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.

Report from : Vino Nobile Anteprima 2020

02 Apr 2020

(February 20, 2020) ... MONTEPULCIANO – Throughout the Anteprima season in Italy I continue to use my usual rules of not scoring unfinished wines (aka: barrel / tank samples), but this year none of the Vino Nobile fit that bill, so I have a whole lot of scored and finished wines to tell you about. 73 wines were tasted in total, ranging from the current vintage (2017) to some Selezione and Riservas from 2015 (nothing older – because after 2015 is there really another vintage worth talking about?)

But first a word about the vintage … 2017 seems to have had a lot of problems, but nothing was insurmountable. A late spring frost took about 1/3 the crop so there was some natural selection in the vineyard – only the strong survive. The crop that did survive produced some good to very good results. If 2016 is describe as “excellent” then 2017 is one that is “good with difficulties”; there are fewer outstanding wines, as compared to 2016 (where 21 wines made the cut – whereas only 14 wines made it this year) but the ones that did are good and winemakers and producers worked hard at making them so – so in 2017 the good ones really do shine through … let’s get to the wines.

Below are the scored wines for current vintage of Vino Nobile.

Scored (Finished) Wines …

Nobile 2020 Antico Colle 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ... (*** ½)
Cantina Chiacchiera 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
De’ Ricci 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
Dei 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Alboreto” … (*** ½+)
Gattavecchi 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
La Ciarliana 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
La Combarbia 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
Metinella 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Burberosso” … (*** ½)
Podere Casanova 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
Tenuta Valdipiatta 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½)
Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Redi” … (*** ½)


Vineyard Selection and Reserve Wines …

Bindella 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vallocaia” … (*** ½)Nobile Glass
Bindella 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Selezione “I Quadri” … (*** ½)
Carpineto 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Fassati 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Salarco” … (*** ½)
Icario 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vitaroccia” … (*** ½)
Le Berne 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½)
Le Bertille 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½)
Lunadoro 2017 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Selezione “Pagliareto” … (*** ½+)
Tenuta Trerosa 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Simposio” … (*** ½+)


"Older Vintages" ...

As part of the tasting there were a number of "Annate Precedenti” (past vintages) I usually take this opportunity to discuss these cellar dwellers and find out how they are holding up; but this year it seems a large proportion of these wines were from the 2016/2015 vintage (hardly what I would call "old") - they are pretty much still young enough to drink or hold; I decided to score these as well as most likely they are still available in some markets (or even in some cellars – to show the strength of the 2015 and 2016 vintage; of the 24 wines tasted 14 of them got scored, in comparison 14 of the 28 current vintage wines received a score – there was also a 2013 wine that got tasted and scored in these old vintages (showing that someone was brave enough to put another something other than the beauty of ’15 & ’16 on the table – so kudos to them).

Az. Agr. Tiberini 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vigneto Fossatone” … (*** ½+)
Az. Agr. Tiberini 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Podere Le Caggiole” … (*** ½)
Cantina del Giusto 2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “San Claudio II” … (*** ½+)
Cantina del Giusto 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “San Claudio II” … (*** ½)
Nobile LogoContucci 2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½)
Dei 2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Bossona” … (*** ½)
Fassati 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Selezione “Gersemi” … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Godiolo 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Il Macchione 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
La Ciarliana 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Manvi 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Arya” … (*** ½+)
Metinella 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Selezione “142-4” … (*** ½)
Montemercurio 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Messaggero” … (*** ½+)
Villa S. Anna 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)

 

 

Report from : Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020

31 Mar 2020

(February 19, 2020) ... SAN GIMIGNANO – This year’s Anteprima schedule started with Chianti (in Florence) and moved along though San Gimignano – I seem to be putting these reports up haphazardly this year – the Brunello reports are all up (Rosso, Brunello, Selezione) while Chianti and Vino Nobile remain on my desk waiting – they’ll pop up in the next few weeks, after a quick look at San Gimignanon and Vernaccia.

Vernaccia is the white grape of Tuscany and the first to receive DOCG status – years ago I wondered why anyone would care about this grape, because the wines were so terrible – now I lament that we don’t get any into Ontario (or very few) – to make up for that, I end up bringing a bottle back just to enjoy over the summer.

Winemakers here are starting to understand that freshness, acidity and fruitiness wins out over oak and makes this grape not only unique but a wonderful summer wine that brings pleasure to the consumer. Yes, they still insist on oak in the Riservas, but there seems to be a pull-back here that allows for fruit (not oak) to shine trough. Plus, there is a push towards single vineyard offerings to showcase terroir (many of these end up in my report scorecard below).Vernaccia in a glass

The good news for these wines is that over my years of attending the Anteprima I have noticed more and more producers step away from the old ways and take a more modern approach to their winemaking – those willing to take a chance are being rewarded, those stuck in the past are pulling those willing to change down (but thankfully it seems to be fewer and fewer every year).

The best versions of these wines have freshness in the form of minerality and acidity backed by citrus fruit and / or stone fruit. The best Riservas keep that lively freshness while also adding weight and texture to the delicate wine without over-powering or over-oxygenating (oxidized) the wine. Single vineyard (or selection), wines that have a name in quotation marks – are slowly beginning to gain wide acclaim because they show another dimension to the winemaking.

As previously stated we don’t see a lot of Vernaccia wines in Ontario, I can’t speak for the rest of Canada, but the wines made around San Gimignano are a rarity on LCBO shelves, so instead of providing full tasting notes ; I’ll use my Good / Better / Best approach below; but also because, once again this year’s paperwork did not specify whether the wines tried were finished or a tank / barrel sample – it is because of this I am also leery to give an official score to these wines … therefore I am treating every wine as a “sample” … And with that said, I give my usual disclaimer for an Anteprima tasting:  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”. So, I will be rating all of them using my good / better / best system for potential … read on to find out which wines made make the list:

Vernaccia 2020 wallAfter tasting 81 wines these were the best of those offerings:


Good Potential

Cantine Guidi 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Cappellasantandrea 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Rialto”
Casa alle Vacche 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Casa Lucii 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Casa Lucii”
Casa Lucii 2015 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Mareterra”
Collemucioli 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Madre Terra”
Fattoria Poggio Alloro 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Il Nicchialo”
Fontaleoni 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Guicciardini Strozzi 2017 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva
Il Colombaio di SantaChiara 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Campo della Pieve”
Il Palagione 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Ori”
La Lastra 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva
Macinatico–Massi 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva “Massi”
Pietrafitta 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Borghetto”
Podere le Volute Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Podere Arcangelo 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
San Donato 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Angelica”
Signano 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Poggiarelli”


Better Potential

Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Borgo alla Terra”Vernaccia 2020
Casa alle Vacche 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano”I Macchioni”
Casale Falchini 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Vigne a Solatio”
Casale Falchini 2017 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Ab Vinea Doni”
Fattoria Poggio Alloro 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Guicciardini Strozzi 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Titolato”
Il Palagione 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Hydra”
Macinatico – Massi 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Podere del Paradiso 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Tenuta La Vigna 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Tenuta La Vigna 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva
Tenuta Le Calcinaie 2017 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva “Vigna ai Sassi”
Teruzzi 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Isola Bianca”


Best Potential

Tenuta Le Calcinaie 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano

 

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