La Braccesca-Antinori, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2016 (about $24)

Italian Wine for january, 2021

The La Braccesca estate is located just east of the ancient hill-top town of Montepulciano in southern Tuscany. This historic property was owned by the aristocratic Bracci family for generations and was acquired by the Marchesi Antinori organization in 1990.

Today the property extends over 1,225 acres of which 840 acres are comprised of vineyards with various vineyard parcels stretching from Montepulciano to Cortona. Here they grow primarily Sangiovese (known locally as Prugnolo Gentile) with some Merlot and Syrah.

Although its reputation has been eclipsed in recent years by other Tuscan wines, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano for centuries was one of Tuscany’s most esteemed wines with some documents giving worshipful praise to the wine that date back to the Middle Ages. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was the first wine in Italy to be granted Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin (DOCG) status in 1980.

The DOCG requires Vino Nobile wines to have a minimum of 80 percent Sangiovese with Canaiolo Nero and other local grapes comprising the remainder. While the majority are blended wines some highly-regarded Vino Nobile wines are made entirely of Sangiovese. The wines also have to be aged for a minimum of 2 years of which one year must be in wood.

La Braccesca’s 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a blend of traditional Sangiovese with the addition of a 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG from the La Braccesca winery in southern Tuscany.small amount of Merlot sourced from some of the estate’s best vineyard parcels in the DOCG zone. The Sangiovese grapes undergo a 10-day fermentation with skin contact and the wine is then aged in large oak casks for 12 months. The wine was bottled in the spring of 2018 and then aged for an additional 12 months before release for sale.

This mid-to-full-bodied wine has an intense ruby red color with black-cherry and plum flavors etched with some spice notes. The mouthfeel is full, rich and silky-soft with dark fruit flavors, prominent but soft tannins and capped by a long, pleasant finish. This Sangiovese-Merlot blend captivates with its richness and finesse.

It’s a quality Vine Nobile from one of Tuscany’s best producers at a very reasonable price. The wine’s muted tannins and 13.5 percent alcohol will make it a welcome guest at most dinner tables, especially when roast lamb or veal is on the menu.


©Richard Marcis
January 4, 2021

To see reviews of other selected wines of the month, see Wines of the Month.

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