The Vino Nobile, the wine for the noble, aristocrats from Montepulciano. The small town of Montepulciano is located on a ridge about 50 km south of Siena and overlooks the Chiana Valley with Lake Trasimeno. At an altitude of 600m, the vineyards here stand on an extinct volcano, soils of sand and sandstone provide minerality. Viticulture in Montepulciano has a long tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages. For a long time, the town was a pawn between the city powers of Florence and Siena. Around 1400 Florence gained the upper hand and under the Medicis Montepulciano became a stronghold of art and culture. This in turn attracted the Nobili and wealthy citizens, which in turn increased the demand for good wines and promoted viticulture. Already in the 16th century, the wine from Montepulciano was known as Vino Nobile, at that time it was even called the king of all wines. Over the centuries, however, its fame faded a little. As we know it today, it has only existed since the 1960ies. Since 1999, it has the highest classification of a DOCG.
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is mainly - at least 70% - made of a variety of the Sangiovese grape, the locals call it Prugnolo gentile. In addition, a maximum of 20% of Canaiolo Nero and a few percent of regional white and red grapes of the region, mostly Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianca, are allowed. Since 1989, however, it may also be produced without white grapes, which raised its quality even more. Young it is rather closed, a little bit tart. After its compulsory maturity of 2 years it may leave the cellars, but it really has momentum after another 1-2 years. For a Riserva, it has to be in the cellar for 3 years.
The Vino Nobile is indeed something like nobility in the glass, an elegant, deep ruby red wine with finesse and complex structure, more full-bodied and alcoholic than a Chianti. It remains beautifully fruity, despite its power, and it also likes company. Because it is a pleasure to feast with a nobleman. Or simply parley and philosophize in warm nights.
more about Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG