Italy’s Forgotten Noble Red – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

We all love Italian wines, but have you heard of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano?

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano—the noble wine of Montepulciano. It has a great, resonant ring to it. Located in south-eastern Tuscany, between Montalcino and the border with Umbria, it is a historic denomination reflected in the name of the top wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Viticulture here dates back many centuries to Etruscan times. Throughout history, the wines were favored amongst Italian Kings, Popes, Presidents – and celebrated as wine of the nobles. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was written about in the poem “Bacco in Toscana” by Francesco Redi, who described it as “the king of all wines”. Thomas Jefferson also fell under the spell – “For the present I confine myself to the physical want of some good Montepulciano…this being a very favorite wine and habit having rendered the light and high flavored wines of a necessary of life with me. It was most superlatively good.”

This Sangiovese-based red is just as noteworthy as its celebrated Tuscan neighbors, Chianti and Brunello. Traditionally, the wines were full-bodied and austere, requiring aging in the bottle. However, some major changes in recent years have allowed the wines to be able to be consumed in their youth also – methods include shorter extraction periods and the use of small format French oak for maturation. 

A young Nobile, such as this “Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2016” is fruit-forward and juicy, vibrant with aromas of ripe red fruit and mixed spice. It has a straightforward and approachable style that is very appealing. Thanks to its bright acidity and great structure, this wine will probably also age beautifully, evolving into some delicious tobacco, candied fruit flavors. With Nobile, there’s no need to choose between now or never– you can enjoy it today, tomorrow, and twenty years down the line! You can probably see why it’d make a perfect fit not only for Italian cuisine but for an array of other foods as well, such as spicy Asian food or simply some yummy tacos from your favorite food truck!

Montepulciano’s glorious past and its links to the local terroir, its history, and the Vino Nobile remain essential elements in order to guarantee present and future quality and authenticity. Despite its prestigious history, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is still very underrated and not discovered by many yet, especially in the US – which means, it is a bargain compared with its Tuscan neighbors, while still rivaling them in quality. Consider bringing one to your next dinner party or holiday gathering!