Tenuta Sassoregale Sangiovese Maremma Toscana DOC 2014

Gorgeous ruby red color with translucence; cherry, clove on the nose; tart cherry, oak, vanilla, balsamic notes on the palate.

Dry, medium-light body, light tannins, some acidity; tart cherry dominates. Some silkiness emerges after exposure to air—this is yet another red that cries out for decanting. Hints of roasted tomato and some red currant tang also emerge, especially on the finish, although those flavors run alongside the tart cherry that expresses itself from start to relatively quick finish. This wine celebrates the art of tart.

Maremma is a region of southern Tuscany that once was a very marshy area—the name is a variation of the Spanish word for marsh: marisma. Etruscans and then Romans were the first to drain the area for agriculture, then nature reclaimed, as it is inclined to do. Maremma is the wildest, hardest to harness agricultural area in Tuscany. The most recent taming try started in the 1930s. Similar to the Medoc in Bordeaux, which the Dutch drained in the 1600s, the land proved superb for winemaking once humans impose some of their will on the wildness. Maremma wines typically are floral and spicy with bright red fruits—this is an example.

Sassoregal is in the heart of the Maremma region. It was purchased in 2002 by Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo, a major forward-thinking Italian wine company. The vineyards overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea, which delivers constant breezes and leavens temperatures; the region also is notable for clearness of sky and brightness of sun. Grapes love this. Additionally, Tenuta Sassoregale is well into a program of converting to organic cultivation.

Tenuta Sassoregale celebrates tart cherry flavors and begs for decanting, which will bring your palate rewards in layers of depth, especially if you enjoy a touch of tartness even after the air. Tart cherry is not a bad thing. If you are not familiar with this wine characteristic, give this a try and don’t flee after the first sips, it will grow on you. By the end of the bottle, you likely will want more. At its price, it surely is worth a whirl to expand your wine whirl world. $15-18

Tenuta Sassoregal website

Other photos: Tenuta Sassoregale vineyard in Maremma; Sangiovese grapes in the Sassoregale vineyard