Wine notes

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

VINO NOBILE 2007 v 2006

The 2007 vintage in Montepulciano, less clement than for Chianti Classico in general, showed wines that seemed to struggle with less-than-ripe tannins combined with a slight stewed fruit character. Increased temperatures during March and April meant that budbreak took place 15 days earlier than normal. Rainfall in May and June prevented water stress, with relatively low temperatures in June followed by above-average temperatures in July. High temperatures and virtually no rainfall in August delayed grape ripening. But the extreme heat affected the grapes, leading in some cases to overripeness and loss of aroma.

Certainly, there seems to be no shortage of sweet fruit in the 2007 vintage, but in many cases there is not enough acidity to counteract this, making the wines look rather too 'populist' and sweet, lacking in freshness. Quite a few samples showed stewed fruit character, and several wines seemed somewhat oxidative. Tannins seemed in quite a few cases not entirely ripe, and although the wines cannot be released onto the market until they have been aged for two years after the harvest (three years for Riserva wines), this additional ageing did not entirely compensate for this. Conversely, the 2006 Riservas stole the show. With near-perfect balance, they were an absolute joy to taste.

The en primeur tasting itself, held in stunningly beautiful Montepulciano, proved to be a modest affair with only about 50 wines on show from no more than 29 of the 70 producers the Consorzio counts as members (20 further Vino Nobile producers do not belong to the Consorzio). This leaves a slight doubt as to how representative these en primeur tastings are for a genuine assessment of how this denomination stands today within the Tuscan landscape, and as to the will of its producers to close ranks and co-operate in promoting Vino Nobile on the international market.


VINO NOBILE 2007

Angelini, Tre Rose 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 5%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Fabrizio Ciufoli. Concentrated, maturing ruby with orange reflexes. Touch reductive and closed on the palate. Fruitcake impression on the palate, and warm, rustic finish. (WS) 14.5%

Avignonesi 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Canaiolo 10%, Mammolo 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist Paolo Trappolini. Medium concentrated ruby, with broad rim. Serious and seriously sweet, jammy nose. Very sweet and popular too, jammy, a touch unfocused. Should have been much more interesting. (WS) 13.8%

Le Bèrne 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 97%, Colorino 3%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Deep ruby, rim already shows orange reflexes. Sweet nose with dried fruit notes. Dried fruit character repeats itself on the palate contrasted by some nice acidity. Fiercely tannic at this stage. Will the fruit get through? (WS) 15.22%

Bindella 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2015
Sangiovese 85%, Colorino, Canaiolo, Mammolo 15%. Cask sample. Crimson, youthful optic. Sweet forest fruit nose with earthy hints. Quite opulent sweet fruit on the palate too. One dimensional at this stage, but lots of extract. Promising. (WS) 14.64%

Boscarelli 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 17 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo, Merlot 5%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologists: Maurizio Castelli, Luca de Ferrari, Mary Ferrara. Medium ruby, already starting to get lighter. Subdued at first. Very attractive dark berry and tobacco leaf. Sweet fruit attack, followed by a very compact, tight palate. Drying tannins dominate at this stage but fruit returns on a long and understated finish. Well balanced. (WS) 14.34%

La Braccesca 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Lorenzo Dongarrà. Estate owned by Antinori. Crimson. Hazelnut and muesli opening, brooding cherry fruit. Iron note. Quite reluctant on the palate, the wine shyly shows some cherry fruit, underpinned by persistent, grainy tannin. Perhaps it hasn't quite enough extract to deal with the big structure. (WS) 13.5%

Fattoria del Cerro 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Colorino 5%, Mammolo 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Lorenzo Landi. Deep crimson, but rims starts to lighten up. Reductive opening, subdued but interesting; concentrated but not sweet. Same interesting, fragrant fruit starting to get more depth. Struggles with the tannic frame at this stage, but will get out fine at the other side. (WS) 13.8%

La Ciarliana 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 95%, Mammolo 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Evolved ruby with orange rim. Somewhat mature nose too, with cherry pie, dark fruit, orange peel/iron note and tar. Austere and savoury and subdued, but fragrant finish. Crunchy tannins. (WS) 14.7%

Contucci 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 13 Drink 2010-2012
Prugnolo Gentile 80%, Canaiolo 10%, Colorino 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Contucci Alamanno. Crimson with lighter rim. First sample showed distinct browning apple, the second has more (stewed) fruit, dark chocolate notes, and still signs of oxidation. (WS) 13.9%

