Benvenuto Vino Nobile: A Shift in Direction?

Anteprima Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

Anteprima Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

This year the producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano presented the 2010 vintage, together with Riserve from 2009 and a few older riserve and vineyard selections. To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting that much when I sat down in the tasting room in Montepulciano’s Fortezza, because in past vintages it has been the weakest of the three appellations participating in the week of Tuscan Anteprime.

This year was instead a pleasant surprise; the softness and higher residual sugars that marked a great many wines in previous vintage presentations were largely absent in the 2010 wines, which were instead characterized by lively acidities, ripe tart cherry and forest berry fruit, and tannins that were deft and lively, providing direction as well as support. In short, they are food wines, wines that will do a fine job of accompanying what they are served with, and in doing so contribute mightily to the meal.

While there were a few 2010 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines that didn’t follow this pattern, most did, and I therefore hope that this marks the beginning of a new direction for the wines of Montepulciano, because I found them to be quite enjoyable to drink. The 2010 vineyard selections also largely followed the new pattern, which makes me hopeful.

Many of the 2009 Riserve and the older vineyard selections instead followed the softer sweeter path that was prevalent in previous vintage presentations, and in addition – the Riserve especially – in many cases felt forced, as if they were trying very hard to be Wines, as opposed to wines. There was, however, one glowing exception, a 2004 vineyard selection that was everything one can hope from in a wine: rich, bright, deft, and very much alive; it was an eye-opening reminder of Montepulciano’s potential, and had much more in common with the bright young wines from the 2010 vintage than it did with the more weighty older Riserve and vineyard selections.

We’ll discover next year if 2010 is simply a vintage, or if it marks a change in direction for Montepulciano’s wines. Considering that the wines of the 2010 vintage displayed considerably more continuity than the wines of past vintages have, there is reason to be hopeful.

Pouring Nobile!

Pouring Nobile!

The wines, tasted February 21, 2013:

Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta

Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Fairly deep garnet ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with delicate red berry fruit supported by spice and some balsamic accents, and by slightly brambly acidity. Pleasant to sniff. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with fairly bright brambly red berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a youthful greenish burr and flow into a fairly long tannic finish with warm underlying alcohol. It’s pleasant in a middle of the road key and will work well with succulent red meats or stews. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Tenuta Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing reveals some greenish accents mingled with alcoholic warmth and a certain airiness; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and fairly flat, with moderately intense red berry fruit supported by moderate mineral acidity, and by tannins that have a slight burr and flow into a fairly quick tannic finish with some sweetness but not much fruit. I wouldn’t call it settled, but it lacks verve.
1 star

Casale Daviddi

Casale Daviddi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some brambly accents and some hints of graphite shavings and as it opens some red berry fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with rather languid ripe cherry plum fruit supported by fairly bright cherry plum acidity, and by tannins that are warm and have a slight burr, flowing into a fairly tart cherry finish. It’s quite ripe, but not overripe, and is quite approachable; because of the acidity you may not want to drink it far from the table, but it will work very well with a steak. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Casale Daviddi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is cedar laced, with some red berry fruit and slight greenish accents with a balsamic underpinning. On the palate it’s brighter than I expected, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are ample and a touch too smooth perhaps; while they do provide substance they’re not as tight as they might be, and this makes the wine feel slightly dilute. The finish is long, with sour cherry fruit supported by a slight tannic burr that works from underneath. I will in any case be curious to see how the wine develops with time, because it’s very young and does have nice acidity.
2 stars

Icario

Icario Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is vinous, with some balsamic accents and spice, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and smooth, with moderate berry fruit supported by dusky berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a slight burr and flow into a rather brooding finish in which underbrush and wet bark emerge. If you like brighter more fruit driven wines it won’t work for you, but if you like this more brooding style you will enjoy it; it’s a wine of a sort I encountered more in the past than I do now.
1 star

Icario Vitaroccia Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is frankly oaky, with greenish cedar mingled with mentholated notes and spice, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample with moderate fruit supported by some acidity, and by tannins that are again clearly derived primarily from wood, and flow into a cedar and vanilla-laced finish with some bitter cocoa overtones. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like larger, softer wines that are oak-driven.
1 star

