“Montepulciano is the king of all wines!”
This bold declaration was made by the famed scientist and poet Francesco Redi in the 1600s. And while there are many who may agree, it’s interesting to see somebody who is so keen to fly in the face of the common thought that Barolo is the king of Italian wines.
But them, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano is no normal Italian wine.
A product of the great Italian winemaking region of Tuscany, this spectacular wine has several hundreds of years of tradition to support Francesco’s claims. And while the title of “King” may be contested between many wines, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano certainly stands in the upper tier as one of the best reds to come out of Italy.
That’s why we want to focus on it in this article.
Here, we briefly tell the story of this wonderful wine before examining the characteristics that make it so special.
Our story starts in the gorgeous hilltop town of Montepulciano. This stunning place is known as the “Pearl of the Renaissance” as it was the home of many of the era’s famous artists and architects. A short journey through the town reveals that the name is well-earned, as the stunning 16th-century architecture gives it a look and feel like few other towns.
Packed with stunning squares and majestic tours, it is a town fitting of a wine that is as regal and magnificent as Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano.
However, it is the surrounding countryside that is our first point of focus. The lush green rolling hills that surround Montepulciano are packed with row upon row of the famous Sangiovese grape. Quietly tended throughout the year, it is these grapes that will become Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano.
Some of these vines have stood for centuries. All grown from land that is honoured for its quality. It is in these vines that we begin to see the centuries of tradition and evolution that have allowed Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano to become a revered wine.
But the vineyards are not the only point of interest for a wine lover in Montepulciano.
Deep underneath the cobblestone paths and roads that dot the village lies an intricate network of caves and tunnels. There is nothing sinister about these deep underground locations. In fact, they have acted as natural wine cellars for the people of Montelpuciano for centuries. Created during the Etruscan era, these tunnels are a testament to the deep and passionate history that Montelpuciano has with Italian red wine.
Where other producers build wine cellars into their estates, the early citizens of Montepulciano built one massive wine cellar for the entire city!
Even today, these tunnels and caves are packed with gigantic oak casks that show how important this underground haven was to early Montepulciano’s winemakers. And while many of these casks are now too old to use, a select few still contain wines that will soon find their way onto your table.
We are telling you all of this to demonstrate just how deep Montepulciano’s relationship with the world of wine goes. This is not a town that just happens to make a nice wine. It is a town in which wine is woven into the fabric of its existence. Without wine there is no Montepulciano. This deep passion and love of wine are reflected in every bottle of Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano that you will ever enjoy.
It’s this passion that inspired Francesco Redi to make his bold declaration.
However, Redi is far from the only historical figure to showcase his love for the great wines of Montepulciano. No less than Thomas Jefferson, one of the most famous founding fathers of the United States, classed the wines of Montepulciano as one of his most beloved:
“For the present I confine myself to the physical want of some good Montepulciano, this being a very favourite wine, and habit having rendered the light and high flavored wines a necessity of life with me.”
Simply put, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano is one of the most important wines in Italy’s history.
Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano has enjoyed enduring popularity for hundreds of years. But like many Italian wines, it also underwent a period of hardship in the 1960s. With the Italian government determined to milk the public’s love of Italian wine for every penny, policies were put in place to focus on quantity ahead of quality. Gallons of lower-quality Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano were produced during these periods, giving the wine a negative stigma that took a long time to recover from.
Thankfully, these policies only lasted for a couple of decades.
By the time the 1980s arrived, producers were keen to reclaim the stellar reputations they’d had for so many years. A renewed focus on quality led to Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano reclaiming its position as one of the best Italian wines. Today, it easily stands with Barolo, Chianti, and many of the other Italian greats.
What Can You Expect From Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano?
A great experience is the simple answer.
But if you want something more detailed, expect a wine that has immense ageing potential. It can be stored for up to 25 years without losing its qualities. Best served at room temperature the wine benefits from about one hour of decanting before it is consumed.
Once poured, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano displays a gorgeous ruby red colouring.
Bring the wine to the nose and you’ll be absorbed in a complex bouquet. The main fruit note of cherry is complemented by earthier notes of tobacco and burnt wood. Some floral notes typically make an appearance, with dried roses being among the most common. Of course, some of these secondary notes vary depending on the production methods and blend the producer uses.
Warmth with wash over you as you drink the wine. Featuring a full body that is just begging to be explored, the wine is highlighted by a slight acidic streak that gives it a refreshing undercurrent. Dense, yet dissolved, tannins play a crucial role in giving it the all-important character that has served to make Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano one of the world’s most loved wines for centuries.
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