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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 81, January 2010   
Comparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di MontepulcianoComparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 80, December 2009 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 82, February 2010

Comparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano

The two great reds of Tuscany, both produced in the province of Siena from Sangiovese grape, are among the most famous wines of the world, everywhere considered as an emblem of quality

 In the rich wine scenery of Tuscany - among the main wine lands of Italy - there are two wines, both produced in the province of Siena, in competition since many years in order to become the king of wines of Tuscany. Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano originates from the same grape - Sangiovese Grosso - a grape mainly found in the province of Siena and as well as in other areas of Tuscany and in central Italy. Sangiovese Grosso is traditionally known with different names in the respective production areas: Brunello in Montalcino, Prugnolo Gentile in Montepulciano. Both wines are aged in cask before being commercialized. Brunello di Montalcino - according to the production disciplinary - can be produced with 100% Sangiovese Grosso only, whereas for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano can also be used a small part of other grapes, however producers tend to use 100% Prugnolo Gentile only.

 

Brunello di Montalcino


The
Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano of our comparative
tasting
The Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano of our comparative tasting

 Brunello di Montalcino - despite of its success and notoriety in Italy and in the world - is a wine having a relatively recent history. The presence of Brunello grape in Montalcino is documented in some writings dated back to 1500s, in which are praised the good quality of the grape and of its wine, but it will be only at the end of 1800s Brunello di Montalcino - the wine - will start to climb upwards the top of world enology. The success of Brunello di Montalcino started thanks to the obstinacy and intuition of Ferruccio Biondi Santi who, in the 1870s, decided to continue the research and the experiments his grandfather Clemente did in the family estate. The first results obtained by Ferruccio Biondi Santi will be in 1880: this will be the begin of modern history for Brunello di Montalcino, a crescendo of successes which contributed to make the renowned Tuscan wine famous all over the world. The success of Ferruccio Biondi Santi will encourage other producers of Montalcino to make wine from Brunello grape.

 Like already said, Brunello di Montalcino is produced with 100% Sangiovese Grosso grape, locally known as Brunello, from which originates the name of the wine as well. According to the production disciplinary, Brunello di Montalcino must age from a minimum of 24 months in cask, a period which in many cases is longer, in particular for the reserve style. The yield in vineyard is pretty low and it is defined - according to the disciplinary - for a maximum of 80 quintals per hectare, whereas the minimum alcohol by volume must be at least of 12.5%. Brunello di Montalcino - which according to the production disciplinary belongs to the DOCG category (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) - can be commercialized only after 5 years from harvesting, whereas it must pass 6 years for the reserve style. Brunello di Montalcino is a wine characterized by a strong robust structure, and despite of the roundness given by the long aging in wood, in the wine will be perceived a pleasing crispness contributing to balance, a typical quality in Sangiovese Grosso.

 

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


 

 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is among the most ancient and documented wines of Italy. The first documents in which is mentioned this wine are dated back to 789 AD. It will be the first of a long series of historical and famous citations: also Sante Lancerio - the personal wine adviser of pope Paul III - defined the wine of Montepulciano as very perfect and suite to the taste of gentlemen. The wine of Montepulciano has been described, in the course of its history, with high and praising comments, as well as being defined as “King”, but it will be in 1787 the wine will get the title of “Nobile” (noble), a definition attributed by Giovan Filippo Neri, Governor of the Royal Abbey of San Girolamo, a title it still holds together to its glory and history. The prestige and the fame of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are going up still today, considered among the best ones of Italy, this wine is situated in the highest level of quality system and it is recognized as DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin).

 The production disciplinary of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano provides for the use of Sangiovese Grosso grape - for a minimum of 70% and locally called Prugnolo Gentile - Canaiolo Nero, for a maximum of 20%, and the remaining part of typical grapes of the province of Siena, once mainly represented by Colorino and Mammolo. Despite the production disciplinary provides for the use of different grapes, today the choice of producers is to use Sangiovese Grosso only, therefore creating a mono varietal wine. The aging of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano provides for a minimum of 24 months, of which 12 in wood casks. As for the type of wood container used for aging, the choice of producers is equally divided between cask and barrique. The long aging gives the wine balance and roundness, very important qualities as Sangiovese Grosso is characterized by a good quantity of acid, fundamental to give the wine a proper crispness.

 

Wines of the Tasting

 For our comparative tasting we will choose two wines produced with 100% Sangiovese Grosso: whether for Brunello di Montalcino this condition represents the norm, not always it is for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The Brunello di Montalcino of our comparative tasting is made by Col d'Orcia, of course made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso, aged for 4 years in cask and for at least 12 months in bottle. The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano of our comparative tasting is made by Fassati, it is the Riserva Salarco, also in this case exclusively made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso and aged for at least 24 months in cask followed by at least 12 months of aging in bottle. For both wines will be chosen the vintages currently commercialized by the respective producers and will be evaluated at a temperature of 18°C (65°F) in two ISO tasting glasses.

