Nobile di Montepulciano, tasting report with the best wines from recent vintages

Pozzo dei Grifi e dei Leoni - Montepulciano - Siena

The following wines were tasted by Raffaele Mosca in Montepulciano in February 2024.

FIVE STARS *****

Boscarelli

Nobile di Montepulciano Il Nocio 2020

Cult winery 

The single most famous wine from Montepulciano, Il Nocio never disappoints. The 2020 vintage is especially fragrant and perfumed: blackberries and violet pastille give way to camphor, rhubarb, and graphite. Razor-sharp acids and searing tannins currently camouflage the rich core of red and black fruits, shaping a mouthwatering progression that culminates into a multifaceted finish featuring wild berries, licorice, and herbs. More austere than most wines from this vintage, this knockout Nobile has a long life ahead of it.

Importers and retailers: Demeine Estates (United States)

De Ricci  Nobile di Montepulciano 2020

De Ricci

Nobile di Montepulciano 2020

Up-and-coming winery

The family managing this boutique winery has supplied to the local cooperative until 2015, so the project is still at an early stage. But the wines are downright irresistible: the 2020 hails from vineyards benefiting from a cool mesoclimate, and displays nearly Burgundian aromas of cinnamon, rose petals and sandalwood mingling with sweet red berries and iron. Mid-weight and airy, possessing terrific inner energy, supple flavors of red cherries and strawberries dominate a seamless progression that will gain even greater breadth and balance with a bit of cellaring.

Importers and retailers: K&L Wines (United States)

Le Berne, Nobile di Montepulciano, Siena
Le Berne, Nobile di Montepulciano, Siena

Le Berne

Nobile di Montepulciano Cervognano Alto 2020

Up-and-coming winery

One of the wines that will sport a Pieve mention from the next vintage, hailing from the subzone of the township of Montepulciano that houses the largest concentration of top producers. It is at once elegant and powerful, with damp earth, tobacco leaf and iron giving way to luscious red cherry and dusty florals. Tightly-wound yet impeccably balanced, slightly angular tannins and mouthwatering acids making for a pure and racy mouthfeel with a moreish finish featuring blood orange, iodine, and herbs.

Importers and retailers: Siena Imports (United States)

FOUR STARS PLUS **** + 

Bindella

Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2021 

Cult winery 

One of the most attractive modern-style Nobile, spending 18-20 in French oak tonneaux, I Quadri is delicate and polished, displaying charming aromas of sweet cherries and red roses, licorice, cinnamon, and a whiff of tobacco. Creamy but also energetic, blood orange and minerally echoes keep the decadent red fruits in check, lingering on a long and balsamic finish.

Importers and retailers: Kysela Pere et Fils (United States)

Contucci

Nobile di Montepulciano 2019

Cult winery

A timeless classic from a historical producer headquartered in a palace overlooking Piazza Grande, the 2019 Contucci is attractively earthy and gamey, with iron, leather and animal musk superimposing the succulent red fruits. Energetic and savory, with steely minerals adding to its liveliness, it also shows a captivating hint of tertiary evolution that amplifies the flavors, leading to a complex finish.

Importers and retailers: Opera Wine Imports (United States) / Mondial Wine (UK)

Fattoria della Talosa

Nobile di Montepulciano Alboreto 2021

Up-and-coming winery

Despite being one of the most ancient wineries in the old town of Montepulciano, Fattoria della Talosa has only started leveling up its game in recent years. The 2021 Alboreto is one of the best efforts so far, offering gentle aromas of red apple, pomegranate, licorice, and pot-pourri. Fruit-forward and silky, the tannins are seamlessly integrated into a rich core of sucrose red fruits. Blood orange and savory herbs linger on the medium-long finish.

Importers and retailers: Big Hammer Wines (United States) 

Poliziano

Nobile di Montepulciano Asinone 2021

Big winery

The top-shelf wine of the biggest producers in Montepulciano, Asinone comes from 40-year old vines and spends 16-18 months in French tonneaux. Decidedly modern – but not overly so – exuberant aromas of sweet blackcurrants and dark chocolate are joined by menthol, undergrowth, and tar. Glossy and concentrated, a lick of sweet oak frames mouth-filling back fruits, while ripe acidity and chiseled tannins backbone the long and layered finish.

Importers and retailers: Dalla Terra (United States)

Tiberini

Nobile di Montepulciano Le Caggiole 2021 

Up-and-coming winery

One of the soon-to-be-approved Pievi, the Le Caggiole subzone is characterized by high hills with sandy soils, making for perfumed wines like this one by Tiberini, which displays a charming nose of violets, red cherry and pomegranate with a balsamic touch. Supple and approachable, appetising acidity and soft tannins support the luscious cherry fruit, lingering on a balsamic and floral finish. So elegant!

Importers and retailers: Enotria Wine Imports (United States)

FOUR STARS ****

Boscarelli –

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021

Cult winery

The entry-level by this iconic producer is only a bit shy in this phase, offering discreet – if precise – aromas of sour cherries, blood orange, and iodine. Classically-styled, with crisp acidity and racy tannins giving an impression of youthful tightness, it will show best with a hearty bowl of pici al ragù.

