On our last morning in Montepulciano, Sissy and I visited the cantina that was conveniently located next to our apartment. Our host had recommended the winery to us, and we were happy to stop in for a tasting before heading out to Umbria that afternoon. It turns out, we got much more than a simple tasting!
The cantina itself is very, very old and used to be part of the Palazzo Ricci. Most of the Slovenian barrels are stored in old caves underground, and there is even a cave below the barrels that they suspect has been around since 600 BC. This cave has also served as the shooting location for several big films, including The English Patient and Twilight Saga: New Moon, as we were told by the owner. Before tasting any wine, we learned about the history of the Ricci family and the importance of Nobile wines to the Montepulciano region.
Nobile is a type of Sangiovese, similar to Brunello but a little softer. We tasted their Rosso di Montepulciano, Nobile di Montepulciano, and Nobile Reserva di Montepulciano. I liked the non-reserve Nobile the best, as it was easy drinking but still very fruit forward with a nice balance of acidity. The reserve probably needed a little more time.
The best part of our tasting was that it was served with a large plates of local cured meat, including Prosciutto, Lardo, Sopressata and Finocchiona (my favorite). They also served a selection of five different Peccorino cheeses, as well as bread, olive oil and truffle butter. They also gave us a taste of their grappa and sweet wine. The grappa was smoother then the stuff we tried at Ciacci Piccolomini but I still didn’t like it very much. The dessert wine, however, was delicious. The whole tasting only cost €17 each and basically included a lunch. I would highly recommend scheduling a tasting and tour if you visit the town of Montepulciano.