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The Raccolta Newsletter 4/13/04


Craig Camp
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Vino Nobile may have a grand name, but it seemed the winemaking revolution that swept Tuscany in the 1970's overlooked Montepulciano. Some producers, notably Avignonesi and Poliziano tried to push the region forward, but the lack of an easily identifiable style of Vino Nobile and the loose regulations of the DOC meant that there were a lot of mediocre wines sold making the name far less "Nobile" in the eyes of many consumers.

Click here for 2000 Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano, Vigna del Nocio

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Craig

Last year a decent proportion of my drinking was Italian, as I purposefully bought up a lot of wines from the classic DOCs and DOCGs of the north in an attempt to refamiliarise myself with these regions. It also makes a good theme for the year for my website. I struggled to find easily available Vino Nobile other than the widely distributed Poliziano. One I did pick up was the 1999 from a producer with whom I was entirely unfamiliar called Boscarelli. A bargain price of about £14/£15 I think, which was the standard price (it's still available in the UK at this price today). A fabulous wine, superb quality, but excellent value for money as well. Of all the Italian wines I tasted last year this one has stuck in my mind more than most I think. Your post has reminded me that I meant to pick up some more! Obviously, from your posting, I will have to keep a look out for subsequent vintages also!

BWs

Chris

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The regular Boscarelli Vino Nobile has always been a relative bargain and I feel offers more character than many of the larger producers. This is an estate dedicated to quality and if you go to the area should be at the top of your list to visit as they are also really wonderful people. Their Rosso di Montepulciano is also very good.

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One I did pick up was the 1999 from a producer with whom I was entirely unfamiliar called Boscarelli. A bargain price of about £14/£15 I think, which was the standard price (it's still available in the UK at this price today).

I've enjoyed Boscarelli wines in the past but not for a while. Where can you get them from in the UK, Chris?

Speaking of Vino Nobile, as a matter of interest, I'm going to a wine dinner next week at the Michael Caines Restaurant, Exeter that will centre on the wines of Avignonesi. Of course Ettore Falvo has long been something of an iconoclast, making wines more French in style than Italian. I'm not usually a great fan of Italian barrique-fermented Chardonnay, but Il Marzocco is still one of the best. I recall, too, in the late 80s tasting an astonishing 100% Merlot that was a silky and elegant as a top class Pomerol. I Grifi (Prugnolo Gentile and Cab S) has also been a favourite super-Tuscan, consistently well made. So it will be interesting to see what wines are presented at the dinner. Of course, Avignonesi's traditional wines are good too, and I'm looking forward to the rare chance to sample their iconic and legendary vin santo. Should be worth coming to the dinner for that alone. Tickets still available, if anyone is interested (cost including meal and all wines is a virtual snip at £55).

I'll try and report back in due course.

MP

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I've enjoyed Boscarelli wines in the past but not for a while. Where can you get them from in the UK, Chris?

They are stocked by Berry Bros & Rudd. Sorry I can't provide a link directly to the product page but I am at work and stuck behind a firewall which obviously regards the products on sale at BBR to be unsuitable viewing. The price is in the region of 12 pounds plus VAT if I remember correctly.

BWs

Chris

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They are stocked by Berry Bros & Rudd.

Thanks for the link, Chris. I did not realise that BBR was so strong with top Italian producers. Very impressive list indeed.

As a general question, where do other lovers of Italian wines (in the UK) purchase from? Liberty has some great wines, as does Enotria. Valvona & Crolla also has an extensive and intelligent selection. Cento per Cento Wines, a new web outfit, has some funky and off-beat wines (including the sensational wines of Paolo Bea in Montefalco; even, my god, wines from the highest vineyards in Europe -- from the Cave Coop de Morgex et de La Salle in Valle d'Aosta). Oddbins is not as good as it used to be; Majestic has a few good wines (Tedeschi, Castello di Banfi).

Anywhere else I should be looking?

MP

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