Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of several classic Tuscan red wines based on the Sangiovese grape variety. It comes from the vineyards that surround Montepulciano, a picturesque hill town 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Siena, southeastern Tuscany. The area is made up of slopes reaching 250 to 600 meters (820-1968ft) in altitude, located between two rivers, the Ocria and the Chiana.

Sangiovese (known locally as Prugnolo Gentile), must make up at least 70 percent of the final wine. Other local varieties permitted in the province of Siena may account for 30 percent; up to 5 percent may be white varieties such as Malvasia. The supporting red grapes include Canaiolo and the little known Mammolo.
The aging period for any Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a minimum of 24 months (36 months for the riserva wines), of which at least 12 months must be spent in oak barrels. Oak barrels are traditionally used here not so much for their flavor as for the slow, controlled maturation they provide. Local winemakers long used large Italian botti, (with less surface area in relation to volume) rather than the smaller French barriques

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