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The wines of Poliziano, Tuscany, Italy

Via Fontago 1, Frazione Gracciano, 53040 Montepulciano Stazione (Siena), Italy
Tel: +39 0578 738171 Fax: +39 0578 738 752
Website: www.carlettipoliziano.com E-mail: info@carlettipoliziano.com
UK agent: Enotria (marketing@enotria.com)

Poliziano was founded as recently as 1961 – that’s modern by European standards – by Dino Carletti, and originally consisted of 22 hectares of vineyards. In the intervening years Dino’s son Federico has taken over and the estate has grown to some 240 ha.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the cornerstone of this estate, is all about a single, superior clone of the Sangiovese grape, known as Prugnolo Gentile. It is capable of producing profound wines with a plenty of stuffing and elegance, and Poliziano has shown that they are masters of this variety. Even the modest Rossi is a lovely wine. I was bowled over by the two Vino Nobiles I tried here, and by Italian fine wine standards they are reasonably priced. You could say that the wines are made in a modern style, but they still retain plenty of regional character, and while they are approachable young ageing will no doubt improve them.

A new-ish addition to the stable is the Morellino – Poliziano bought 4 ha in the trendy coastal Maremma region in 1998, and then planted another 10 ha in 1999. They’re still getting to grips with the new terroirs here, but early results are very encouraging.

Poliziano Rossi di Montepulciano 2002
This was a tricky vintage, so no Asinone (the top wine) will be made in 2002, and only 40% of permitted production went to Vino Nobile, so this is the where the rest went. It’s using up its full allocation of 20% non-Sangiovese grapes, in this case Merlot, and is aged in mainly second-use American oak. Lovely forward spicy nose with vivid berry fruit and a nice savoury twist. The palate has an attractive spicy structure, firm and savoury. This is an expressive wine that’s drinking well now, and at around £9 in Sainsbury offers good value. Very good+ 88

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2000
85% Sangiovese from a warm vintage in the region. This spends 18 months in barrel (a mixture of French barriques and traditional 3500 litre casks). The full nose shows lovely intense, taut complexity with rich savoury fruit and notes of leather and herbs. The palate is bold and intense with a structured, spicy, tarry palate. A beguiling wine – complex and rich. Very good/excellent 94 (c. £17)

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ‘Asinone’ 1999
The name of this special cuvee translates as ‘big donkey’: it comes from the shape of the vineyard. This is a single vineyard selection of 100% Sangiovese that spends 18 months in a mix of new and second-use barrels. Open, spicy tarry nose displays attractive herbal complexity. The palate is firm, structured, tarry and quite elegant, with high acidity. A challenging wine with good long-term potential. Very good/excellent 92 (c. £27)

Poliziano Morellino di Scansano 2001
This is Sangiovese from the coastal DOC of Morellino di Scansano in the trendy Maremma. It’s a warm region that produces Sangiovese that is often more powerful, albeit a little less elegant. This shows a ripe, dusty nose that’s savoury and attractive. The palate is rich, ripe, firm and structured. Great concentration and firm tannins. Bold stuff. Very good/excellent 92 (c. £13.50)

Stockists include Sainsbury, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Ballantynes, Roberson and Swig. 

see also: tasting notes of Italian wines

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