Emilia-Romagna is not a wine producing region in Italy that is well known for turning out wines of quality but one producer believed in the area and founded his vineyards there over 40 years ago. Emilia-Romagna is not that far from Tuscany, situated to the north east of the area on the other side of the Appenines Mountains and also grows sangiovese like Tuscany but that is usually where the similarities end.
Umberto Cesari was not born into a wine family but he wanted to make wine and turned himself into a pioneer in the Emilia- Romagna region with sangiovese. He started out with 20 hectares and now has over 120 which are being used to grow sangiovese. It took many years for Cesari to reach his position in the area but his wines are now the benchmarks of what can be done with sangiovese in the region. He’s done such a good job of nurturing his vines and getting then to produce the best wine possible that his winery won the Trophy for Best Italian producer 2011 by the International Wine & Spirit Competition.
The 2008 Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva is a much darker beast then its Chianti cousin on other side of the mountains, much fuller bodied as well, it was a deep ruby red colour, an intense nose of cherry and violets. On the palate, it was much smoother then I had anticipated, the tannins flowing over my tongue and the acidity of the wine kicking in on the back half of the wine. Loads of cherry and red fruit on the palate, a great wine to have with food. We were having spaghetti with pancetta and tomatoes which it complemented very nicely.
But, you know what they say: Italian wine is made to go with Italian food.