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Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Caterina has personally managed the estate since 1991 when she left her career in the theatre. She is supported by Jacopo Felici, a young and very talented agronomist/oenologist who works full time at the estate, and by the well known oenologist Paolo Caciorgna. Paolo has been consulting at Tenuta Dei since January 2014, as Nicolò D'Afflitto, consulting oenologist at Dei since 1992, now works exclusively for a large wine enterprise.
The vineyard extension is 55 hectares, divided between the zones of Martiena, Bossona, La Ciarliana and La Piaggia on the slopes of the hill of Montepulciano. The varietals grown are mainly the ones utilized in the blend of the estate's Vino Nobile: Sangiovese and Canaiolo. A small percentage of the varietals is international and go into the blend of "Sancta Catharina", a proprietary wine and another small percentage is made up of white varietals for the production of Bianco di Martiena IGT and of Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC: Grechetto, Malvasia and Trebbiano.
All the phases of wine production now take place in the impressive new cellar entirely built in Travertino marble (from the Dei's quarries) and glass. Energy is produced by photovoltaic panels and the temperature is kept even by a geothermal system. The cellar is partly built underground. Azienda Dei is certainly a reference for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano worldwide due to the extremely high quality of the wines.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Itaaly's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.