Oh, what a wine tonight…the 2000 Vino Nobile di Montepluciano Reserva from Cerro. Deep, deep purple, earth, pepper, leather, black cherries, still fairly tannic…a real mouthful of wine with at least another five years in it. Wow!
Not enough people know about Vino Nobiles…when you think about Tuscany, it is all about Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Both of those are great wines, and I love them (and have a bunch in my cellar). But for a lot less than the average Brunello — and even less than a lot of Chianti Riservas — you can get Vino Nobiles that provide the same flavour profile and aging ability.
Unlike Brunellos, Vino Nobiles are made from a mix of grapes (all very obscure, so I won’t list them). But that mixture produces some amazing complexity and longevity. Interestingly, that quality is recognized in Italy, as the wines get the same designation — Denominazione di origine controllata — as Brunello, Chianti and Barolo. Yet you don’t see the same recognition, or prices, in Canada or North America.
There also aren’t as many. In Vancouver, there are maybe 2 or 3 available at any one time. And at $35 – $40, they still aren’t anywhere near what I would call cheap.
But if you are seeking a good value for the cellar (compared to $6o Brunellos), they can be a good bet; particularly if you are looking for an Italian wine that will age and develop for 8 – 10+ years.
Look for producers like Cerro and Fassati, particularly in good years. I think you will be impressed!