Mammolo is a native Tuscan red grape first mentioned by Soderini in the early 17th-century (Nicolas Belfrage, 2003, p.179). It is found mainly in Tuscany today, where it is used a blending partner in a number of Sangiovese-based wines. In particular, Mammolo has traditionally been a component of the blend in some Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG and Rosso di Montepulciano DOC wines, although it is not required and therefore is not always included. Belfrage (2003, p.179) adds that Mammolo is ‘occasionally used in a very small proportion in certain Sangiovese-based blends in Tuscany, especially in the provinces of Lucca and Florence, to lift the wines’ perfume-Sangiovese not being particularly noted for its primary aromas.’

Viticulture | Maurizio Castelli (Enogea) describes Mammolo as being a potentially generous yielder.

Biotypes | Mammolo has several biotypes or perhaps even distinct varieties, but they are not segregated in the vineyards. Mammolo may also be an ancestor of Ciliegiolo and Sangiovese

Mammolo is also found on the French island of Corsica where it is called Sciacarello.

Wine style | Mammolo gives elegant base wines (Castelli). It is noted for imparting aromas of violets or ‘mammole‘ (‘mammoletta’ is Italian for  a shrinking violet). It also shows flavours of black cherry and raspberry. Its unstable anthocyanins result in light-colored wines and its tendency to oxidize has caused it to fall out of favour (in Montepulciano of Vino Nobile fame). Castello di Volpaia in Chianti Classico DOCG use of Mammolo in their Super-Tuscan ‘Coltassala’.

Bibliography

Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).

Ian D’Agata, Native wine grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014), p321-323.

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p111-112.

Maurizio Castelli, Enogea, ‘Maurizio Castelli, il sangiovese e il Chianti Classico. Intevista vintage,’ interview 21 January 2014 by Francesco Falcone for Enogea (enogea.it).

Nicolas Belfrage MW, From Brunello to Zibibbo–The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy (2nd edition, London, 2003).

Oxford Companion to Wine 4th edition ed. Jancis Robinson MW and Julia Harding MW (Oxford University Press, 2015).