Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As I mentioned before, I brought in three new producers from Italian importer Palm Bay Imports – Castello di Fonterutoli, Poliziano and Col d’Orcia. These three producers were all previously with other well-known importers (Fonterutoli was with William Grant, Poliziano was also with Wm. Grant and more recently, (very briefly) with Vin Divino, and Col d’Orcia had been with Winebow). These producers are all well-respected, well-established wineries that as a wine buyer, I have come to trust over the years to produce quality product.

Poliziano is considered one of the top producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is one of Tuscany’s most recognized wines. Not to be confused with the grape Montepulciano (which is most notably from the Abruzzi region of Italy), this Montepulciano refers to the city in Tuscany and its surrounding outskirts. A fairly new winery by European standards – it was founded in 1961 – it takes its name from 15th century poet Angelo Ambrogini, nicknamed “Poliziano” (which is derived from his birthplace, Politanus). Of the 5 wines Poliziano is noted for, we choose to bring in 3:

1. Rosso di Montepulciano 2006 ($18.96). A blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, fermented in tank, and aged partially in second-use American oak. Lots of bright cherry and blackberry notes mixed with red flower and hints of spice.

2. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 ($31.96). 85% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) and 15% Colorino, Canaiolo and Merlot. Fermented in tank and aged French oak for 14-16 months. Deeper, richer notes of black fruit, cedar and spice. One of the best Vino Nobiles.

3. Asinone 2004 ($56.96). Made entirely of Sangiovese. Fermented in tank and aged 16-18 months in French barriques. Rich and concentrated with black fruits, saddle leather, and rich baking spices. This wine is only produced in vintages the winemaker deems the best.

All of these wines are brought in via direct import, so supply is somewhat limited. Next I’ll talk to you about Col d’Orcia, one of the largest vineyards in all of Montalcino.

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