Victoria, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, 2007

Despite what you might think, wines from the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG are not made from the Montepulciano grape.  Instead, these wines are made from primarily Sangiovese (actually from a Sangiovese clone, called Prugnolo Gentile) and are produced around the town of Montepulciano (also the name of the surrounding comune).  Sangiovese must make up 60-80% of these wines, with the remaining blend usually made up of Canaiolo and small amounts of Malvasia and/or Trebbiano.

As far as I can tell, there is no connection between the town of Montepulciano, which is in southern Tuscany, and the grape, which is grown throughout central Italy, mostly notably in Abruzzo.  The story is that Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (which translates to ‘Noble Wine of Montepulciano’) does not refer to the wine itself as much as the noblemen who would regularly drink it in the early days.  You will often see this wine touted as one of the premier wines from Italy, some sources going as far as to say this wine helped bring international attention to the whole Italian wine industry, though not everyone agrees on this wine’s elite status.  On the whole, this wine has a pretty good reputation; though certainly not up at the level of Barolo or Barbaresco.

This particular wine, from a producer named Victoria and labeled as just ‘Nobile di Montepulciano’, has a rusty red color with a tint of orange around the edges when held at an angle (similar to what you see in many Nebbiolo wines).  The nose has nice earthy notes with a bit of oak and dark fruit.  The body has a pretty good tannic structure to it, not so much that it’s overwhelming, as well as a good amount of acidity.  There are subtle notes of spice and strong notes of blackcurrant and cherry on the palate, along with a subtle bitterness and some earthy tones.  The tannins and acidity would lend themselves nicely to a tomato based pasta sauce.

Price: $16


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