Vino Nobile anteprima: New vintages of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

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During the week of Tuscan previews, anteprime, invited journalists travel from one town to the next starting in Florence, to taste new vintages of the region’s wines. When it was time for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, hopes were high, but how did it actually go? BKWine Magazine’s reporter Åsa Johansson was there.

It is always a great experience to come to the beautiful little town of Montepulciano with its cobblestone squares, winding narrow streets and wonderful views of the Tuscan valleys. The new vintage of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the 2015, was promising. Few years have been as good as 2015 in Tuscany with perfect weather conditions and generous with fruit.

Unfortunately, many of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 do not reflect the characteristics I had hoped for and the style of the wines varies greatly. Few succeed in bringing forward the genuine character of the Sangiovese in a way that I had hoped for. Many of the wines had green and robust tannins and lacked in finesse.

This is the one of the articles in the series on this year’s Tuscan anteprima season. Read more:

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano anteprima
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano anteprima, copyright A Johansson

I also miss a common theme or commonality that unites the area’s wines. Montepulciano gives me the impression of not having a clear identity, unlike Montalcino and Chianti Classico. It also shows the tendency of wine producers to merge into smaller groups and form their own, smaller associations. For example, TerraNobile Montepulciano which has tougher rules than the DOCG rules require. The Alliance Vinum wants to highlight wines made of 100 percent sangiovese (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano must contain at least 70 percent sangiovese). I do not think it is good for a wine region to start dividing up into smaller groups instead of working towards a common goal. Or maybe that’s just what it is needed to get things started in Montepulciano?

San Biagion church, Montepulciano
San Biagion church, Montepulciano, copyright A Johansson

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has 1250 hectares of vineyards and an annual production of 7 million bottles per year, bottled by 76 producers. The German market is the largest with 44.5 percent; the United States is second place with 21.5 percent and then Switzerland that reaches 15 percent.

The 2015 vintage of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

My favourites of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2015:

Avignonesi

Biodynamic winery whose Vino Nobile is bright in colour, full of delicious fruit, raspberries, strawberry, but also herbs, sage with a savoury finish. A wilder, untouched sangiovese, which at the same time is clean and elegant.

Avignonesi vino nobile
Avignonesi vino nobile, copyright A Johansson

Fassati, “Gersemi”

Inviting aromas of dried rose petals, white pepper, medium body with energy and spice, refreshing acidity and well-integrated tannins.

Tenuta Trerose, “Santa Caterina”

Juicy and balanced with lots of fruit, floral scent with elements of thyme and medicinal herbs. Elegant and pleasant.

Lunadoro, “Pagliareto”

Elegant tannins, earthy yet sophisticated aromas with notes of roses and tobacco, medium acidity, medium body, more elegance than strength.

Trerose Santa Caterina
Trerose Santa Caterina, copyright A Johansson

Older vintages

Older vintages of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano released this year were a mixed bag of wines from 2011 and onwards. Here are my favorites:

Palazzo Vecchio Selezione 2013, “Terrarossa”

Intense spicy aromas, full-bodied with tones of tobacco and vanilla, ripe fruit. A bigger heavier wine, well made.

Boscarelli Riserva 2013

Low-key aromas with sangiovese character, high acidity and firm tannins with a lot of fresh fruit. A wine that makes you salivate. Very good base where everything is included, you only need patience for a few years, and then this will be a nice bottle to open.

Tenute Trerose, Selezione 2013, “Simposio”

Floral, clean and inviting fragrance, elegant long tannins, nice mature juicy fruit that balances well with the fresh acidity. Very good!

Åsa Johansson is BKWine’s person in Italy. She lives in Florence since the early ’00s. Asa writes regularly on wine and food in Swedish and Italian publications as well as online.

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