SPONSORED BY Consorzio Morellino di Scansano
Morellino di Scansano when the quality is natural
In southern Maremma, the coastal region of Morellino di Scansano finally received DOCG status in 2006. The wines are based on a minimum 85% Sangiovese. For the remaining 15%, Alicante, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo, Montepulciano, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are permitted as blending grapes.
The legend goes that the wine gets its name from the “morelli” horses that were used to bring carriages of officials to and from Scansano in the 1700s. Perhaps it was their impressive power or rusty red color that created the connection, either way, the name stuck.
In recent years the region has benefited from their neighbor, Bolgheri, a rising star in Tuscany. As a result, a lot of outside investment has been poured into the area. Research in vineyard sites and management has improved the quality of the grapes. Attention to detail in the cellar has also improved vinification and the wines are more polished than they have been in the past.
The climate is perfectly suited to grape-growing. Cool sea-breezes mitigate the heat during scorching summer days. There is never a lack of sunshine during the growing season. Perhaps the most notable qualitative climatic influence is the large diurnal temperature swing. Temperatures are drastically lower at night in the autumn and summer. This is key in maintaining good levels of acidity in the grapes.
With a deep ruby color, Morellino di Scansano wines are dry and full in body. These are the lighter and ‘fresher’ cousins of Brunello. With notes of dried plums, cherries and potpourri, they are charming and rustic in style. Keep an eye on these wines, as they carry much potential.