In this report, Daniele Cernilli (aka Doctor Wine) speaks about the 2017 and 2016 vintages for Vino Nobile. Click on Vino Nobile for more information.
The Vino Nobile production zone is positioned on a hilly ridge between Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia at altitudes between 820 and 1900 feet. The climate is largely influenced by the nearby Trasimeno Lake, with soils composed of marine fossils, sandstone, salt rich clay and precious silt deposits.
Prugnolo Gentile is the local name for the Sangiovese grape and some producers use either name while others use both.
The town of Montepulciano in Tuscany is the center for Vino Nobile vinification. Both vinification and aging must by law take place in the municipal area of Montepulciano.
I was in Montepulciano a number of years ago with Marina Thompson of Thompson International Marketing (Daniele Cernilli’s wife) when the Vino Nobile Consortium was debating the idea of adding international grapes especially Merlot. All of the wine writers on the press trip were against it but the Consortium approved it anyway. Today I am happy to see that many producers are using 100% Sangiovese or combining it with native grapes. A few producers are still adding Merlot but in a very small amount.
2017 is considered a 5 star vintage
Dei 2017 DOCG made from 90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Canaiolo from 15-40 year old vines planted in a south/southwest exposure in the crus of Martiena, la Ciarliana and La Piaggy at 250 to 350 meters. The 15 to 49 year old vines have a south/southwest exposure. Fermentation occurs naturally and lasts for 18 to 22 days. The wine is aged is 33 to 50 HL oak casks for 18 to 24 months and in bottle for 6 more months before release. The wine has hints of cherry, blackberry with a touch of rosemary and a note of thyme.
Fanetti DOCG Tenuta Santa’Agnese Reserve 2017 made from 85% Sangiovese and 15% Canaiolo. There are 3,000 vines per hectare and the soil is mainly sandy clay. The vineyards are at 340 meters. The wine is produced from carefully selected grapes, chosen bunch by bunch from the San Giuseppe vineyard. Traditional vinification and the wine is aged in oak and wild chestnut barrels. The wine has hints of blackberry, berries, and violets with a touch of leather. It was the most full bodied of the wines.
Carpineto 2017 DOCG made from Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo and other authorized grape varietals. Maceration of the skins with the must for 10 to 15 days. Frequent pumping over with special pumps designed to move solid parts (skins and seeds very gently.) The wine is aged in 5,500 liter Slavonian oval oak barrels and a small amount in French oak barrels. The wine then remains in bottle for 6 to 8 months before release. The wine has hints of cherry, blueberry and a touch of violets.
Everyone agrees 2016 was an exceptional vintage for Vino Nobile
Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano Soc. Coop. Soc. Agr. Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG 2016 Poggio Stella made from 90% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) and 10% Canaiolo. The vines are grown on hillsides and the soil is mostly crumbled rock with good skeletal content. The plant density is 3,500/5,000 vines per hectare and the training system is Guyot and spurred cordon. The grapes are hand harvested; fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled tanks followed by maceration in stainless steel. The wine is aged in Slovenian oak barrels for 24 months. The wine has hints red fruit berries, spice, violets and a touch of jam.
Trerose Tererose 2016 DOCG made from 100% Sangiovese on the Santa Caterina hill where the grapes are planted with different exposures. Different expressions of the Sangiovese grape from diverse vineyard parcels within the Santa Caterina Hill Vineyards are harvested and fermented separately to differentiate and amplify their particular characteristics. The wine has hints of cherries, currants, blackberries and bitter orange.
Vino Nobile is a wine that can be drunk after 5 years but can last for 15 years in good vintages. I also recently had a 1998 Vino Noble that was drinking very well.
For the latest updates on Vino Nobile see: https://www.winescritic.com/anteprima-vino-nobile-di-montepulciano-toscana-in-etichetta-e-la-rivoluzione-delle-12-pievi/