Photos, story by Cassie Hepler
Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or as we like to call Vino Nobile for short (meaning noble wine) is a fine quality, indissoluble blend of red wine with deep roots in history. Yes, that all sounds fancy but with a sticker price around $30 a bottle, you can enjoy it like a true Italian Renaissance aristocrat.
Montepulciano is a small south-east area of Tuscany, known for its glorious gothic architecture, artistic heritage and stunning landscapes in a 16th century town.
Its fame of vineyards and wine can be tasted in the way their wines somehow leave no trace of the usual tannin heavy red wine headache. It somehow charmingly and magically does not exist, even after an ample wine tasting that Bacchus, the god of wine, would have found himself tipsy.
Starting with an educational seminar at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, we were presented with red wine, notes, pencil, paper and the latest edition of Wine Spectator and were ready to learn. Our bellies were prepped and ready with the amazing lunch buffet from The Tomato Bistro (it was an Italian day apparently).
Shawn Dore, Sommelier and brand ambassador for Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, opened up the seminar by describing the small vineyard’s region with picturesque and beautiful imagery.
Igniting palates and wanderlust alike, wine lovers from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey came to learn and taste what all the talk was about. Tasting was a pleasure, of course, and a breeze. Some people spit into their silver buckets and others (ahem) emptied their glasses and couldn’t wait for the continued tasting in the museum’s basement.
Also joining the wine connisseur table was Steve Wildy, beverage director at Vetri, Bill Eccelston, beverage director at Ristorante Panorame, and Antonio Zaccheo Jr., the winemaker himself straight from Tuscany, Italy and on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list.
The Vino Noble trendsetting winery uses sustainable energy. Below ground there is a forced air ventilation system with a wooden roof and solar panels to activate the cooling units. It is a gravity flow biodynamic Geothermal system and a lot of Italian wineries are privy to being green, an impressive and progressive feat for an old European town.
Our favorite was the Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012 with it’s cherry, sage, cinnamon flavors which was tasty and not too biting at the end. Runner up was Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2010 with its clean, truffle taste which was smooth but tart. A suggested pairing in Italy is with cinghiale, an endangered wild pig that runs free – in a large pen, of course. But enough about all this education, let’s look at some wine!