This small area located in the southeast of the region, around the medieval town of Montepulciano in the province of Siena, is the birthplace of outstandingly prestigious wines.
Not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (made from the Montepulciano grape), this Sangiovese-based red is most commonly referred to as Nobile. Nobile was the first DOCG wine of Italy, one of the favorites amongst influential Italian Kings, Popes, and Presidents. This is why it has been celebrated throughout history as the wine of the nobles, hence its name.
This most ancient and prestigious wine from Tuscany is mainly produced from a special clone of Sangiovese called Prugnolo Gentile because of its distinguishing prune bouquet.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano must be a minimum 70% of Sangiovese, to which can be added Canaiolo (up to a maximum of 20%) and Mammolo, both local indigenous grapes that enrich the wine with very interesting floral notes, especially that of violets.
By appellation or DOCG rules, the wine must aged for a minimum of two years, one of those takes place in oak barrels or casks. And to be labeled Riserva, it must be aged for at least three years total.
Today we visit Tiberini, an artisanal winery in Montepulciano that has been producing Nobile for six generations in Podere Caggiole, in the northwest side of the town in a very unique soil made of stones, sand and clay.
When we arrive at the family country house plunged in the vineyards off the main road, we feel what Luca Tiberini is talking about: “History, passion and commitment: these are the key elements that are necessary to turn wine from a simple liquid to a way of living, from a grape variety or a winery blend into a key to enter a special place, that can infuse the vision and the essence of your territory.”
Luca can’t wait to go to the vineyards, his real playground, where the family is proudly growing only native grape varieties, such as Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo, Mammolo, Colorino, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Pulcinculo, organically since 1985.
Well, I’ve heard a lot about most of the above varietals, but what about Pulcinculo? A very funny name for an Italian speaking person…
Luca explains to me that Montepulciano is not only the land for great red wines, but it can also provide very interesting whites, like their Maturato made from this unusual grape that here is called Pulcinculo, but in the rest of Italy it is Grechetto bianco and it is normally used for the production of Vin Santo.
Luca is fiercely sharing their family values and we see through his big eyes the responsibility of carrying on the family tradition after so many decades: ‘The respect and the attention we pay to each of our individual vines, it means having the ability to protect and harvest a fruit of great potential, which can grow strong and full of its own soul. We believe that the vineyard is the secret of our satisfaction, not only because of our winemaking tradition, but especially because of our way of living. We feel the call to participate in the evolution of our generations and we put all our enthusiasm and passion to take the good from the past and look to new horizons.”
Those who come to visit the estate will find such strong values and will taste a complex, deep and extremely elegant Nobile, that well represents the traditional culture of this land and also shows a very particular character. Traces of spices, tobacco and burned leather make us close our eyes and every time think back of that walk in the vineyards.
“We never stop, keeping in mind the experiences given by those who preceded us, taking advantage of our traditions, to look carefully to the future, putting ourselves every day in discussion, because we know that only by never doubting ourselves can we always give the best and evolve.”
Cheers Tiberini family, we proudly support you!