On the Road with the Grape Guy

Holy Crow it’s Carpineto

03 Mar 2020

(April 2019) ... One of the highlights of my Tuscan trips is tasting the wines of Carpineto during the Vino Nobile days and during the dinner (over the years Carpineto has pulled out some of the oldest wines on offer and usually some of the best).

This time Carpineto comes to Toronto to taste through a whole bunch of old and new wines from 2015 all the way back to 1990 … Time to look at each wine on its own merit (some no longer available commercially, but for those with some in the cellar now’s a good time to learn how your investment is doing).

Here are some facts and figures about Carpineto and the region …

Carpineto is a Carbon Neutral winery with a 184 hectare Montepulciano estate

5 estates: Dudda (Greve, Chianti), Gaville (Chianti Classico), Gavorrano (Maremma), Montalcino (Montalcino), Chianciano - Montepulciano (Montepulciano)

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was Italy’s first DOC red appellation (1966)

Quote of the Day … “If you make red wine from only red grapes they age longer”


Vino Nobile …

2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … Rich and robust dark fruit, most notably plum, with lots of spicy character, good acidity and even some cedary notes. (****)

2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … soft, silky and slightly herbal. (no score) Carpineto 2012

2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … one of the best wines at the tasting, layered and complex with smoky blackberry, cassis and good acidity leading the charge – as it mellows there is a peppery note and starts to show this wine really has an elegant side; ready to drink now but has a few years ahead of it.  (****+)

2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … touch of prune with dried leaves, white pepper and nice acidity; soft and elegant it’s an older tasting wine than the years let on.  (*** ½)

2010 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … subtle pruney-ness but with blackberry, mocha, coffee bean and black cherry still has quite a presence in the glass.  (*** ½+)

2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … at 12 years of age this wine is perfectly aged and right where it should be; subtle fruit elegance, still fresh with vibrant acidity. (****)

1995 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … this wine has no right to be this good but it sure does make for an interesting sip to savour: fruit is still present with plenty of red and blackberry notes, there’s even some floral and the acidity is holding it all together.  (*** ½+)

1990 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … floral and forest floor, there is an under-lying freshness but its age is showing within 15 minutes of being open.  (no score)

Other …

2012 Brunello di Montalcino … supple, soft and juicy with licorice, white pepper and even some notes of red peppercorns while other spices show the longer it sits; this one is going to age quite nicely.  (*** ½+)

2015 Chianti Classico … good red and black fruit with spicy notes and young, slightly aggressive tannins also with a delightful peppery finish.  (*** ½+)

2015 Gran Selezione Chianti Classico … great drinkability here with licorice, pepper, raspberry and cassis – worthy of the Gran Selezione moniker.  (****)


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