Vino Nobile Sotto Casa Riserva 2019 – Boscarelli.
The Sotto Casa, one of the four wines that Dutch Wine Apprentice reviews of the Boscarelli winery, as part of our Journey through Tuscany. And yet another excellent Montepulciano red. A wine that has potential to age, and great gastronomical employability. A wine that is international, shows true colours and its alluvial terroir. In this review the 2019 Sotto Casa by Poderi Boscarelli.
About the Region
Winemaking in Montepulciano can be traced back to the Etruscans, an ancient civilization that inhabited the region around the 8th century BC. As commonly known by the histories of many other wine regions, Etruscans were excellent farmers and introduced growing grapes in the area. Over time, grape growing evolved into winemaking, and a few centuries later the Romans further advanced viticulture practices when they conquered the region, around the 3rd century BC.
During the Middle Ages, winemaking in Tuscany was crucial for the region’s economy. Montepulciano’s is set along the pilgrimage route to Rome, and therefore brought prosperity to the town and its wine industry. The potential of the region was recognised by local politicians, and naturally their patronage helped promote the development of high-quality viticulture. The noble families of Montepulciano, such as the famous Medici and the Avignonese, played a crucial role in supporting the local winemakers and boosting the wine’s reputation.
In the 16th century, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano gained fame as a prized wine enjoyed by nobility, and it was often referred to as ‘the king of wines’. Records show that Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was even served during the papal banquets. As many other wine regions in Europe at that time, wine production faced challenges in the following centuries due to wars, economic difficulties, and changes in viticultural practices.
The recent revival of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Winemakers started focusing on quality rather than quantity, and the region received official recognition as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) in 1966. Twenty years went by before the region got its well deserved Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). This status allowed for the region’s wines to grow even further into now a pleasant staple in the wine menus of sommeliers and wine connoisseurs alike.
About the Wine
The vineyard is called Sotto Casa, which quite literally translates as ‘under the house’. It is an alluvial soil, which is quite typical for the village. This soil also gives the winemaker a few challenges as it is prone to erosion. With heavy precipitation or strong winds, alluvial soils can be quite eroded. This also gives for a complex soil, as different soil types can sometimes mix. Here, we see a red stony soil.
The wine is a Riserva, therefore it has aged for at least three years, of which six months in bottle. In terms of grapes, we naturally note Sangiovese Prugnolo Gentile with 80%, after which Cabernet Sauvignon comes in second with 15%. The last grape in this blend is Merlot with 5%, making this wine truly what Nicolo and Luca aim for; international.
We see a brilliant medium ruby colour. The aromas are almost pronounced, something that we do not often see in a red wine. A lot of extremely pleasant aromas, blending together in a well-balanced perfume. Dried fruit like prune, raisin, black fruit with blackcurrant and black cherry, jam, oak, tobacco, cedar and chocolate. Even some interesting notes of chocolate covered almond. On the palate this wine is relatively juicy, for the power it holds and its full body. This is likely the result of the medium acidity and fine-grained medium tannins. The aftertaste carries matured fruit and consists of a lingering finish.
Needless to say, but we will say this, this is a very good wine. With excellent suitability to age, up to a decade. History and modernity can be tasted in the glass, which make this Sotto Casa stand out.
We award this beautiful and unique Riserva with a 94-point DWA score.
Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses
This review is part of our project “Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses”. In this project we travel through one of the most exciting parts of Italy and show its different faces interpreted through leading wineries. We do this through wine reviews, background articles and interviews.
The regions we discuss are Tuscany IGP, Chianti, Bolgheri, Montepulciano and Montalcino. Boscarelli is our guide through the Montepulciano appellation.
Other wines by Boscarelli we are going to review
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2019
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Costa Grande 2019
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Il Nocio 2019
Taste date: July, 2023
Score: 94/100 DWA Score
Website: Poderi Boscarelli