From the land of Tuscany comes the 2004 Corte alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. The name for the wine comes not from the nobility of the grape, but from the nobility of the people who drank it– popes, poets and other noblemen. The main grape for the wine is Prugnolo Gentile, another name/clone of the Sangiovese grape. Prugnolo, translating roughly to “prune,” refers to the color, shape and smell of the grape at harvest. This particular wine is made up of 90% Prugnolo, with the remaining 10% being comprised of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. According to the spec sheet on the winery’s website, it saw 18 months in Allier Oak casks and another 10 months aging in bottles before release. I was a little surprised at this because DOCG requirements for Vino Nobile prescribe a minimum 2 years in oak. Upon further reading, I found that DOCG does allow for 18 months of oak aging as long as bottle/vessel aging exceeds 2 years. Prior to aging, this wine was macerated for 20 days with repeated stirring and Malolactic Fermentation.
Nose – raspberry, red currant, mushroom, slightly “barny”
Taste – raspberry, truffle oil, green bell pepper
Mouthfeel – medium bodied, with slightly sharp acidity and leathery tannins
Finish – long with lingering red fruit flavors
In recent years Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has lost a bit of its “Nobile” status by failing to offer the quality it was once known for. I haven’t had very many of these wines but I thought the quality of this one was fine, which exhibited solid fruit and earthy characteristics and classic old world mouthfeel. For around $15 it is a great value and introduction to the wine.