Croce di Febo 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Mammolo 3%, Colorino 2%, Merlot 5%, Syrah 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Andrea Mazzoni. Very dark crimson and youthful looking. Slightly clichéd nose of oak, spice, and sweet compote-like fruit. Stewed and jammy fruit palate framed by powdery but fierce tannins. Ready to drink. (WS) 13.85%

Dei 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 14.5 Drink 2010-2012
Sangiovese 90%, Canaiolo Nero 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Niccolo D’Afflitto. Deep crimson. Sweet, and somewhat alcoholic Christmas cake nose. Fairly simple, stewed fruit palate, pulled up by acidity. (WS) 13.5%

Il Faggeto, Pietra del Diavolo 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 5%, Mammolo 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Andrea Mazzoni. Very dark ruby with orange rim. Attractive herbal and tarry red fruit nose and hint of graphite. Complex. Well-balanced elegant fruit cloaked in grainy tannin. Will improve despite its mature look. (WS) 13.9%

Fassati, Pasiteo 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2013
Sangiovese 95%, Colorino 3%, Mammolo 2%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Riccardo Periccioli. Deep ruby with rim just starting to develop. Quite an international nose of French oak, sweet dark fruit, cinnamon and fruit cake. Contrasting high acidity on the palate making the wine look much more austere. With hints of vanilla on the finish. (WS) 13.5%

Gattavecchi 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2014
Sangiovese 95%, Canaiolo%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Federico Ricci. Bright, light ruby, with some signs of development. Seems oak driven as well as austere. Interesting, succulent palate of red fruit and orange peel. Gentle but long finish. Astringency is evident, but length convinces. (WS) 13.8%

Gracciano della Seta 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Giuseppe Rigoli. Quite light ruby with broader rim showing some orange reflexes. Nose shows stewed fruit and a layer of strawberry jam. Sweet strawberry jam immediately counteracted by drying tannins. Mouthfilling aromatic finish. Very popular. (WS) 14.2%

Godiolo 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 96%, Canaiolo 2%, Colorino 2%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Franco Fiorini. Medium ruby with broad rim. Reductive, almost sweaty nose. Talcum powder. Hard to see the fruit through all this. Mellow and somewhat nondescript attack. Quite light fruit finish, touch alcoholic too. (WS) 14.1%

Icario 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Sangiovese 80%, Canaiolo 5%, Merlot 10%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist Paolo Vagaggini. Dark, medium-concentrated ruby, with broader orange rim. Dry French oak and sweet pastry opening. Palate shows much more in favour of the fruit, which is very compact and backward but handles the oak treatment well. Drying tannins at this stage but with sweet fruit finish. Oak a bit too upfront for Sangiovese? (WS) 14.7%

Lodola Nuova 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2015
Predominantly Prugnolo Gentile. Cask sample. Oenologist: Alessandro Chinello. Estate belongs to the Ruffino company. Deep ruby with broad orange rim. A sweet cherry jam and fruitcake nose with a medicinal note. Very intense cherry fruit palate, rustic tannins, and alcoholic finish, but in a way genuine and begs for food. (WS) 14.45%

Nottola 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 13 Drink 2010
Prugnolo Gentile 80%, Canaiolo 10%, Merlot 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Riccardo Cotarella. Medium-concentrated dark ruby, almost black tinge. Very stewed nose – oxidised. Second sample is the same. Is it the cork? (WS) 14.5%

I Poderi di Poggialgallo 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 17 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo 15%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Medium-deep evolving ruby with broad rim. Seriously multilayered with perfectly integrated oak. Perfumed sweet cherry. Same multilayered palate too. Interesting complex fragrant finish too. Perhaps a touch more acidity would have lifted it. (WS) 13.5%

Poliziano 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Colorino, Canaiolo, Merlot 15%. Cask sample. Oenologists: Carlo Ferrini and Fabio Marchi. Deep ruby, small rim showing the beginning of orange. Appealing, sweet and even multilayered with orange peel and touch of lead pencil. Mellow, round palate, lots of sweet fruit here. Good balance too and very good length. Popular, but well made. (WS) 14.6%

Salcheto 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 100%. Cask sample. Oenologists: Michele Manelli and Paolo Vagaggini. Very dark ruby, youthful rim. Fruit cake and savoury, meaty notes, kitchen spice too. Slightly stewed fruit character. Ends on a sweet fruit impression, but good length. (WS) 13.5%

Terra Antica 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 5%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Medium-concentrated maturing ruby. Open knit and very approachable. Jammy fruit, Morroccan leather. Soft round and fruity, seems to be an early-developing wine. Savoury finish begs for food. Good length, though. (WS) 14.43%

