The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of oldest wines produced in Italy and also one of the most famous all over the world
Only produced inside the municipality and on the magnificent hills of Montepulciano with a variety of Sangiovese locally called Prugnolo Gentile (litterally gentle blackthorn), Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of the three best red wines of the province of Siena and of Tuscany along with Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico.
A Noble History
We first had news of the wine from Montepulciano at least in the 14th century when it appeared in documents for the regulation and production of a wine made in the area of Montepulciano.
The current name, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, has been used since the 18th century, but it was only in 1930 that it first appeared on the label. At that time, Adamo Fanetti, historical producer and stubborn man, decided to add the word Nobile to indicate a superior quality to his wines. Before then, it was simply called “Vino Rosso Scelto di Montepulciano” (literally “selected red wine from Montepulciano”).
The number of producer members of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, founded in 1966, is now 76. In 1980, it received the highest Italian recognition for a wine, the DOCG.
Production and Characteristics
The grape variety Prugnolo Gentile has to make up at least 70% of the wine and it can be mixed with no more than 30% of other grape varieties produced in Tuscany. These may include international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and also up to a maximum of 5% of white grapes but not aromatic varieties.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano must be fermented in Montepulciano. After the aging in wood for a minimum of 12 months, it goes on the market after 3 years and after 4 years if it is a Riserva.
The main characteristic of this wine is its elegance. Tannins are always intense but never harsh, fruit of plum and cherry dominate the nose. Nice minerality and a good combination between the terroir and the Sangiovese make Vino Nobile a special wine to be enjoyed with food but also on its own. You can pair it with red meat and cheese but also with pasta and legumes.
You can drink it quite young but it can age for 15-20 years, and, as all the Sangiovese wines from Tuscany, it will slowly lose the fruitiness giving space to tobacco, dry leaves, balsamic and undergrowth notes after 5-10 years.