Il Faggeto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Pietra del Diavolo (2007)
Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Not a wine that’s in every wine store in America, but the inspiration for this little blog (Ed note: this was originally posted on a blog called Il Vino Nobile). Every time I drink a Vino Nobile, I takes me back to the villa in Tuscany. We stayed just outside Chiusi, about 30 minutes from Montepulciano, visiting some wineries in that region and drinking about as much of the stuff as we could. Brunello and Chianti (the other big Tuscan DOCGs) were also plentifully available, but Chianti is easy to find at home, and Brunello isn’t at its best for about 10 years, so neither had as much appeal when we were over there.
Though the features of Vino Nobile perhaps vary more than those of Chianti or Brunello (because a larger percentage of non-Sangiovese grapes is allowed), it is perhaps the most balanced, offering less acidity than Chianti and softer tannins than the powerful Brunello. Still, it showcases the classic Sangiovese characteristics – aromas of saddle leather and tea leaves, and flavors of ripe cherry fruit balanced with a pleasant earthiness.
I loved this wine. Decanted for 1hr+, and this continued to evolve as we drunk it (and was probably at its best as we were finishing up). It has an unmistakable leather nose – the Sangiovese signature, as well as flavors of ripe cherries, a decent amount of acidity and moderate tannins. It also features notes of earth and mushroom.
I served this with a pork chop, white bean, garlic and crispy sage dish – which was an astonishing pairing (not surprisingly). This wine stood up to it, but the acidity and tannin was washed away nicely by the bold flavors. The best part, honestly, was the fried sage and a fresh basil garnish – those herbs doubled the finish of the wine.
Shame I only had one bottle of this!