~ Palazzo Vecchio ~

In 1300, the estate that is now Palazzo Vecchio was the heart of the historically important Fattoria di Valiano farm. Located on the border between the Papal States and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and overlooking the Val di Chiana, the estate has witnessed major historical events, including the famous reclamation and drainage of the Chiana valley. 

Acquired by the Zorzi family in the late 1800’s, renovations of the old buildings at Fattoria di Valiano and their accompanying cellars began in 1982. Over the subsequent years, the vineyards were individually assessed and replanted, allowing the winery now known as Palazzo Vecchio to produce its first vintage of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in 1990.
~ Vigneti in Inverno ~

Today the estate is owned and run by the husband and wife team of Marco and Maria Zorzi.  The winemaking is handled by Marco, in consultation with Andrea Mazzoni, while Maria handles back office duties and oversees the 40 odd hectares of olive groves on the property. 

The sizeable estate covers approximately 80 total hectares and lies midway between Montepulciano and Cortona.  Almost 13 individual vineyards comprise the estate and provide 100% of the fruit for Palazzo Vecchio’s wines.

~ Nature has its limits. Even Cinghiale won’t come near the vines when dogs are present ~
This is the first article in a series of reviews on this winery as we taste through their most recent releases.  

Today we’re focusing on a wine that in a sense, is linked to the genesis of the estate as it was the first wine originally produced in 1990.  The 2010 Vino Nobile Riserva is a blend of Prugnolo Gentile (85%) Canaiolo (10%) and Mammolo (5%)  that is fermented in stainless steel and then barrel aged for 36 months in large French cask before final refinement in the bottle.  

The Riserva is not made in every vintage; and comes from the Vigna del Bosco vineyard whose vines are approaching 60 years of age.   The 2010 possesses much more elegance than I would have imagined given the power of the vintage.  The deep violet color in the glass is very attractive to look at.  

From the glass, fresh aromas of flowers, crushed berries and sandalwood mingle nicely.  On the palate, the flavors mirror the nose with a subtle sense of aristocracy.  Medium bodied and easy to drink, the core of berry flavors is accented by faint dust notes and leafy tobacco.  Bright fruit is still front and center in this Riserva, yet it remains approachable now with well integrated tannins.  89 points.  Disclosure: This bottle was a producer provided sample. 
~ The Riserva is 85% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) 10% Canaiolo and 5% Mammolo ~
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