Triacca 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Sangiovese 90%, Colorino 5%, Merlot 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Luca Triacca. Medium-deep ruby with broad orange rim. Compact brooding nose of dark fruit and only hints of fruitcake. Sweet fruit impression on the palate, but backward nevertheless. (WS) 13.5%

Valdipiatta 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Canaiolo 15%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Mauro Monicchi. Deep crimson and rim just starting to get lighter. Tight and compact nose. Same compactness on the palate, but finish shows some pretty interesting aromatic echoes. Fierce tannins - designed for eternity? (WS) 14.3%

Vecchia Cantina, Poggio Stella 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 14 Drink 2010-2012
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Ugo Pagliai. Very dark ruby, almost black-brown tinge. Horse saddle – perhaps a touch too much? Touch flabby on the palate as well. No great extract either. (WS) 13.5%


VINO NOBILE SELEZIONE 2007
'Selezione' has no legal meaning but was used at the tasting to denote single-vineyard wines or special cuvées.

Bindella, I Quadri 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Sangiovese 85%, Colorino, Canaiolo, Mammolo 15%. Cask sample. Deep ruby with orange-tinged rim. Candied fruit and pastry opening. Similar, somewhat confected cream-pie fruit aromas. Finish however shows more complex with graphite notes. Alcohol makes tannins look a touch rough. (WS) 13.5%

Fassati, Gersemi 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2012
Dark ruby, still quite youthful looking. Crowd-pleasing cherry pie and cinnamon nose. Same intense sensations on the palate. Cream vanilla finish. Lacks a bit of acidity to lift it and give tension. (WS) 13%

Gattavecchi, Parceto 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 14.5 Drink 2010-2012
Sangiovese 95%, Canaiolo%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Federico Ricci. Dark, medium-concentrated ruby. First sample showed dangerously oxidative, second sample less so, but still there is a distinct note of browning apple. Sweet dried fruit palate offset by acidity. Lacks finesse and freshness of fruit. (WS) 14%

Valdipiatta, Vigna d'Alfiero 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Canaiolo 15%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Mauro Monicchi. Medium-deep bright ruby. The nose seems a tad dominated by fruit cake, but underneath is some pretty cherry. Balsamic and incense-like hints. Somewhat dried fruit character on the palate but finish shows more multifaceted. Could do with more acidity. (WS)

Vecchia Cantina, Cantina del Redi 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Ugo Pagliai. Dark, medium-concentrated ruby with broad orange rim. The nose looks quite forced with hints of horse saddle and fruit cake. Compact and tight fruit on the stewed side. Lifting acidity gives focus and freshness, but quite nice coating tannins. (WS) 13.5%


VINO NOBILE SELEZIONE 2006
'Selezione' has no legal meaning but was used at the tasting to denote single-vineyard wines or special cuvées.

Angelini, Simposio 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 5%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Fabrizio Ciufoli. Medium-concentrated mature-looking ruby with brickstone reflexes. Unashamedly leathery, dominating the nose. Sweet and concentrated on the palate, with fine but fierce tannins. Seems to have all the stuffing to turn into something more complex. (WS) 14.5%

Boscarelli, Nocio 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 17 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo, Merlot 5%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologists: Maurizio Castelli, Luca de Ferrari, Mary Ferrara. Deep rub. Herbal, liquorice and hint of dried cherry. Complex if a bit closed at this stage. Also the palate is somewhat backward, but on the finish quite complex flavours. Elegant and long. (WS) 14.5%

Fattoria del Cerro, Antica Chiusina 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2011-2015
Very dark ruby with orange-tinged narrow rim. Touch of horse saddle and graphite and herbal notes. Palate shows somewhat mute, but aromatic development on the finish. (WS) 14%

La Ciarliana, Vigna Scianello 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15.5 Drink 2011-2015
Very dark, medium-concentrated ruby with beginning of orange on the rim. Spicy and a touch of leather. Fruit is just opening up on the palate. Seems to have good overall balance. Slow developer, and finish dominated by leather. (WS) 15%

Villa Sant'Anna, Poldo 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 14.5? Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Canaiolo 2%, Mammolo 1%, Colorino 1%, Merlot 6%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Carlo Ferrini. Deep ruby and broad rim with orange reflexes. Herbal and kitchen spice, with the fruit playing hide and seek. Slightly musty feel to the otherwise concentrated fruit, which is a shame as the wine displays some pretty sweet-sour crunchiness. Bitter note on the finish seems to confirm the problem. (WS)


