Sangiovese (san-jo-veh-zeh) is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove". Known throughout most of central Italy, outside Italy it is most famous as the main component of the blend Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano, although it can also be used to make varietal wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna, as well as modern "Super Tuscan" wines like Tignanello. Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavours of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavors when aged in barrels.
Sangiovese is becoming increasingly popular as a red wine grape here in Australia, having been introduced by the CSIRO in the late 1960s. This is part of a growing trend in Australia to use a wider range of grape varieties for winemaking. As in California, Australian winemakers have begun seeking out the best vineyard location for the grape and being more selective in which clones are planted. Some regions that have shown promise for the grape include the Karridale and Margaret River areas of Western Australia; Langhorne Creek, Strathalbyn and Port Lincoln in South Australia; Canberra and Young in New South Wales; Stanthorpe in Queensland and the western edge of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria.
Some wineries also use Sangiovese to make rosé wines. 2006 was the first year that an Australian wine maker made a dessert style Sangiovese. Called the "Dolce Nero" (sweet black - not to be confused with the synonym for Dolcetto or Douce Noir) this new style is made by Hamiltons Bluff wines in Canowindra NSW.