Cantina Del Buono Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (2008)
Living in Pennsylvania, under the iron fist known as the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, can be a drag. Every product available in the state is brought in by the same source. There are no indie stores and thus limited access to knowledgeable staff. There are also no internet sales from the store of your choice (though that is changing somewhat).
That said, there are occasionally some advantages. The biggest of which may be the Chairman’s Selection program, where PA uses its power as the largest buyer in the US (and 2nd largest in the world, behind Ontario’s LCB) to bring in unique, interesting wines at a bargain. Sadly, this program is also often used to dump off large quantities of good wines from bad vintages or wines that are past their prime, but more often than not they provide excellent deals — you just have to buy what they offer, which may or may not be what you want.
When we arrived home from Tuscany, having fallen in love with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, I was disappointed (but not surprised) to find out that the availability of these wines in PA was extremely, extremely limited. In 2010 there were maybe 3 available in the state.
Thankfully, this changed recently with the arrival of the Cantina Del Buono Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (also known as Azienda Agricola del Buono) to the Chairman’s program. PA used its buying power to bring a wine that had never been sold in the US here at an insane price – at $15, the first Vino Nobile I’d seen on these shores at less than $20. Is it the best VN? Not even close, but at these prices, it’s a great way to bring more people into the style and certainly a nice way for me to relive those Tuscan times.
Aroma dominated by mushroom & earth with notes of leather and dark (almost candied) cherries. Palate shows more cherry / kirsch, with just a bit of earth. Chalky, chewy tannins on the finish. Don’t decant for too long… 20-30 mins max or you’ll lose it. Certainly not the finest Vino Nobile, but a nice deal at $15.