Tenuta Trerose

Tenuta Trerose Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable black cherry  ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with youthful floral notes mingled with moderate berry fruit and some spice. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with sour cherry  fruit that is more intense than I expected, supported by sour cherry  acidity and by tannins that are fairly thin, with fairly bright greenish burr, and flow into a long warm alcoholic finish. It’s much scrappier on the palate than the nose suggests, and because of this aggressiveness will work well with mixed grilled meats, including fattier things such as sausages or lamb chops, and also with fried meats and vegetables. I think it will also age nicely, becoming ethereal with time.
2 stars

Tenuta Trerose Simposio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2009
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with an abundance of sweet vanilla laced spice from oak, supported by some bitter cocoa accents and cedar as well. It’s like sniffing a barrel slat dipped in wine. The palate reflects the nose; there’s some cherry plum fruit, but it’s largely overshadowed by sweet vanillin and cedar from the wood, which carries into a long sweet decidedly oaky finish. Oak in a glass, and while some will fold in with time I doubt that all will.
1 star

Montemercurio

Montemercurio Messaggero Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cedar and slight fruit. On the palate it’s ample, with moderately intese berry fruit supported by spicy tannins and moderate more mineral than fruit acidity, which flows into a spicy tannic finish. It has a fairly traditional feel to it, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. If you prefer brighter more fruit driven wines, it will work less well for you.

Bindella

Bindella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim The bouquet is quite young, with intense violets and some graphite shaving bitterness mingled with some bd and slight swetish accents. On the palate it’s ample with moderately rich ripe, sweet cherry fruit supported by delicate sour cherry and raspberry acidity, and tannins that are moderately intense and flow into a warm plum laced finish. It’s ripe and fruit forward but feels dilute somehow, lacking somewhat in substance. If the final assemblage gains that while keeping everything else it will be pleasant in a ripe fruit forward key.

Bindella I Quadri Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and slight balsamic accents; it’s still coming together and developing. On the palate it’s ample, and smooth, with moderately rich plum cherry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, and flow into lasting warmth with slight oaky accents. The fruit fades a little too quickly, leaving tannins and warmth to carry the show. This may change with time, but I have to judge the wine in my glass.
1 star

Tenuta Valdipiatta

Tenuta Valdipiatta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black garnet ruby with cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is moderately intense, with dusky cherry fruit supported by some graphite shaving bitterness and slight greenish vegetal accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate berry fruit supported by bitter sour cherry acidity and by tannins that have a slightly bitter underlay and flow into a moderately long rather bitter finish. I’d have liked a little more brightness to the fruit.
1 star

Tenuta Valdipiatta Vigna d’Alfiero Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up slight spice and hints of petroleum. Almost nobody home, but not quite. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with fairly ripe cherry fruit supported by warm balsamic acidity and tannins that are fairly light, and have a warm slightly greenish burr, which flows into a fairly quick finish.

Canneto

Canneto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black garnet ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense and begins with a rush of hardwood ash that gives way to cut flower pungency and some spice, but not much in the way of fruit or acidity. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate sour berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a fairly long sour berry fruit finish. It’s more interesting on the palate than the nose, in a decidedly traditional key, and I would give it a year for the nose to catch up.
2 stars

Canneto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with some cedar and spice, and also mentholated notes, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and soft, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and ample smooth tannins that settle into a moderately long tannic finish. It’s big, and while not overripe soft, and I found it to be lacking in verve.
1 star

Avignonesi

Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with cedar and deft spice supporting some berry fruit and slight savory accents. On the palate it’s ample and fairly smooth, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by slight berry fruit acidity, and to a greater degree by tannins that have a spicy cedar-laced burr that flows into a clean cedar laced finish. It’s fairly modern in style, but not as fruit driven as some, and therefore comes across as more brooding. Harmonious, however, and does hold interest.
2 stars

Villa Sant’Anna

Villa Sant’Anna Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with some prune plum fruit mingled with hardwood ash. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate berry fruit supported by mineral more than fruit-derived acidity, and by tannins that have a cedary overlay to them.

Cantina del Giusto

Cantina del Giusto San Claudio II Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is deft, with fairly bright red berry fruit supported by slightly greenish berry fruit acidity and pleasant spice from grapes. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich lively cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by warm tannins that have a slight burr and flow into a clean fruit laced tannic finish. Promising in a fairly traditional key, and if it keeps this character in the final assembly will be something to think about.

