92 Insider Points

REVIEWS

If You've Never Tried Ciliegiolo, Now's the Time to Jump In.

It's one hell of an interesting grape. Somewhat uncommon in the US market, I was pleased when one of my favorite suppliers dropped by with this in hand. The wine-geek in me became ever-excited to try, and my excitement was soon quenched by happy taste buds. 

Tobacco, cherry and cinnamon spice on the nose. Medium bodied, showing dried fennel, rosemary, cransauce, raw chocolate and black cherry. Good on its own, and even better I suspect with a nice dinner. 92 Points - JZ Oct '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Red Blend
  • APPELLATION
    Maremma Toscana, Italy
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Maremma arrived thanks to Super Tuscans like Le Pupille and Brancaia along with a host of additional, similarly schmancy reds made from Bordeaux grape varieties. The area’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea keeps this part of Tuscany cooler than interior sites, and the soil has proven ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other “international” grapes. Before the Cab craze hit Maremma, however, the region was already famous in a very small and local kind of way for its home-grown Ciliegiolo.

Think of this wine as a Tuscan Sangiovese with more charm, less tannin and a boisterous, boysenberry-like fruit along with the variety’s namesake cherry character. From a unanimously successful vintage in Tuscany, this 2015 Ciliegiolo Maremma Toscana is meant to drink down now with unadulterated foods like salumi and fresh cheeses.

·    A relative of Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo is a significant grape variety planted throughout Tuscany. Ciliegiolo’s name comes from its cherry-like flavors—ciliegia is Italian for cherry.

·    Maremma is Tuscany’s answer to Bordeaux. Like Bordeaux, Maremma sits close to the coast and is influenced by coastal weather patterns. Maremma’s soil is also similar to the terroir seen throughout much of St. Emilion and Pomerol.

·    Morellino di Scansano is the name of the winery as well as the name of one of Tuscany’s great, under-the-radar wines: Morellino di Scansano DOCG.

·    The Cantina is a long-running cooperative (established in 1972), which includes 160 quality-focused grape farmers

TASTING NOTES 

A dry and easy drinking wine with soft cherry fruit flavors and subtle spices. Lighter tanins make for a juicy finish. 

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

Winery Cooperative Vignaioli of Morellino di Scansano, founded in 1972, is today formed by 160 members whose vineyards spread over the hills surrounding the village of Scansano, in the province of Grosseto, covering a total of about 600 hectares. The vast range is concentrated mostly on the main protagonist of the area, namely Morellino di Scansano, which is available in many different ways, demonstrating the versatility of this wine by which Maremma Tuscany is defined: from the Sicomoro selection, passing through Roggiano Riserva and Vignabenefizio, just to name a few, but in fact offering a much wider range of products, suitable for every palate and occasion. Cantina di Vignaioli del Morellino di Scansano has been based on the direct participation of its members, sharing the common objective of having excellent wines and arriving at the table of our clients. .

PERFECT PAIRINGS

We suggest trying this with a baked lasagna or a lighter meat dish.