The flavor profile of Sangiovese is fruity, with moderate to high natural acidity and generally a medium-body ranging from firm and elegant to assertive and robust and a finish that can tend towards bitterness. The aroma is generally not as assertive and easily identifiable as Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, but can have a strawberry, blueberry, faintly floral, violet or plummy character.
The most common (but not exclusive) smell and/or flavor elements found in Chianti-based wines include:
|Typical Sangiovese Smell and/or Flavor Descriptors|
|Varietal Aromas/Flavors||Processing Bouquets/ Flavors|
|Fruit: strawberry, blueberry, orange peel, plum||Oak (light): vanilla, sweet wood|
|Floral: violet||Oak (heavy): oak, smoke, toast, tar|
|Spice: cinnamon, clove, thyme|
Tasting Chianti—or any other kind of wine—involves more than just your sense of taste; it also involves sight, smell, and a certain kind of touch.
Hold your glass up to the light. Color can vary substantially, even within the same varietal.
Reds range in color from pale red to dark brown. White wines appear golden, sometimes with elegant green tints.
Swirl the wine in your glass; it will release a range of delightful aromas. Then take a quick whiff for an initial impression. Finally, smell more deeply and slowly. You might notice flowers or fruit, an earthy scent or an oaky aroma.
What aromas do you smell?
Take a sip of wine, and then let it rest in your mouth for a moment before swallowing. Now consider the taste. Do you taste fruits or spices? Does the taste go away quickly or linger? Is it tart or sweet?
Practice helps distinguish the different qualities of individual wines.
Take another sip of wine. Before swallowing, take in a little air. This will activate your senses further. Notice how the wine feels in your mouth. How does the touch affect your tongue and throat as you swallow? Was the feel of the wine lean or rich, velvety or smooth, silky or sticky?