 

Appearance Analysis

 Sangiovese Grosso, as well as the so called “Sangiovese Piccolo”, is characterized by a moderate quantity of coloring substances, quality directly affecting transparency as well as the color of wine. Both in Brunello di Montalcino and in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, when produced with 100% Sangiovese Grosso, will be observed a pretty moderate transparency: these wines will be hardly defined as “scarcely transparent”. The color in wines produced with Sangiovese Grosso - just like every other wine - depends not only on the coloring quality of the grapes, but also on the principle adopted in cultivation: high yields in vineyard give wines with pretty pale and light colors, as well as contributing to increase transparency. The color which will be observed in these wines is an intense and brilliant ruby red, a color which can be observed in nuances, frequently showing a garnet red, as a consequence of aging.

 The phase of appearance analysis of the two wines starts with Col d'Orcia's Brunello di Montalcino. By holding the glass tilted on a white surface - a sheet of paper or a tablecloth is enough - we will observe the color of the wine, quality which is observed at the base of the glass, that is at the point where the liquid mass is thicker. It will be observed an intense and brilliant ruby red, as well as a moderate transparency. By observing the wine at its edge, towards the opening of the glass where the wine has a lower thickness, we will observe a garnet red color. By still holding the glass tilted over a white surface, let's pass to the evaluation of Fassati's Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Salarco di Fassati. Also in this case the color is intense and brilliant ruby red, with a moderate transparency, not so different from Brunello di Montalcino. Also the nuance is very similar, with a garnet red color.

 

Olfactory Analysis

 Sangiovese Grosso has a good aromatic profile, generally made of flowers and red and black berried fruits, to which - in case of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - are added the complex and tertiary aromas given by the aging in wood and in bottle. The long period of aging in cask greatly contributes to the aromatic development of Sangiovese Grosso, both because of the slow and precious oxidation - for the passage of air through wood pores - as well as for the typical aromas passed from wood to wine. Among the aromas of flowers and fruits which can be perceived in wines produced with Sangiovese Grosso are mentioned black cherry, plum and violet, aromas frequently identifying the opening of these wines. Among other flower aromas are mentioned rose, whereas for fruit aromas are mentioned blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry. Tertiary characters of these wines are usually rich and complex, with strong nuances of spices and balsamic aromas.

 Let's start the olfactory evaluation from Col d'Orcia's Brunello di Montalcino. By holding the glass in vertical position and without swirling, we will do a first smell in order to appreciate opening aromas. From the glass will be perceived intense and clean aromas of black cherry, plum and violet, a pretty typical opening in Brunello di Montalcino. Let's now proceed with the swirling of the glass in order to favor the oxygenation of the wine and the development of other aromas, then we will do a second smell. From the glass will be perceived aromas of blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, mace, leather, pink pepper, licorice and a pleasing balsamic touch of menthol. Let's now pass to the evaluation of Fassati's Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Salarco. The opening of this wine is not so different from Brunello di Montalcino: also in this case are perceived aromas of plum, black cherry and violet. After having swirled the glass, let's proceed with the second smell which will complete the olfactory profile of the wine with blueberry, vanilla, blackberry, tobacco, cocoa, cinnamon, mace and the pleasing balsamic touch of menthol.

 

Gustatory Analysis

 Both Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are wines characterized by a pretty robust structure, in which can be appreciated a remarkable astringency - mainly because of the aging in wood - to which is opposed an alcohol by volume which, in certain cases, can also be higher than 13,5%. Sangiovese Grosso is a grape with a pretty high content in acid, higher than the average found in other red berried grapes, quality giving its wines a pleasing crispness. The robust structure of these wines is well perceptible since the first sip, as well as the appreciable crispness and astringency given by tannins. The balance is obtained in these wines thanks to the effects of alcohol and roundness given by the aging in wood casks. The correspondence to the nose is generally good: in the mouth are clearly found flavors of plum and black cherry, as well as raspberry and blackberry.

 The first wine of which we will evaluate gustatory profile is Col d'Orcia's Brunello di Montalcino. The attack of this Brunello is characterized by a remarkable structure - a clearly full body - as well as a clear sensation of astringency given by tannins. In the mouth can be perceived a good correspondence to the nose, as well as a pleasing crispness, a pleasing roundness and the burning effect of alcohol, contributing to the good balance of the wine. The finish is clearly persistent, leaving in the mouth flavors of plum and black cherry. Also the attack of Fassati's Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Salarco di Fassati is characterized by a remarkable structure accompanied by a strong astringency. The wine has its balance, just like the previous one, thanks to the pleasing crispness and roundness, to which contributes alcohol as well. The finish of this wine is evidently persistent, leaving in the mouth intense and clean flavors of plum and black cherry.

