There are an abundance of grapes in northern Italy's brooding reds that begin with the letter 'B': Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera. Sliding a bit south to Tuscany, we discover another 'B' - unknown to most wine drinkers. In fact, in this region where Chianti and Prada-like SuperTuscans reign supreme, this 'B' is altogether anonymous. Don't believe me? Take the one-question quiz:
Q: What is the name of the grape variety used to produce Vino Nobile di Montepulciano?
'A' on the flip....
A: The grape used in V.N.d.M is Sangiovese*
*Yes, yes, I know. The last time you checked, Sangiovese didn't begin with the letter 'B'. However, it's all true - the secret in Vino Nobile is Sangiovese - albeit a tough-skinned clone called, Brunello (AKA Sangiovete Grosso or Prugnolo Gentile). Where Sangiovese snuggles up to the tongue like a perfectly fitting pair of Jordache jeans, Brunello/Prugnolo G. upbraids the taste buds like a stiff pair of, uh, Toughskins denim. Never let it be said that I couldn't compare a wine grape to offbrand jeans from Sears Roebuck & Co.
- 13.5% ABV; imported by Vias Imports
- 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese/Brunello), 5% Colorino, 5%,Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo. Aged 18 months in Slavonian oak casks (30% in French barriques) and 6 months in bottle.
- Inky indigo in color with a bright pink rim.
- This Vino Nobile offers up a compelling scent trio of blackcurrant, cedar and anise.
- Taste carefully. Fattoria Del Cerro introduces itself to your palate with juicy berry flavors. However, just as you relax to enjoy the wine, you're bound to get walloped by a heavy duty tannic grip, which holds on through the herbal - what-if-Ricola-made-wine - finish.
- Take care to pair this wine with foods sporting a tannin-friendly layer of fat. Try it with proscuitto, grilled steak or a helluva meatball.
- Verdict: Recommended