Every year in the spring, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano presents its latest vintages at the “anteprima”. This year they presented the 2016 and the riservas of 2015, the latter with some extra ageing. Vino Nobile, as it is sometimes called for simplicity’s sake, is one of the legendary wine regions in Tuscany and one of the first to get the DOCG designation, the highest in the Italian wine hierarchy. This year’s launches promised good. BKWine Magazine’s Åsa Johansson was there and here she gives you her selection of some of the best wines.
Expectations were higher than for a long time on the new vintages of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the 2016 and the 2015 riservas. Many of the expectations were met, but the wine region still has too many producers who use too much oak, which hides the very important fruit of the sangiovese grape.
Montepulciano is also an area that is becoming increasingly divided among the various producers. Small groups pop up within the region, all of which want different things. I think it would be important to maintain a common direction with clear goals, common to all the producers, not least in terms of style, in order to be able to cope with the tough international market. But also so as to be able to stand up against Chianti Classico, which has made great strides forward in recent years. They also run the risk of falling behind their famous neighbour, Brunello di Montalcino.
The 2015 vintage, seen as one of Tuscany’s best, delivers as promised with many well-made riservas.
The more classic and cooler vintage of 2016 showed a lovely elegance in many wines, something I would love to see more of in the future.
Here are my favourites:
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
Gattavecchi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
A tightly knit version of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, with pure, fresh fruit, cherry, lingonberry, with sage and peppery notes. In the taste, elegant tannins and fresh taste of ripe lingonberry and cherry, peppery with a long fine finish.
Tenuta Tre Rose “Santa Caterina” (Bertani Domains), Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
Inviting aromas of ripe fruit, blueberries and ripe cherries, notes of thyme and on the nose hints of cedar and nutmeg. Soft tannins, rich and juicy wine with well-balanced acidity. Long finale, a favourite!
Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
Frash, youthful aromas, cherries, yellow plums, white pepper, on the palate it has cherries and plums, salinity, tight tannins, restrained, the fruit is there, very elegant and tight, very good!
Le Bérne, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
Aromas of blackberries, coffee, leather, but not heavy, gives a youthful impression, in the taste dark tones of coffee and dark blackberries with a tannin that is very present and which gives structure, with a medium-high acidity, medium finish, good!
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015
Icario “Vitaroccia”, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015
Lovely ripe fruit, sweet aromas, ripe raspberries, cherries and strawberry, juicy with soft tannins and without too much oak. Medium end, soft, leaving lovely fruit tones on the tongue, good!
Boscarelli, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015
Low-key, complex and interesting aromas, sweet cherries, ripe raspberries, cedar, thyme and sage, raspberry caramel toffee, lovely energy in the mouth, a vibrant fresh acidity, balanced with elegant tannins, tightly knit but without being blunt, restrained, very elegant, very, very good!
Lunadoro “Quercione”, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015
Very light, lingonberry, red apples, wild cherries, red fresh fruit, soft tannins, small body, very light in colour, fresh, long, very fresh fruit, no oak, 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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