 






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 81, January 2010   
Comparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di MontepulcianoComparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 80, December 2009 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 82, February 2010

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Barolo Le Vigne 2005, Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Le Vigne 2005
Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 75.00 Score:
Barolo Le Vigne shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of cherry, plum and raspberry followed by aromas of raspberry, rose, blueberry, tobacco, vanilla, cocoa, mace, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry. Barolo Le Vigne ages for 24 months in cask followed by 18 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2005, Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2005
Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 85.00 Score:
Barolo Cannubi Boschis shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of raspberry, rose, blueberry, vanilla, cocoa, blackberry, tobacco, mace, cinnamon, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry. Barolo Cannubi Boschis ages for 24 months in cask followed by 18 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco 2005, Tabarrini (Umbria, Italy)
Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco 2005
Tabarrini (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Sagrantino
Price: € 25.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, blueberry, tobacco, cocoa, mace and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry. Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco ages for 30 months in cask followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle alle Macchie 2004, Tabarrini (Umbria, Italy)
Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle alle Macchie 2004
Tabarrini (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Sagrantino
Price: € 40.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle alle Macchie shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, impenetrable to the light. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of blackberry, plum and black cherry followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, blueberry, graphite, chocolate, laurel, leather, mace and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum. Sagrantino di Montefalco Colle alle Macchie ages for 24 months in barrique.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo Cordero della Zoina Mot 2005, Cascina Zoina (Piedmont, Italy)
Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo Cordero della Zoina Mot 2005
Cascina Zoina (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 13.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo Cordero della Zoina Mot shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of strawberry, rose, vanilla, tobacco and cocoa. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, plum and strawberry. Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo Cordero della Zoina Mot ages for 24 months in barrique, 4 months in steel tanks and for at least 12 months in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Ghemme Olegium 2004, Cascina Zoina (Piedmont, Italy)
Ghemme Olegium 2004
Cascina Zoina (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo Spanna (95%), Uva Rara (5%)
Price: € 13.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Ghemme Olegium shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of cherry, raspberry and violet followed by aromas of plum, blueberry, vanilla and cinnamon. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry. Ghemme Olegium ages for 36 months in cask, 7 months in steel tanks and for at least 9 months in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Collio Friulano 2008, Villa Russiz (Fiuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Collio Friulano 2008
Villa Russiz (Fiuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Grapes: Friulano
Price: € 15.50 Score:
Collio Friulano shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined that start with hints of apples, pear and peach followed by aromas of almond, hawthorn, pineapple, plum, broom and jasmine. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, peach and almond. Collio Friulano ages for at least 8 months in steel tanks.
Food Match: Fried fish, Pasta and risotto with fish and crustaceans, Sauteed fish



Collio Sauvignon De La Tour 2008, Villa Russiz (Fiuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Collio Sauvignon De La Tour 2008
Villa Russiz (Fiuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 27.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Collio Sauvignon De La Tour shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of pear, peach and elder flower followed by aromas of bell pepper, pineapple, acacia, broom, sage, apple and plum. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, peach and pineapple. Collio Sauvignon De La Tour ages for 10 months in steel tanks.
Food Match: Crustaceans, Pasta with fish and crustaceans, Stewed fish, Broiled fish



Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora 2005, Rontana (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora 2005
Rontana (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 8.70 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of plum, black cherry and blueberry followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, tobacco and cocoa. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora ages for 18 months in steel tanks followed by 18 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Sauteed meat, Cold cuts, Hard cheese



Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte 2003, Rontana (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte 2003
Rontana (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (20%)
Price: € 14.90 Score:
Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of black currant, blueberry, violet, vanilla, cocoa and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, black cherry and black currant. Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte ages for 20 months in barrique followed by 18 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2006, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2006
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 22.00 Score:
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, leather, mace, cinnamon and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri ages for 18 months in cask followed by 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Stewed and braised meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice Dolce Sinfonia 2003, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice Dolce Sinfonia 2003
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese (60%), Trebbiano Toscano (40%)
Price: € 44.00 - 375ml Score:
Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice Dolce Sinfonia shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of brick red, transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry jam, blackberry jam and plum jam followed by aromas of dried fig, blueberry jam, cinnamon, dried violet, cherry macerated in alcohol, tobacco, nail polish, rhubarb, mace and licorice. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of blackberry jam, black cherry jam and plum jam. Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice Dolce Sinfonia ages for 3 years in cask followed by 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, dried fruit and chocolate tarts






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 81, January 2010   
Comparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di MontepulcianoComparing Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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