Cantina del Giusto San Claudio II Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2009
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange; it looks significantly older than most of the wines presented. The bouquet is a bit rustic, with balsamic notes and animal tang, in particular lathered horse, mingled with some spice and some wet green leather. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are smooth, albeit with a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long sour cherry finish. It’s quite traditional, and if you like the style you will enjoy it considerably; because of its acidity it also has good aging potential. A pity to pour it out, but at a tasting one can’t drink the wines. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Casa Vinicola Triacca

Casa Vinicola Triacca Santavenere Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is quite fresh, with violets mingled with spice and slight balsamic accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with less fruit than I expected; what there is is cherry plum, and fairly sweet though the wine is dry, and supported by tannins that have a cedary overlay to them, which carries into the finish

Casa Vinicola Triacca Poderuccio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2009
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is dusky, with some camphor and spice, and as it opens slight berry fruit; it’s still coming together. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with sour cherry fruit supported by lively sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth, with a slight burr, and flow into a clean rather savory sour cherry finish with tannic underpinning. It’s very young, in a fairly traditional key, and needs another year at least to get its bearings, at which point it will I think be pleasant to drink with a steak or platter of mixed grilled meats.
2 stars

Talosa

Talosa Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is spicy with some red berry fruit and slight floral accents and some cedar; it comes across as being quite ripe. On the palate it’s ample and smooth, with cherry plum fruit supported by delicate plum acidity and by tannins that have a bitter burr to them, and flow into a fairly long cedar laced finish with underlying bitterness. It’s quite ripe, with fairly intense oak that has polished it nicely, in an international key.

Talosa Filai Lunghi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2007
Poured pyrope ink with garnet in the rim. The bouquet is cedar laced, with some balsamic accents as well, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and sweet, with moderate – very – plum fruit supported by mineral acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, with smoky accents, and flow into a smooth tannic finish with a mineral acidity underpinning. It’s seriously lacking in fruit, and when that is absent there’s not much to be done.
No star

Vecchia Cantina

Vecchia Cantina Vecchia Cantina Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by slight grilled pepper accents, and by some spice,  with slight cedar as well. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with ripe fairly sweet (for a dry wine) cherry plum fruit that’s fairly bright,  expected supported by berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth and sweet. Pleasant in a rather tart fruit forward key, and will drink nicely with foods.
2 stars

Vecchia Cantina Poggio Stella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit rustic, with balsamic notes mingled with cedar and some lathered horse, and a greenish acidic underpinning with some camphor, almost Vick’s Vaporub. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with greenish sour cherry fruit supported by fairly bright sour berry fruit acidity and by unusual petroleum accents, while the tannins are smooth and flow into a greenish berry fruit finish with the same petroleum accents, which are likely derived from wood. A bit particular, and if you like it you will, but it’s not for everyone.
1 star

Lombardo

Lombardo Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some cedar, but not much in the way of fruit, and this can happen in a barrel sample. On the palate it’s ample with moderately intense cherry fruit that’s supported by moderate mineral acidity and to a greater degree by rather brooding tannins that have dusky accents and end up predominating in the flavor balance of the wine.

Lombardo Poggio Saragio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with camphor and cedar mingled with some plum fruit, and hints of sweetness. On the palate it’s ample, with fairly rich plum fruit supported by fairly bright plum acidity, and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm plum laced finish with tannic underpinning.

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio Maestro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is spicy with floral accents and some sweet notes mingled with some ripe fruit, in particular plum. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate fruit supported by some sour berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are smooth with some cedary accents and slight hints of graphite bitterness. I’d have liked more intensity to the fruit, which is somewhat lacking.
1 star

Palazzo Vecchio Terrarossa Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2007
Poured pyrope ink with cherry rim. The bouquet is overripe, with vegetal laced ripe berry fruit that has some sweetish accents, and some balsamic notes as well. On the palate it’s ample and sweet, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by moderately intense berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are ample and sweet, and quite smooth, and flow into a soft fairly sweet cherry plum finish. It’s starting to settle, and lacks verve, and this is happening much too soon.
1 star

