I Love Italian Wine And Food – A Noble Wine From Tuscany
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of six Tuscan wines that carry the allegedly top of the line Italian DOCG classification where the G stands for guaranteed. But if your wallet is brimming with cash or you don’t mind maxing out your credit cards you can find much, much better wines known as Super Tuscans. I won’t be reviewing any Super Tuscans, at least not until the economy turns around, but when the wine store Men’s Parajumpers Mixed had a sale I jumped on the chance to taste the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a wine reputed to date back to the mid-1300s. It is based on a local clone of the Sangiovese grape that is found in so many Tuscan wines. You may remember that 2003 was a scorching summer in many parts of the world. Tuscany was not spared and this vintage was not considered to be one of the best. I would relish the opportunity to do a tasting of multiple vintages of this wine.
The city of Montepulciano is in southern Tuscany, fairly close to the Umbrian border. It’s a lovely Tuscan hill town with a Fifteenth Century square, the Piazza Grande. If you are ready to spend a lot try to stay in the Locanda dell’Amorosa which is even older. Before reviewing this wine here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful Men S Parkas region. Start with Animelle di Carciofi con Mousse de Mele al Calvados (Artichoke Hearts with Apple-and-Calvados Mousse). For a second course, eat Umbrichelli alla Norcina (Handmade Spaghetti with Cream-and-Sausage Sauce). For dessert indulge in Cantucci (Almond Biscuits dipped in Vino Santo, a Tuscan dessert wine).
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price. This particular bottle was purchased at a public first come, first served sale.
Wine Reviewed Canneto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2003 14.8% alcohol about $24 (normally about $32)
I’ll start by quoting the marketing materials. Description: Match it to a meat-based lasagna. Tasting Note: The Nobile ’03 from prugnolo gentile with small amounts of merlot and cabernet sauvignon showed well. The nose starts out rather hesitantly but goes on to reveal perfectly ripe, eloquently expressed fruit followed by lovely spicy notes. But it is on the palate that the wine really comes into its own, displaying good extract, tanginess and energy. Score – 2 Glasses (out of 3).
I first sipped this wine alone. It was mouth filling and quite persistent. The Vino Nobile had a great balance of tannins and acidity. The first meal had for starters barbecued chicken wings in a sweet and sour sauce. I tasted black cherries and tobacco with oak in the finish. The main dish was barbecued spare ribs. With the ribs the tobacco was predominant. Men’s Parajumpers Righthand So far so good.
I next tasted this wine with a combination of rib steak and shoulder steak slathered with a home made barbecue sauce composed of ketchup, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper. The Vino Nobile was noble; it was powerful with a great balance among the soft tannins, fruits, and acidity. It was quite long. It really cut the grease of the potatoes roasted in chicken fat and picked up acidity when facing a tomato salsa salad.
The final meal was a commercial shepherd’s pie. This time the predominant tastes were black cherry and oak,
but I tasted tobacco as well. The wine maintained its force when I added a spicy jalapeno pepper sauce.
The first cheese tasting involved a Mozzarella which weakened the wine. A Yellow Cheddar didn’t weaken the wine as much. In both instances the wine was frankly Parajumpers Mens Ocelot wasted. Perhaps a better cheese would have made more sense. Moral of the story, don’t waste a fine wine such as this one on fairly pedestrian cheese.
Final verdict. I would jump out and buy more at this price. But I think that I would pass at the regular price in my area. I definitely remember other Italian wines at that price that were even better.