Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015
#10 wine in VinePair's Top 50 of 2018
Poliziano give the Prugnolo Gentile grape their closest attention and care. This characteristic grape of Montepulciano expresses the full potential of a region with an acknowledged gift for viticulture. The result is the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – well structured, with longevity and perfumes that are intense but not exaggerated, faithfully expressive of deep, Tuscan roots and the ancient bond between the soil, man and culture.
Blend: 85% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% Colorino, Canaiolo and Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blackberry, walnut and dried-flower aromas follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a rich finish. Needs two or three years to soften.
Poliziano is located on the slopes below Montepulciano near the village of Gracciano. On these ridges, at the best altitudes and positions, are the vineyards of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The Poliziano Estate was founded in 1961 when Federico Carletti's father, Dino, purchased 55 acres. Today it consists of over 500 acres.
After taking his degree in agriculture, Federico Carletti worked in northern Italy. In 1980 he returned to Tuscany and began working full time on his father's estate. In the past two decades, Federico has created some of the finest wines in this top quality wine-producing area. Federico chose the name "Poliziano" because he loved the work of a renowned native poet, Angelo Ambrogini. Angelo was known as Il Poliziano, because he came from Montepulciano. Angelo's portrait hangs in the tasting room in the center of the estate. Some of Poliziano's wines, such as Le Stanze, were named after the poet.
Federico thinks of himself "as a farmer", because he is "convinced that fine wines originate in the vineyard. Selected clones, planting layouts, rootstock, pruning methods and training systems are chosen with the sole object of ensuring the quality of the grapes. This is the starting point for my wines: they are made only from grapes grown on the estate, respecting their original vintage and the typicality of the area they come from.”
Based on the Sangiovese grape (here called Prognolo Gentile), the village’s prized wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ranks stylistically in between Chianti Classico, for its finesse, and Brunello di Montalcino for its power. With a deep ruby color, heavy concentration and a firm structure given by the village's heavy, cool clay soils, most Vino Nobile di Montepulciano will demand some bottle age.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy'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.