~ Vintage Cellar Entrance ~

I’ve been writing about wine for almost 30 years.  One thing that still amazes me is that even with my deep knowledge and concentration on the wines of Italy,  I’ve not begun to break the surface of what can be learned.  There are so many wines out there to taste and every day it seems more new wines are being produced. 
Carpineto is no exception.  I’ve known and followed them for 20 years, yet until recently,  I had no idea they were producing three single vineyard Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva that stand among their flagship wines.  If you’re in the same boat with me, then boy what we’ve been missing!  

~ Sangiovese Sentinel ~

The project is called Appodiati, and refers to five single vineyard wines, three of which are classic Vino Nobiles.  Antonio Zaccheo’s goal is simple with these wines; he spares no expense.  They are created from the best situated vineyards, the most severe grape selection, they see the longest aging, are bottled unfined and unfiltered and are held for 5 years in bottle prior to release including the subject of today’s article which has only just been released.  In fact, these wines are only produced in the best vintages. To date: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006 are the vintages that have been released. More recent vintages continue to develop in bottle.   

~ Sangiovese in Vigneto Poggio Sant’Enrico ~ 

Today we’re focusing on the recently released Carpineto 2006 Poggio Sant’Enrico Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva.   The grapes for this wine come from the 3 acre Sant’Enrico vineyard situated about 350-400 meters above sea level just outside the Montepulciano town walls.  The vineyards are southerly exposed and date to 1978. 
The 2006 is 100% Sangiovese and was vinified in stainless steel before spending almost 2 years refining in French and American oak barrels. After the barrel aging, the wine spent 5 full years resting in bottle and was released in 2015.
I’ve had many excellent Vino Nobile before.  Boscarelli, Poliziano and Avignonesi all make wonderful examples.  But until I tasted this Vino Nobile,  I had no idea the appellation could make wine on par with its westerly neighbor, Brunello.  I’ve had producers telling me for years that it could be done and yes, Boscarelli’s Il Nocio, Avignonesi’s Grande Annate, and Poliziano’s Asinone have all come remarkably close.  But this one,  this one shattered the ceiling.

We decanted the wine for 60 minutes before dinner. Ideally, two hours would have been better.  In the decanter the wine is pure black. This is the sort of color that drives naysayers to proclaim “that has Cabernet in it!”  But no, it’s 100% Sangiovese.  Clone SS-F9-A 5-48 on 420A rootstock if you’re geekily curious. 

The aromas from this wine are absolutely intense. Crushed black plums, new leather shoes, walnut, black pepper, roasted coffee and pipe tobacco are utterly captivating.  On the palate, the wine is still young and primary. It’s loaded with a full bodied core of black fruit flavors that just seem to ooze onto your palate and feature accents of black licorice, and roasted coffee notes.  The tannins are substantial, but remain supple and velvety.  The structure here is on a scale I’ve never experienced in a Vino Nobile and everything is so well balanced.  It’s hard to fathom this wine is 10 years old.  It could easily pass for a barrel sample.  I hope I can track more down.  It’s an incredible value just under $40.  95 points.  Disclosure: This bottle was a producer provided sample for review.

~ Simply eye opening ~


E vero!

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