Mostly Sangiovese Grosso, plus small quotas of the indigenous Canaiolo and Mammolo grapes; the former characterized by roundness and soft texture, the latter by a delightful bouquet of violets. The Riserva is from an even stricter selection of the grapes, with greater aging potential. Aged in oak barrels - 15 months for the regular, and over
24 for the Riserva - and released 2 years from vintage (regular)/3 years (Riserva). Elegant bouquet, wonderfully integrating ripe blueberry jam and the spice and vanilla of oak; plummy fruit evolving to iris and violets; full body, firm tannins and remarkable breed.
The medieval hill town of Montepulciano is a little east of Montalcino, dominating the gentle landscape of southern Tuscany from its 1,985 feet above sea level. It is a tiny architectural jewel, with a higher density of arts per acre than there are inhabitants, and a long-standing fame as the home of poets and wines... The former thrived in Renaissance times; the latter star Vino Nobile, which luckily for us all is alive and flourishing to this day.
The very "nobile" estate of Paola De Ferrari Corradi (founded in 1962; first Vino Nobile vintage: 1967) is located southeast of Montepulciano (facing the Valdichiana) on one of the area's finest, most historical crus, Cervognano, well known for its hallmark combination of elegance and power.
In the course of over four decades of winemaking excellence, Paola (flanked by sons Luca and Nicolò) has chosen the hard way: absolute rigor and loyalty to quality & terroir. This resulted in an unbroken track record of vintage-to-vintage consistency. If anyone can pinpoint just one property that led the way to making Vino Nobile a modern classic, that property is, without a doubt, Boscarelli.
Today, the latter includes 44.5 acres under vine at an elevation of 984 feet above sea level on the Cervognano hillside. Microclimate is well-ventilated and ideal for top quality Nobiles. Soil is alluvial in origin, very sandy and stony, conducive to good drainage and remarkable elegance in the resulting wine. Further acreage is in the pipeline, for Paola purchased a second homestead in Cortona, several miles northeast of Montepulciano. The long-term plan is to bring this second property's vineyard surface to 25 acres - over and above the original nucleus.
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One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.