San Valentino

If you put a pin in the map two kilometres north of San Marino (the world's smallest republic) it would probably land on San Valentino. And while tax havens are all very well, it's the constant breeze off the sea that makes more difference to the wines here. With no rot to worry about Roberto Mascarin can afford to pick late, relying on the chill of the nights to retain acidity. (Once the sun goes down you're into a jumper before you can say 'brrr'!) Viticulture is meticulous (a sort of 'bio-lite', using the biodynamic calendar but no animal products) and winemaking ultra-modern: small stainless-steel tanks allow fermentation plot by plot. The Sangiovese di Romagna Bacaia really delivers in terms of fresh, Juicy, dark-fruited flavour. It's one of the best value wines on our list.

 

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