Poliziano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017 | Tuscany, Italy

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the Week – November 30, 2020

The commune of Montepulciano in Southeast Tuscany is home to one of Tuscany’s great appellations: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Often confused with the varietal Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Vino Nobile is made from Sangiovese (or Prugnolo Gentile as it is locally known), which must occupy a minimum of 70% of the blend. Other allowed varietals are Canaiolo Nero and small amounts of local varietals such as Mammolo. The wine is aged for two years (at least one year in oak barrels), three years if it is a Riserva.

Vino Nobile is one of Italy’s most renowned wines. It was, together with Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco, one of the first wines to get the DOCG status (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). A favorite amongst Italian kings, Popes, and Presidents, the wine has been heralded throughout history as the wine of the nobles, hence its name. Even Thomas Jefferson, America’s third President and a fine wine collector, fell under the spell of Vino Nobile, stating, “For the present I confine myself to the physical want of some good Montepulciano… this being a very favorite wine and habit having rendered the light and high flavored wines of a necessary of life with me. It was most superlatively good.”

One of the region’s most distinguished wineries, Poliziano, has been striving for perfection since Dino Carletti purchased the estate in 1961. Now under the leadership of Dino’s son, Federico, the Carlettis are dedicated to producing top wines with minimal intervention from their organically farmed estate vineyards. Federico is as meticulous a winemaker as they come. As an agronomist, he considers himself to be, first and foremost, a farmer and he truly believes that great wines are made in the vineyard. Every choice made on the family’s estate vineyards — planting layouts, training systems, rootstock choices, pruning methods, etc. — is made with great care and has allowed the winery to produce distinct and awarded wines year after year.

Origin: Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
Varietals: 85% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, Colorino and Merlot
Sustainability: 100% organic
Suggested retail price: $30.00
ABV: 14.5%

After a traditional fermentation the wine is aged 18 to 20 months in a variety of used French oak vessels: 20% in 225-liter barriques, 40% in 500-liter tonneaux and 40% in traditional 3,500-liter casks.

The wine has a deep garnet color and offers generous amounts of black cherry and plum in the nose. Flavors of black fruit with well-balanced and firm tannins make this a juicy, muscular Vino Nobile with a rich expression overall. A good choice to drink now but will age comfortably for a few years.

Suggested food pairings: Steaks, game, rich chicken or mushroom dishes, grilled vegetables, meatballs in tomato sauce, pasta with tomato sauce, cheeses.

> For more information, visit the Poliziano official website.