Barbanera

Barbanera Duca di Saragnano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some vegetal accents and slight spice supported by moderate acidity. On the palate it’s ripe, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by sour cherry acidity that takes a while to emerge, and by tannins that are fairly light, and flow quickly into a clean tart finish. The nose is a fee months behind the palate, and the wine needs time, a year or two; in terms of character it’s light and fairly deft on it toes, but  a bit short.
1 star

Barbanera Duca di Saragnano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is ripe, with plum prune fruit supported by slight cherry  accents, and some spice, with hints of cedar as well, and some sweetness. On the palate it’s again ripe, with sweetish cherry plum fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are full and smooth, and flow into a fairly quick finish that settles into tannic warmth with some sweetish balsamic accents. It’s ample, soft, and smooth, and to my way of thinking lacks verve.
1 star

A Palace Door in Montepulciano

A Palace Door in Montepulciano

Fattoria La Braccesca

Fattoria La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, and rather sour, with some hardwood ash ash and moderate berry fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by fairly light tannins that flow into a long tart finish with a light cedary underpinning. I’d have liked a little more expression to the fruit, which is cherry plum, but not quite as well defined as I might have liked it to be.
1 star

Fattoria La Braccesca Santa Pia Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is oaky, with camphor and some cedar mingled with white glue of the Elmer’s variety. Not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s again quite oaky, with moderate plum fruit supported by mineral acidity and by tannins that have a strong rather sweet vanilla overlay and flow into a finish that’s more of the same. Too much oak for me.
1 star

Croce di Febo

Croce di Febo Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with spicy notes and some hardwood ash but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderate rather dusky berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that are fairly direct, with a slight burr. It lacks verve.

Godiolo

Godiolo Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Lively almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is up in the air. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry  fruit supported by fairly bright acidity and by tannins that have a warm savory burr and flow into a warm tannic finish that emerges quickly as the fruit fades. If the final assembly is longer, it will be pleasant in a fairly traditional key.

Cavalierino Organic Winery

Cavalierino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Impenetrable pyrope with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intensely oaky, with powerful cedar that covers all. On the palate it’s better balanced, with moderate berry fruit supported by considerable spice from wood and tannins that have a strong oaky cast that carries into the finish. It’s the oakiest wine tasted of the first 20, and while there is also fruit you’ll have to be a great fan of oak to consider it.

Cavalierino Organic Winery Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim; it looks older than most of the wines poured. The bouquet intense, with balsamic and mentholated accents more than fruit, and some mentholated acidity. On the palate it’s bright, with greenish sour cherry  and forest berry fruit supported by lively  berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, albeit with a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long mentholated berry fruit finish. It’s fairly traditional in feel, and  will drink well with succulent red meats, for example a porterhouse steak or fairly rare roast beef cut thick. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Contucci

Contucci Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense and rather metallic, with some spicy notes as well. Up in the air. On the palate it’s disjointed, with moderate berry fruit that’s cut off at the knees by tannins that have an angry rather splintery burr and flow into a decidedly tannic finish. It’s a toddler having a tantrum at present, and much too young to say anything final about.

Contucci Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope with some garnet in the rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some balsam-laced spice and slight hardwood ash, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and fairly sweet, with jammy plum cherry  fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that are ample and quite smooth, flowing fairly quickly into a warm greenish – from oak – tannic finish. It’s ample and fairly soft, and is a wine you should consider only if you like this style.
1 star

Corte alla Flora

Corte alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with camphor and balsamic accents mingled with red berry fruit and some spice, and underlying cedar. On the palate it’s fairly rich, with cherry  fruit supported by fairly tart cherry acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean warm rather tart cherry finish. Pleasant in a slightly international middle of the road key, with rather cheeky fruit, and it will drink nicely with succulent red meats or stews. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Corte alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Poured pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit more rustic than one might have expected from the color; it’s balsamic with a fairly intense animal tang and some balsamic acidity laced with resinous notes as well. On the palate it’s full and rather sweet, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and tannins that are smooth, and have some smoky vegetal accents to them, flowing into a fairly tannic finish with some chemical accents that’s not too long. It’s a bit disjointed, and seems to be going in more than one direction; I’d give it a year to get its bearings, but not too much longer because it’s already fairly soft.
1 star

