by Fred McMillin
for February 24, 1997

From Tuscany with Love


    SANguis, Latin, "blood"

    JOVe, alias Jupiter, the CEO of the Roman gods

    Sangiovese, pronounced SAN-JOV-ay-seh, the blood of Jove

The Rest of the Story: About the time the Romans regarded Jove as ruler of all other gods and of all men, a grape of destiny was evolving in Tuscany near Florence. Today it's known as Sangiovese, the dominant grape of Italy's best-known wine, Chianti. Furthermore, this warm-climate varietal is being planted in California with considerable success. In fact, the grape is commanding higher prices ($1,300 per ton) than Merlot ($1,100) or Cabernet Sauvignon ($970). My Scott's-on-Lombard panel just tasted the Flora Springs 95 Sangiovese, and were impressed. It is not a purple powerhouse, but more user friendly.. more fruit than tannins, etc. As our history professor-panelist Henry Cohen put it, "By Jove, this is a good wine."

1995 Sangiovese, Napa Valley, CA
Flora Springs Winery
Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA
Contact—Julie Garvey, (707)963-5711

Recommended, particularly for beginners who are not ready for heavy reds.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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