The Other Tuscan Red

By Chad Carns

Earlier this Summer I had an opportunity to become a certified Tuscan Wine Master after attending Tuscan Wine Masters Academy in New York City. We studied wines from three regions: Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano and Brunello Di Montalcino.

Vino Nobile owned the distinguished honor of the “Noble” wine of Tuscany centuries ago. Voltaire, Dumas and Dante wrote about these wines.

Some (but definitely not all) wines from Tuscany have evolved to fit the ever-changing global pallet. These wines can taste “New World” or more ripe than more traditional wines. But wines from Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano haven’t changed much since Voltaire praised them in Candide (1759). You can taste Tuscany in these wines. Flavors of wild cherry (not ripe or baked cherry), black pepper, black tar, green olive and orange peel.
 Less marketing dollars go into promoting Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano wines so the savings could be passed on to you.

If you want to taste Tuscany for

around $20, pick up a bottle

of Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano!

TGB Tuscany Notes:

  • Red wines from Tuscany are made from mostly Sangiovese grape
  • Chianti Classico, Montepulciano and Montalcino are all regions in Tuscany
  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a wine made in Abruzzi, Italy. This wine is made from the Montepulciano grape. Although the name is the same, this grape/wine is not related to the region in Tuscany. Side Note: However, if we look into the latin root of Montepulciano, we could find the words “beautiful” and “mountain”. One would not have to look too far to find a beautiful mountain in both Abruzzi and Tuscany. A gentleman from our class native to the region of Abruzzi said that “pulciano” actually means “Bug” in his local dialect. Perhaps that was the wine talking. I’m going with “Beautiful Mountain!”

Past Vintages in Tuscany

  • Great: 2001, 2004, 2006 & 2007
  • Very Good: 2005,  2009 & 2010
  • Good: 2000, 2008, 2011, 2012 & 2013
  • Inconsistent: 2002 (Difficult year due to the uneven weather conditions; as a result, many examples are higher in acidity, lower in fruit.)

Chianti Classico

80%-100% Sangiovese
 (Other varieties include Canaiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Merlot, Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon)
Aging: 1 year; (Riserva) Min. 2 years

Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

70%-100% Sangiovese 
(Other varieties include Canaiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Merlot, Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon)

Aging: Min. 2 years; (Riserva) Min. 3 years

Brunello Di Montalcino

100% Sangiovese 

Aging: Min. 5 years (2 years in oak); (Riserva) Min. 6 years (2 years in oak)


Tuscany Wine Websites

About The Author

Chad Carns
Founder / Food & Drink Editor

Chad Carns put his Digital Creative Director job on hold to follow his passion for food, wine and culture downtown to Greenwich Village where he wrote, designed and independently published The Gourmet Bachelor, a trendy cookbook featuring easy recipes for two. Carns studied culinary arts and wine at prestigious institutions in NYC. He is a distinguished guest judge at International Culinary Center, certified Tuscan Wine Master and Founder / Food and Drink Editor of The Gourmet Bachelor.

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