Boscarelli

Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is spicy, with underlying cedar and slight balsamic accents, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s more along, with ripe cherry fruit supported by lively cherry acidity and by tannins that are smooth and flow into a long sour cherry finish that gradually fades into warmth. Pleasant, and though the nose does need a year to catch up with the palate, it will be a very pleasant accompaniment to a steak or roast, and also has nice aging capacity. Well worth seeking out.
2 stars

Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2008
Deep cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with hardwood ash mingled with cedar and some greenish spice; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s more interesting than the nose, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity, and by robust tannins that are smooth at the outset, becoming more peppery in the finish, which is long and sour berry fruit laced. I would give it another year for the nose to develop, because if it follows the palate the wine will do interesting things, and also has the acidity necessary to age nicely. At present it’s not really ready, and a score would likely not reflect what it will become.

Dei

Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with an initial rush of hardwood ash that gives way to spice and some alcohol, with slight camphor as well, but not much in the way of fruit. Quite young, and still developing. On the palate it’s ample and ripe, with plum cherry  fruit supported by fairly mineral acidity, and by large sweet very soft tannins that flow into a plum laced finish. It’s a bit settled, especially in terms of the tannins, which do support, but are not quite as dynamic as I might have liked.
2 stars

Dei Bossona Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope ink with cherry rim. The bouquet is slightly musty, with hints of wet paper that  make me wonder about the wood the wine was kept in; as it opens they fade some to reveal moderate very ripe fruit. On the palate it’s ample and sweet, with moderately intense cherry and forest berry fruit-laced fruit that has some plum accents, supported by tannins that have a slight greenish burr, and flow quickly into a tannic finish with peppery accents that continues at length. The nose aside, the palate, while ample at the outset, is a bit short, and I’d have liked more tightness and verve.
1 star

Fattoria del Cerro

Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with bitter cedary accents mingled with some greenish notes and a slight acidic spike, and also some black pepper, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ripe, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit that has slight jammy sweetness, and is supported by tannins that are cedar laced with some spice, and flow into a fairly quick plum laced finish with tannic underpinning. It’s fairly international in style, and needs another year for the nose to come together.
2 stars

Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Impenetrable pyrope with dusky cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is muted, though some spice and hints of petroleum do emerge, as do hints of camphor. On the palate it’s ripe but not overripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by fairly bright plum acidity, and by tannins that are ample and smooth, flowing into a fairly long warm tannic finish with some bitter notes; I found the fruit a little shorter than I might have liked.
1 star

Fanetti

Fanetti Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and rather jammy, with greenish plum prune fruit supported by some sour berry fruit acidity. On the palate it’s a bit thinner than I expected, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by tannins that are rather angry and cut the fruit off, flowing into a quick tannic finish that leaves the tongue almost curled. Too short for me.
1 star

Fanetti Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2007
Impenetrable pyrope with almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense and rather green, with a fair amount of spice as well, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and fairly sweet, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and tannins that have slight hazelnut overtones and flow into a fairly tannic finish. I’d have expected more, somehow.
1 star

Looking Out From Montepulciano

Looking Out From Montepulciano

Gattavecchi

Gattavecchi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, and spicy, with a dusky animal tang mingled with balsamic accents and some greenish notes. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are warm and fairly smooth, albeit with a slight burr, and flow into a warm sour cherry finish. Fairly traditional in feel, and will also age nicely, becoming ethereal with time. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Il Conventino

Il Conventino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The nose is fairly intense, with spice and some balsamic accents, but not much fruit. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour berry fruit – almost tamarind – acidity and by tannins that are warm and flow into a warm finish with some hints of prune mingled into the red fruit. Still quite up in the air, but could come together nicely.

Il Conventino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rather chemical, with greenish notes mingled with balsamic accents and some greenish vegetal spice, and this is likely the wood. On the palate it’s ample and soft, with petroleum-laced ripe berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by ample very smooth tannins that work from below the surface, as it were. It’s settled, and lacks verve.
1 star

La Ciarliana

La Ciarliana Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Barrel sample
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is spicy with fairly intense balsamic accents. On the palate it’s ripe, with fairly bright cherry plum fruit supported by tannins that are rather peppery and flow into  spicy peppery finish. It’s fairly aggressive now but that is also its being a barrel sample; it will likely clean up nicely in a middle of the road key, but we’ll have to wait to see.

