The commune of Montepulciano — where Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is produced — can be found in southeast Tuscany. It’s often confused with Abruzzo’s montepulciano grape varietal, but wines from the region of Montepulciano are actually made from from Abruzzo, Vino Nobile is made largely from sangiovese — known locally as prugnolo gentile.
Poliziano is one of Montepulciano’s better known estates, with winemaker Dino Carletti clearly focused on careful growing methods used to craft its estate wines. Let’s try this quartet of his wines.
2018 Poliziano Lohsa Morellino di Scansano DOCG – Morellino is the name for sangiovese produced in the Maremma area of coastal Tuscany. Here the wine showcases a rich combination of black and red fruit, a significant herbal layer led by rosemary, and a slight hint of vanilla on the finish. Though it has a certain simplicity, some expressive tannins and an earthy element give the wine a richness not expected at this price level. B+ / $16
2019 Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano DOC – Rosso di Montepulciano is in general a simpler style of wine, and this 80% sangiovese/20% merlot bottling is emblematic of that: Tart cherry gives way to a layer of gentle sweetness, with notes of candied orange peel and some floral, violet notes on the finish. Clean and almost pushy with its fruit character, it’s lip-smackingly lively but otherwise a bit basic. B / $17
2017 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG – Boldly heavy with an affront of cherry notes, this tastes more like Chianti than Chianti does. A blend of (primarily) sangiovese with a small amount of additional varietals sprinkled in, this one’s a fruit bomb that’s dropped outright in your lap. It’s a bit blunt at times, but it does the trick, offering an evocative holiday character that’s lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, pushing an agenda of sweet-and-sour elements on the tart finish. A- / $30
2017 Poliziano Asinone Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG – Asinone is one of the top expressions from the winery and was the first single-vineyard Vino Nobile wine produced, dating back to 1983. The wine is produced from 95 to 100% sangiovese, depending on the vintage, and is aged in 500- and 600-liter French oak tonneaux (20% new oak). A smoldering, lightly smoky experience, this wine offers a classic, lightly oxidized, and slightly balsamic character with a gently green, grassy character on the nose. This almost herbal note pairs well with the core elements of bright red fruit, a squeeze of lime, and some chocolate notes that emerge toward the finish. Tart with notes of cranberry over the more classic cherry notes, the acidity here is palpable well into the conclusion — which helps it pair well with any number of styles of food, and it drinks well on its own, too. Versatile and definitely drinkable today but also ageable, it’s a collectable curiosity worth exploring. A / $63