Importers and retailers: Demeine Estates (United States)

Cantina Chiacchiera

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021 

Up-and-coming winery 

Mostly Sangiovese (90%) with a dollop of local grapes like Mammolo and Ciliegiolo, the 2021 by Cantina Chiacchiera is an old-school Nobile from vineyards in the highly regarded Cervognano subzone, spending 18 months in large oak. It shows compelling earthy aromas that mingles with dark cherries, licorice, and cocoa powder. Classically-styled, with slightly dusty tannins adding textural depth, stimulating acidity underpins earth-tinged black fruits, leading to a refreshing finish. 

Crociani

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021

Up-and-coming winery 

A characterful wine from a historical – if under-the-radar – estate following a hard-knocks traditional approach. It starts slightly rustic, with a touch of volatile acidity amplifying forest floor, leather, licorice, and pot-pourri. Fruitier on the palate, with racy tannins supporting the medium-bodied progression, it finishes savory and attractively steely. 

Importers and retailers: Tradizione Imports (US), Ellis Wines (UK)

Fattoria Svetoni

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021

Up-and-coming winery

A solid effort from a long-running estate that changed ownership seven years ago, this Nobile displays a fine-tuned nose with herbs and spices framing blackcurrants, licorice, and violets. Similar flavors echo on the palate, making for an approachable mouthfeel brimming with early-drinking appeal. Seamless tannins support a smooth and polished, dark-fruited finish.

Importers and retailers: Franco Wine Imports (California, US) 

Dei

Nobile di Montepulciano Bossona Riserva 2019

Cult winery 

A vertical tasting held in 2023 proved this iconic Riserva is built for the long haul. In this phase, however, the oak influence is quite prominent: a veil of sweet spices and sandalwood superimposes red fruits and wild roses. The palate is more approachable, with velvety tannins and lighter touches of cinnamon and toast framing sweet cherries and pomegranate, hints of blood orange and savory spice extending the long finish.

Importers and retailers: BC Liquor (Canada) 

Il Molinaccio

Nobile di Montepulciano La Poiana Riserva 2020

Up-and-coming winery 

A captivating single-vineyard Riserva by a boutique organic estate spanning 3.6 hectares in one of the coldest areas of Montepulciano, La Poiana is delicate and ethereal, focusing on airy red fruits framed by white pepper, balsam herbs, and pot-pourri. Mid-weight, with a kiss of spicy oak adding depth to the juicy core of crunchy cherry fruit, it embodies the gracefulness and tremendous early-drinking appeal of Nobile from the 2020 vintage, only showing a hint of tannic grit that underlies the floral and red-fruited finish. 

Importers and retailers: Strade Bianche Wines (United States)

Le Bertille

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021

Up-and-coming winery 

Exclusively made with native grapes and aged in large Slavonian oak casks, this traditional-style Nobile has an especially intriguing nose: slightly candied visciola cherry, licorice, iron and dark spice anticipating a tightly-wound palate with imposing yet well-managed tannins upfront, followed by succulent bramble fruits and a savory tang extending a racy finish that requires a bit of cellaring to soften down.

Importers and retailers: August Imports (United States)

Tenuta Golo, Nobile di Montepulciano 2021

Tenuta Golo

Nobile di Montepulciano 2021  

Up-and-coming winery

This is a new project overseen by renowned winemaker, Emiliano Falsini. Undergoing spontaneous fermentation with pied de cuve, followed by 24 months in 20 hl casks, the wine has a captivating nose mixing cranberries, wild violets, menthol, and some woody and earthy nuances. It’s pretty solid for being the first wine ever released by this estate, showing a subtle hint of oak spice that frames succulent dark cherries and blackberries, and a kick of bitter orange that enlivens a medium-long finish. 

Tenuta Gracciano della Seta

Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2020

Cult winery

Aged in a mix of tonneaux and 25 hl casks, this Riserva has a polished and elegant nose with hints of dark chocolate complicating ripe bramble fruits, anise, and violets. Seamless tannins and a savory tang backbone layers of sweet black cherries, making for a gentle, poised and approachable mouthfeel.

Importers and retailers: Ideal Wine (US) / Marquis Wine Cellars (Canada) 

Older vintages

Here you will find three tasting notes of wines from older vintages that were poured during two retrospectives held in the afternoon of the Anteprima.

Canneto

Nobile di Montepulciano 2016 ****

Up-and-coming winery 

A solid wine from a winery that has been running ever since 1987 – but still falls under many connoisseurs’ radar – the 2016 Canneto exhibits hearty aromas of dark chocolate, Amarena cherry, coffee, and sweet spice. It is currently in a sweet spot, reflecting the focus on richness and creaminess that was the norm until a few years ago but also possessing enough acidity and tannic verve to stay in balance. While ready to drink, it will hold up for a few more years.

Contucci

Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 1986 ****

Cult winery 

Aged in chestnut casks and presumably containing a dollop of white grapes, the 1986 Contucci Riserva is fully mature yet still alive. Black truffles, worn leather, cigar ash and dark chocolate jump out of the glass, anticipating a slim progression with vestiges of black fruit underlying steely minerals. It finishes light and savory, with some tobacco-ish undertones and just a touch of tannic dryness. 

Poliziano

Nobile di Montepulciano Asinone 2005 ***

Belonging to the age when bold and oaky wines were highly fashionable, the 2005 Asinone still boasts an inky color, anticipating Bordeaux-ish aromas of cedar and menthol mingling with plummy fruit. Brooding and dark, it is mouthfillingly fruity and a bit freshness-challenged. Slightly drying tannins backbone a long finish with hints of milk chocolate and withered roses hinting again at the presence of international grapes in the blend.

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