03 January 2014
The 2014 editions of the traditional annual wine books have reaffirmed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano's position as one of the most highly valued appellations in the world of enology. The territory of Montepulciano was honoured with a wealth of awards, including two that are a particular source of pride: the Espresso wine guide awarded the Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice 1999 from Avignonesi an incredible 19.5/20 (this isn't the first time they have acknowledged excellence in sweet, or dessert wines), and the Vino Nobile “Nocio” 2009 from Boscarelli, which garnered five 'excellent' ratings from the top six guides (including the guides from the Espresso, Bibenda - AIS, Gambero Rosso, the Touring Club and Slow Wine), thereby just missing out on a complete set.
The professionals' enviable task of assessing the vintages currently available on the market also furnished citations of excellence for other Consorzio wines. Alongside the aforementioned Avignonesi, other Vin Santos nominated for their excellence include the 2004 vintage from Poliziano and the Dolce Sinfonia Occhio di Pernice from Bindella, another 2004 vintage. The Nocio from Boscarelli is also in good company, with citations for excellence awarded to the following Nobile wines: Asinone 2010 from Poliziano, I Quadri 2010 from Bindella, the 2010 from Il Conventino, the Riserva Bossona 2009 from Dei, the 2010 and the Antica Chiusina 2007 from Fattoria del Cerro, the Riserva Vitaroccia 2008 and 2009 vintages from Icario, and the 2010 vintages from Casalte, Podere Lamberto, Salcheto and Tenuta Valdipiatta.
Looking through the guides, other intriguing recommendations crop up, underlining the quality of the product. The judges are clear in their appraisals, and as well as celebrating particular wines, the guides offer more general wine purchase suggestions, and make it easy to check the impressive quality to price ratio at a glance.
The Touring Club's 'Vini Buoni d’Italia' guide only considers wines made from indigenous grape varieties. As well as awarding their 'Crown' of excellence to some of the wines mentioned above, they also awarded four stars to other wineries, such as Contucci, Gattavecchi, La Calonica, Le Berne, Le Bertille and La Vecchia Cantina. Veronelli's Guida Oro, now in its 26th edition, attributed the greatest number of judgements of excellence this year, the coveted 'Super 3 Stars' awards. This year the Guida Oro awarded quality wineries such as Canneto, Il Faggeto, Il Macchione, La Braccesca, Montemercurio, Nottola, Palazzo Vecchio, Poggio alla Sala, Talosa, Tenimenti Angelini – Tre Rose and Villa Santa Anna. The Slow Food organisation's guide takes into account the characteristics of the territory, the local history and the environment that the wine manages to express, and emphasises the quality to price ratio: the Casale Daviddi and Poderi Sanguineto wineries were singled out for praise. In the same guide the wines Vino Nobile Nocio di Boscarelli 2009 and the Vino Nobile 2009 Il Macchione obtained the "Grand Mention".
The competition for awards is even fiercer at the international level, making the awards bestowed on the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano even more highly appreciated. The highly esteemed Wine Enthusiast magazine and website, based in the United States, publishes the annual "Enthusiast 100", a chart ranking the best 100 wines in the world, chosen from the 16,500 wines tasted by the magazine's global panel, with an emphasis on the quality to price ratio and drinkability. This was the magazine that awarded the Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice from Avignonesi first place in its ranking of the best wines in the world in 2008, with the maximum 100 points, followed by a Californian wine with 97 points. In the 2013 charts the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2009 from Contucci scored 94/100, taking sixteenth place, while the Nobile 2010 from Antico Colle scored 93, in 28th position. These results reaffirm the Vino Nobile's universal appeal.
America most prestigious wine publication, the Wine Spectator, further confirms this global appreciation: as well as including the Nobile 2010 from Avignonesi in its 2013 top 100 best wines in the world, it also awarded numerous other Consorzio wines with impressive scores: the Rosso 2011 from Valdipiatta, the Nobile 2010 from Poliziano, the Rosso 2010 from Dei and two wines from Fattoria del Cerro (the Nobile Antica Chiusina 2006 and the Nobile 2009) garnered 90 out of a possible 100. The Riserva 2008 from Canneto, the Nobile 2010 from La Calonica and the Rosso 2010 from La Braccesca also took home 90 points. The Riserva Bossona 2008 and the Nobile 2010 from Dei, the Nobile 2004 and the Riserva 2007 from Carpineto, and the Nobile 2010 from Canneto were awarded an even more impressive 91 out of 100, while the Riserva Poggio Stella 2006 from La Vecchia Cantina, the Nobile 2008 from Talosa and the Nobile 2010 and the Nobile Vigna d’Alfiero 2007 from Valdipiatta went one better with 92 points. Finally, the Avignonesi winery was awarded 97 points for their Vin Santo 1999 and a well-deserved 98 points for their Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice 1999.