Thursday, 28 April 2011

Vino nobile indeed!

Montepulciano is a picturesque fortified hill town in Tuscany, famous for its version of local sangiovese grape, Prugnolo Gentile, the principal ingredient in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. We visited Montepulciano in 2005 on our first wedding anniversary and bought back a few bottles from a variety of producers (Avignonesi, Contucci...). At the time, Boscarelli was by far and away the best producer amongst those we tried. After six years, would the wine still be as good and would it be worthy of its 'nobile' name?

Boscarelli is one of the leading producers of Vino Nobile. Unlike some of their peers in Tuscany who go for supercharged Sangiovese, bolstered with international grape varieties such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon, the Boscarellis prefer a more traditional style. Their Vino Nobile is a blend of 85% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, Mammolo and Colorino, aged for 24 months in oak before the bottling. 

In keeping with the wine's Tuscan origins and in a attempt to recapture a wonderful holiday, I served the wine with a Tuscan feast of pappa al pomodoro, followed by tagliata di manzo.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Boscarelli, 2001

Appearance: dark & brooding, still youthful but with a garnet rim 

Nose: slightly closed but strawberries & balsamic come through later

Palette: juicy with moreish acidity. Toasty fruitti di bosco & chocolate backed by dry, sappy tannins with just enough oak that lends a sweetness and lifts the fruit and balances the tannins, thereby avoiding the dryness often associated with Vino Nobile. The finish is very long with mocha and prunes and the acidity comes back to re-release the fruit, this time strawberries & balsamic.

Conclusion: a first class wine from an excellent vintage with sublime balance, worthy indeed of its nobile title. I must buy more! 4* 10/10

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