From the innovators at Castello Romitorio (makers of another of our featured wines, "IL TORO") comes this modern take on the rustic coastal Tuscan winescape. The Maremma coastal region is well known for its sunshine, beaches, verdant Mediterranean hills, and of course its "Super-Tuscan" wines featuring French grape varieties. The native Sangiovese, though, has been growing for at least a few hundred years around the inland town of Scansano. Just like the other Sangiovese hotspots, it goes by its own local name, which in these parts is Morellino ('little dark berry"). It's here that the Romitoro folks set up their second winery, Ghiaccio Forte (ghee-AH-choh FOR-tay). Wines going by the name Morellino di Scansano are made with at least 85% Sangiovese, and Ghiaccio Forte makes full use of this flexibility, partnering it with Syrah.
Scansano wines are known for being particularly "rustic" in style, though this one from Ghiaccio Forte has its edges softened a bit by that dollop of ripe, round Syrah. The mellow perfume combines the savory, violet, and dark-berry accents of Syrah with the sour cherry, plum, and dried herb character of Sangiovese, and very subtle coffee and woody notes from well-seasoned oak. The wine fleshes out with air, balancing the mouth-filling, chalky tannin with a plump, full-bodied "vinosity" that grows with time in the glass. The character of the nose carries into the mouth, with a mouth-filling combination of ripe fruits, dried herb, and licorice root, which are given more life by the brightness that Sangiovese is known for. Those qualities, along with the grippy finish from ripe tannins make this a great match for Italian-style pizza and rustic pasta sauces, especially with sausage!
"The name [Ghiaccio Forte] derives from an ancient Etruscan settlement five minutes from the cellar and translates to mean 'strong ice', a term probably deriving from the fact that nearby caves were filled with packed snow and used as ancient refrigerators in the summer months."
85% Sangiovese, 15% Syrah