Diving Back In to Montepulciano

After my last post on Montepulciano, Tasters A and B of Smells Like a Grape were quick to email me and assure me that there are excellent Montepulcianos out there, as they had just done an enormous tasting of them. Little did they know that I rarely (if ever) fully fall off the horse with a wine grape and will almost always give it another shot. As I had already done with the Montepulciano, with much more success.

The bottle was a 2005 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It has a real cork closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and ran me around $15 at MV Wine and Spirit in Madison, CT.

On the nose I found spice, leather, raspberries, oak, red currants, a little saddle room, and eucalyptus. In the mouth I found raspberries, eucalyptus, and leather. The wine was a lot lighter in the mouth than I had anticipated based on the color and nose, and had the bitter element I have come to expect from Italian varietals.

This bottle definitely leads me to believe that my previous bottle of Montepulciano must have been flawed in some way, either it was too old or perhaps it got cooked along the way.

8 Responses

  1. Hi Megan
    I had this for lunch a little while back at the Barrel Thief here in Richmond and thought it was quite nice. The bottle we shared was a little tight on the nose but overall was a great value.

    see ya

  2. Another wine to seek out is 2004 Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It rolls in at $30 but is worth every cent. I gave it a solid 91 points noting a lot of Old World flavors, dark fruits and spice.

  3. Here’s where I get to be a pain in the ass — correct me if I’m mis-remembering. The last Montepulciano you had was a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This is a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The former is a wine made in Abruzzo from the Montepulciano grape variety. The latter is a wine made in the DOC of Montepulciano (place, not grape) largely of the Sangiovese variety (if not 100% – I don’t have the rules memorized on this one).

    So, Montepulciano is both a grape and a place, neither having anything to do with the other. Yeah, it’s confusing. But I think you may have to go back to the drawing board and pick up another Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to see if that other bottle was flawed or typical!

    God, I feel like such a spoil-sport.

  4. Hey John, yeah, it took a bit, but turned into a really nice wine.

    Thanks for the suggestion Michael, I will have to keep my eye out for it.

    Damnit Jill! I hadn’t gotten that far in Vino Italiano….now I feel like a moron!

  5. Hi Sonadora – more important is that you liked the wine – Avignonesi is one of my favourite producers…

  6. Sonodora, you are to be commended for having the policy of “Always give it another shot”! I’ve seen other Montepulciano wines out there and I want to try them based on your tasting notes of this one!

  7. Oh, wow. Another wine we drank at about the same time. We’re on some weird wine wavelength, I think. This is the one I’m using for WBW, so I haven’t reviewed it yet.

  8. Yep, ‘fraid Jill is correct: Montepulciano is both place and grape, sometimes the same. Sometimes, not.

    But for all those who found the nose too tight, did y’all leave the bottle open for a while? I seem to find Italian wines in particular need to either be decanted or left to breathe for longer than I might normally expect otherwise. Just opened a Salice Salentino that smelled like ass when I opened it, but opened up nicely after a few hours….

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