On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Vino Nobile Anteprime 2017: Good Better Best

22 Feb 2017

(February 16, 2017) ... MONTEPULCIANO - Continuing on with my “rule” of not scoring unfinished wines (aka: barrel samples), I present to you my impression of the Anteprima del Vino Nobile de Montepulciano:  

At a tasting where almost half of the wines are barrel samples it might seem hard to get an idea of the vintage, but it is possible.  2014 shows a lot of acidity, seemingly more than in past years, and while that might be a good thing in many wines, managing it is another story, and so is the extraction of fruit; because fruit and acidity are not mutually exclusive – too much acidity can overwhelm the wine, while too little can create something flabby and, at first, seemingly hedonistic, but not when you’re asked to have a second glass, then it just feels weighty in the mouth and tires it out.  There were some really good examples from the likes of La Braccesca (the Antinori property in the region), who had two of my top wines as well as Tenuta Valdipiatta, both producers seemed to understand the need to reign in that acidity and present a more upfront fruit characteristic in this exceedingly acid-heavy vintage; their use of oak also did not mask the wine’s true nature – which can also be a problem in vintages like this.

As mentioned above I do not score unfinished wines, too much can go wrong between tank/barrel and bottle that can compromise or otherwise change the wine that I have I tried as a “sample” …  At Anteprima del Vino Nobile di Montelpulcino I was in the same boat as I was at the Chianti Lovers and in San Gimignano: there were a lot of unfinished wines which I decided to rate for their potential for the future (there were also a number of wines that were finished and already on the market) … below I will be rating the wines on future potential on a scale of Good – Better – Best ... plus at the very bottom of the page are the scores for some of my favourite finished wines.  I have also linked up some reviews for you to get a fuller picture of that wine and it’s potential for purchase and cellaring.

Good Potential

Contucci 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Dei 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Bossona”
Fanetti 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Fassati 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Icario 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Le Badelle 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Lombardo 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Palazzo Vecchio 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva
Salcheto 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Salco”
Salcheto 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Better Potential

Boscarelli 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Fattoria del Cerro 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Gattavecchi 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Poggio alla Sala”
Icario 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vitaroccia”
Il Conventino 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Le Badelle 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Rubeo”
Montemercurio 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Messaggero”
Nottola 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Best Potential

Il Macchione 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Scored (Finished) Wines …

Antinco Colle 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
Barbanera 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Duca di Saragnano” … (*** ½+)
Bindella 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vallocaia” … (*** ½+)
Boscarelli 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (****)
Carpineto 2009 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Sant’Ercolano” … (*** ½+)
Dei 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Fassati 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Gersemi” … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Fattoria del Cerro 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½)
Fattoria La Braccesca 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (****+)
Fattoria La Braccesca 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****+)
Le Berne 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Le Berne 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Metinella 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Burberosso” … (*** ½+)
Podere della Bruciata 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Cesiro” … (****)
Priorino 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Viola” … (****)
Tenuta Valdipiatta 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****+)

 

Vernaccia San Gimignano 2017: Good Better Best

22 Feb 2017

 

(February 15, 2017) ... SAN GIMIGNANO - Continuing on with my “rule” of not scoring unfinished wines (aka: barrel samples), I present to you my impression of the Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano:  

Here in the hilltop town of San Gimignano everything is up, even when you go down it feels like you are going up (now I know what my parents meant about when they talked about going to school uphill, both ways).  The grape is Vernaccia and it is white – the only true white wine region of the “Anteprima Toscana” trip and it is a region that shows great potential, especially in the 2016 vintage: the wines were fresher and livelier than I have seen in any past years and there were even some excellent already finished version that really made me stand up and take notice from the likes of Il Lebbio & Podere Le Volute (click on winery name to see full review)  - if this is the wave of the future for Vernaccia I see good things coming.  I can also add that producers are pretty jazzed about 2016 in general, and that is not just hype, it really shows in many of the 2016 wines I tried.

As mentioned above, I do not score unfinished wines, too much can go wrong between tank/barrel and bottle that can compromise or otherwise change the wine that I have I tried as a “sample” …  At Anteprima Vernaccia I was in the same boat as I was at the Chianti Lovers tasting in Tuscany: I got to taste a lot of unfinished wines to rate for their potential for the future (there were also a number of wines that were finished and ready, or already on the market) … below I will be rating the wines on future potential on a scale of Good – Better – Best ... plus at the very bottom of the page are some fully scored finished wines.  If you have read any of my takes on Vernaccia in the past you will notice the scores of the best wines this year are creeping up, and that is a good sign for this region.

Good PotentialSan_Gimignano_Program2017

Cantine Guidi 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Fattorie Melini 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Il Palagione 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Hydra”
La Lastra 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
San Benedetto 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Better Potential

Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Lucii Libanio – Casa Lucii 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Mormoraia 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Palagetto 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Tenuta La Vigne 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Best Potential

Cappella Sant’Andrea 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano


Scored (Finished) Wines …

Casa alle Vacche 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (***)
Casa alle Vacche 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “I Macchioni” … (*** ½+)
Cesani 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (***+)
Fattoria di Pancole 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (*** ½+)
Fattoria Poggio Alloro 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Il Nicchiaio” … (*** ½+)
Il Lebbio 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (****+)
Podere Le Volute 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (****+)
Podere del Paradiso 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (*** ½+)
Tenuta Le Calcinaie 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano … (*** ½+)
Tollena 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Lunario” … (***+)

 

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