This Friday between 5 and 7pm, David Rimmer of Lynda Allison Selections joins us here with a presentation of fine European reds and whites including the subject of this blogpost, 2010 Crociani Rosso di Montepulciano. Rosso is the secondary complement to the premier regional wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and a relatively recent Italian creation (DOC-1989) from a winemaking region dating back 2500 years. In 1999 the wine's style was further codified with DOC amendments, all of which seemed to spring from the Italian wine industry rennaissance of the 1980s.
The 2010 Crociani Rosso is 75% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese), 15% Canaiolo Nero, and 10% Mammolo, which is a standard recipe of the region. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are allowable (up to 20%) in Rosso but Crociani chooses not to use them. De-classified Vino Nobile is also allowable in lesser vintages.
Rosso was a necessary and smart Italian creation. The finest Montepulciano vineyards feature soils of sand, gravel, and clay on hillside vineyards at 250+ meters above sealevel. Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren are just a couple of American notables from centuries past who recognized the greatness of Montepulciano. So for Italy to create a lighter, fresh and fruity version of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, one can only bow to their prescience. Of course they did the same thing five years earlier with Rosso di Montalcino as a little brother to Brunello.
The structural foundation of Rosso is its 75% Sangiovese, a grape that offers savory cherry, black stone fruit, raspberry, and dried herbs in a balanced format which includes firm tannins and a high acidity. With the 25% Canaiolo and Mammolo blend, the 2010 Crociani is a bright ruby red color with brambly red fruit flavors, hints of pepper, fine acidity, and a soft full finish. To make an elegant wine such as this, the 10 hectares estate fruit is handpicked and the wine is made on the property in the 14th century wine cellar.
On the dinner table the wine complements pasta with meat sauce, roasted red meats, and chicken with herbs. Would this wine work for Thanksgiving dinner? An interesting question. I would love to try the combination. Join us on Friday for a preview and, for gosh sakes, become a follower of this blog.