Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Italian Winemakers in Houston - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Gambero Rosso wrapped up its Houston event with a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano tasting and seminar. As I had already attended a Brunello tasting and met with a Chianti producer the week before, I was pretty excited to round out my top three wines from Tuscany tastings for the month.
The noble wine from Montepulciano is based on the Sangiovese clone known as Prugnolo Gentile. It may be blended with Canaiolo, Mammolo or other international grapes. It is aged for a minimum of two years.

The wines in the tasting:
Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano (90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Merlot)
1988 Clear, deep garnet with an orange rim. Low intensity, dried fruit, cherry and plum with dried leaves on the nose. Dry, medium body, acidity and alcohol, throwing sediment, losing oomph. Low intensity flavor.
2009 Clear, deep ruby color. Light aromas of fresh ripe cherry and plum with a hint of vegetal/green. Dry, medium+ body, acidity, alcohol and grippy tannins with similar fruit flavors and a slight spiciness in the finish. Recommended.

Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano (100% Prugnolo Gentile)
2002 Clear, medium garnet. Medium intensity aromas and flavors of dried fruit. Dry, medium body, acidity, alcohol and medium+ tannins and length. Recommended.
2008 Clear, medium garnet color. Medium+ intense aromas of licorice, black cherry and plum. Dry, medium body, alcohol and smooth tannins with medium+ acidity with similar fruit flavors and a long finish. Recommended, my favorite of the younger ones.


La Braccesca-Marchesi Antinori Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano (90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Merlot)
2001 Clear, deep garnet. Intense aromas of tobacco and dried cherry on the nose. Dry, medium+ body, tannins, acidity and alcohol, fresh cherry flavor, long finish.
2008 Clear, deep ruby color. Medium+ aromas ripe blackberry and strawberry. Dry, medium+ body, acidity, alcohol and tannins with similar fruit flavors and a slight spiciness in the finish. Rich and drinkable. Recommended.

Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano Riserva (90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Merlot)
2001 Clear, deep ruby. Medium intense aromas of dried cherry and dried leaves with a bit of mushroom. Dry, medium body, tannins and alcohol with medium+ acidity. Dried fig and licorice flavor with a long finish. Recommended, my favorite of the older ones.
2007 Clear, medium ruby color. Fruity aromas of ripe juicy cherry. Dry, medium+ body, acidity, alcohol and bitter tannins with cherry fruit flavor and medium+ finish. Recommended.

After the formal tasting and seminar, I went out onto the floor and only tasted a few more wines. I didn't write out formal notes as I was also snacking from the buffet line. Some that stood out for me were:
  • 2006 La Braccesca-Marchesi Antinori Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano Riserva Santa Pia which is 100% Prugnolo Gentile
  • 2010 La Ciarliana Rossa di Montelpulciano 
  • 2008  La Ciarliana Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano