroma, of discreet complexity, but extremely refined
Taste characteristics: In the mouth it’s dry, quite warm, evenly tannic with a final note of slight bitterness. The minimum alcohol graduation is 11.5°
Food pairing: A wine for every meal, especially if served with dishes from its place of origin. It’s perfect for dishes of medium structure, such as ragú, stews or meats roasted on embers
MORELLINO DI SCANSANO RESERVE:
To be sold as a reserve, the Morellino needs to undergo a refinement of two years in which it is held preferably in an oak barrel.
Visual characteristics: A dark red colour with garnet reflections
Olfactory characteristics: Intense, persistent, recalling red and black berried fruits, such as dry prune. With prolonged refinement in the barrel, spicy perfumes of cinnamon and vanilla tend to emerge
Taste characteristics: Dry, very warm and has a good body. The tannic results in a pleasant softness and velvety texture, complete with a long taste-olfactory persistence. The minimum alcohol graduation is 12°
Food pairing: Perfect with well structured dishes like pappardelle with ragú of wild boar, game in general, fegatelli (pork liver) and stracotto (Italian pot roast)
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