La Ciarliana Vigna Scianello Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, and swishing doesn’t bring up much, some balsamic accents and hints of white glue. On the palate it’s ample and soft, and to be honest lacking in fruit; there’s slight plum supported by dusky rather bitter tannins more than acidity, and while the tannins are ample and do have a peppery burr, they’re not enough to step in for both fruit and acidity.
No star.

Le Bèrne

Le Bèrne Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with balsamic notes mingled with some berry fruit and greenish vegetal accents. On the palate it’s ripe, with sweetish berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that flow quickly into a spicy tannic finish with some hints of almost oatmeal sweetness. It ‘s a bit overripe and a touch settled, and I also found it a bit short.
1 star

Le Bèrne Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Black almandine with almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense with balsamic notes and some camphor mingled with alcohol, and as it opens hints of band aid that also suggest very ripe fruit. Not sure how else to put it. On the palate it’s fairly sweet, with ample ripe fruit supported by moderate acidity and by big smooth tannins that work from below the surface, flowing into a fairly long fairly sweet moderately fruity finish with some greenish tannic accents. It’s big and soft, and a bit settled, and is a style you have to like to enjoy.
1 star

Le Bertille

Le Bertille Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense and rather smoky, with cedar laced spice from oak and some greenish accents; it’s one of the more heavily oaked wines presented, to judge from the nose. On the palate it’s full, with moderate fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a greenish almost petroleum laced tang, and are also distinctly cedar laced, flowing into a fairly quick cedar-laced finish with greenish undertones. It has quite a bit of oak, too much, I think for the fruit that is trying to digest it.
1 star

Poliziano

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is still coming together, with some spice and red berry fruit, but it gives an impression of hiding. On the palate it’s full, with ripe cherry  plum fruit supported by warm sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly sweet and flow into a fairly long warm tannic finish with some plum underpinning. It’s ripe but not overripe, and fairly international in style; it also needs at least a year to come together.
2 stars

Salcheto

Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2010
Impenetrable pyrope with slightly violet rim. Looks young. The bouquet is ripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by sweet cedar and some spice. On the palate it’s ripe, with fairly rich plum fruit supported by moderate mineral acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, with a sweet slight cedar underpinning that flows into a moderately long plum finish that fades into slightly greenish cedar. It’s a bigger softer style, and while it’s not as settled as some of these wines were in years past, it still has that softness to it, and as such is a wine you should only consider if you like the style.
1 star

Salcheto Salco Evoluzione Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with ripe juicy yellow peaches, which aren’t too common in red wines but can appear, supported by some greenish accents and some mentholated acidity. On the palate it’s ample, with bitter berry fruit supported by tannins more than acidity, tannins that have bitter smoky accents and flow into a graphite shavings laced bitter finish in which burnt cork also emerges. The nose was more interesting than the palate, which I found to be lacking in fruit and overshadowed by the bitterness of the tannins.
1 star

Il Macchione

Il Macchione Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2009
Deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with red berry fruit and some spice, and also greenish vegetal acidity that provides direction, and underlying underbrush. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by dusky greenish berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long clean greenish tannic finish with berry fruit underpinning. Pleasant in a rather traditional key, and will drink very well with succulent red meats or hearty stews. I would also expect it to age nicely for a number of years. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Carpineto

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2009
Barrel sample
Pyrope ink with a rim that hues towards purple. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some cedar and hints of sandalwood. On the palate it’s ample and sweet, with moderate – slight, even – plum fruit supported by moderate mineral acidity and smooth sweet tannins that are ample and quite soft, and flow into a plum laced finish. It’s destined to be very soft, and is something you should only consider if you like ample soft wines.

Carpineto Vigneto Poggio Sant’Ercolano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2004
Deep pyrope with cherry rim; if one were to ask me to guess its age I wouldn’t have said 9. The bouquet is deft, with balsamic accents and slight hardwood ash mingled with some camphor and pleasant savory accents. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth, not quite to silk but headed in that direction, and flow into a long bright sour cherry finish. As the last wine poured at the tasting, it was a fine sendoff, and offers clear proof of the potential of the Nobile di Montepulciano appellation, as if there were any need. Quite nice, with a great deal to say and a long future ahead of it too. And ready; it will contribute considerably to a steak or a platter of mixed grilled meats.
88-90

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About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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