VINO NOBILE RISERVA 2006

Avignonesi, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 14.5 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Canaiolo 10%, Mammolo 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist Paolo Trappolini. Very dark with orange reflexes on the rim. Very exotic, even strange nose of orange, rose water, cherry liqueur. Is this wine or perfume? Same potpourri of exotic aromas and cherry. Artificial. (WS) 14%

Le Bèrne, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2014
Prugnolo Gentile 97%, Colorino 3%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Dark ruby, with rim just starting to show some age. Spicy sweet fruitcake nose with notes of dark chocolate. Palate seems fresher compared with the nose, with sweet strawberry fruit impressions. Tannins dry out the finish slightly. (WS) 14.5%

La Braccesca, Vigneto Santa Pia Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Lorenzo Dongarrà. Very deep, almost impenetrable ruby. Still very youthful. Impressive and elegant with pronounced but fine sweet red fruit perfectly balanced by oak. Wonderful concentration and length. Structure is not entirely knit together yet, and tannins seem a touch drying, still very good. (WS)

Canneto, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2016
Prugnolo Gentile 95%, Merlot 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Carlo Ferrini. Youthful medium-deep ruby. Very closed on the nose and youthful on the palate too, but fruit is focused and fresh. Boisterous tannins at this phase but should age gracefully. (WS) 14.5%

Carpineto, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2014
70% Prugnolo Gentile, with Canaiolo and Merlot. Cask sample. Oenologists: Giovanni Sacchet and Gabriele Ianett. Very deep crimson. Very attractively restrained dark fruit with hints of lead pencil. Soft sweet fruit that becomes more concentrated on the finish showing an abundance of cherry and strawberry jam. Perhaps a tad over the top. Seems completely ready for release. (WS) 13%

Contucci, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2015
Prugnolo Gentile 80%, Canaiolo 10%, Colorino 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Contucci Alamanno. Deep ruby starting to evolve. Broad rim. Maturing nose with telltale tobacco leaf and sweet, spicy fruit. Good concentration of red and dark fruits with well-integrated acidity. Everything seems to fall into place here. Fragrant finish. Not enormously complex, but satisfying. (WS) 13.5%

Croce di Febo, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 17 Drink 2010-2016
Prugnolo Gentile 85%, Mammolo 3%, Colorino 2%, Merlot 5%, Syrah 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Andrea Mazzoni. Deep medium ruby, just beginning to age. Nose only very reluctantly shows hint of cherry and merest suggestion of leather. Great aromatic development on the palate. Tannins are persistent and stalky, but not overpowering. Very long. (WS) 13.5%

Dei, Bossona Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2014
Sangiovese 90%, Canaiolo Nero 10%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Niccolo D’Afflitto. Very deep ruby with orange reflexes. Posh if subdued nose. Quite subdued on the palate too, but with richness of fruit on the finish, almost jammy even. Attractive but seems a tad untypical and somewhat alcoholic. (WS) 14%

Gracciano della Seta, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16 Drink 2010-2013
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 10%. Oenologist: Giuseppe Rigoli. Medium-deep ruby with broader, orange-tinged rim. Pomegranate syrup and cherry. On the palate cherries steeped in alcohol. Very attractive if not entirely well balanced. May improve with age? (WS) 14%

Icario, Vitaroccia Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 17.5 Drink 2010-2016
Sangiovese 80%, Canaiolo 5%, Merlot 10%, Colorino 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist Paolo Vagaggini. Deep, dark medium-concentrated ruby, with the beginning of orange in small rim. Quite pure, fruit-driven nose. Same purity of fruit on the palate. This has sweetness of fruit as well as savoury tannins balanced by acidity. Very long and aromatic, this goes on and on. (WS) 15%

Lodola Nuova, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 15 Drink 2010-2015
Predominantly Prugnolo Gentile. Cask sample. Oenologist: Alessandro Chinello. Very dark ruby with orange reflexes in very small rim. Heady nose, cherries on alcohol and a band-aid note. Concentrated fruit with grainy tannins. Finish displays hints of dried fruit. Massive structure. (WS)

Terra Antica, Riserva 2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 16.5 Drink 2010-2016
Prugnolo Gentile 90%, Merlot 5%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%. Cask sample. Oenologist: Paolo Vagaggini. Deep bordeaux-look-a-like ruby with the beginning of orange reflexes. Herbal and kitchen spice at first. Palate shows more promising with succulence and concentrated and lasting fruit flavours. Very good length too. The opulence matches the structure.(WS) 14.43%