This week’s indigenous variety hails from Tuscany, particularly the area around Grosseto and Pisa and is called Mazzese Nero. It is a red grape that is used in blends that make up the DOCs Montescudaio, Chianti Colline Pisane and Colli dell’Etruria Centrale. It is not generally seen as a mono-varietal wine or in “purezza” which is what the Italians say when one grape variety is made into a wine. I had never heard of this variety until writing this post. Apparently it brings fruit aromas of cherries to the blend and doesn’t bring a lot of color. It is a fertile variety and produces consistently. I found that it is used by Agricola San Felice, a forward thinking winery, in their Chianti Classico Gran Selezione alongside other ancient Tuscany varieties such as Abrusco, Pugnitello, Malvasia Nera and Ciliegiolo.
I love learning about new varieties in general and about new Tuscan ones in particular. My first years in Italy where all in Tuscany and I feel a particular affinity to that blessed part of the country and all that it has to offer. For example, the lovely picture above of an altar by Andrea Pisano. I love Italy not just for it’s amazing food & wines but for its art, language, literature, landscapes, mountains, seas, rivers, history and people. Art is what brought me there in the first place and from now on will be a part of this blog.