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Tuscan Red in Its Prime

Il Conventino (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 2010)
$28/bottle SOLD OUT

Of the three main production zones in Tuscany for Sangiovese-based wines, it’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano that seems most often overlooked. Thanks to a certain fictional forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, most everyone has heard of Chianti. Brunello di Montalcino is the darling of collectors. Perhaps because Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is smaller (only 7% of the acreage of Brunello and an even tinier fraction of Chianti) or because it shares its name with a wine that is quite often mass produced across the Apennines in Abruzzo, it has not gotten the recognition it deserves.

If you’re looking for a high-quality red wine from Tuscany without the price tag of Brunello, yet sharing a similarity in depth and ageability, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a good bet. If you’re looking for one that impeccably expresses its terroir, is entering its prime drinking window while still having a long life ahead, and won’t kill the wine budget,2010 Il Conventino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a sure thing.

Back in 2003, brothers Pino, Duccio and Alessandro Brini purchased the vineyards of La Casella within the cru of Caggiole known for producing wines of ample body and structure. They immediately made the choice to cultivate their 13 acres of vineyards, well-situated between 750 and 1,740 feet, using organic methods. They eventually saw their 2010 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano awarded “Tre Bicchieri” (Three Glasses) by Gambero Rosso, the world’s leading authority on Italian wine. An award only the top wines of Italy will ever receive.

Today the winery is mostly run by Pino’s son, Alberto, and the vineyards have expanded to 30 acres. The organic viticulture has been extended to biodynamic techniques like using grasses between vines and planting diverse crops to maintain a healthy ecosystem on the farm. Only indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation.

A blend of 85% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) and 15% Colorino, Canaiolo and Mammolo, only 1,600 cases of 2010 Il Conventino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano were produced. Ageing took place in large, French and Slavonian oak casks for 24-27 months and then four months in bottle prior to release. The result is pretty aromas of bramble and forest fruit embellished with layers of spice and mocha. Dark fruits appear on the soft and succulent finish. A perfect pairing for a thick Porterhouse cut grilled over hardwood and lightly touched with rosemary.

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Posted on 2016.06.01 in Italy, Saturday Sips, Tuscany

 

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