2011LeBerne2011 Le Berne, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tuscany, Italy.
Montepulciano was one of my favorite places in Tuscany to visit, it is an amazing setting with grand vistas and unspoiled hilltop town life with less crowds than Cortona and less pretense than Montalcino it’s great rival. The Le Berne Vino Nobile is a wine that I’ve been following for years, but a wine that now is being chased down, it is a true estate field blend mostly Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese Grosso, same as in Brunello di Montalcino) plus native varietals Colorino and Mammolo a grape that is now only found in Montepulciano. Le Berne does not add the common place Merlot or Cabernet, which can now be part legally of the blend in Montepulciano Vino Nobiles, they just must be 80% Sangiovese. This 2011 is one of the best vintages I can remember for this winery, and it scored a highly prized Tre Bicchieri from Italy’s Gambero Rosso Wine Guide, but still remains an under the radar wine in the USA, and a remarkable value, especially considering the prices of high scoring Brunello. The Le Berne Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 starts with a deep color, a dark garnet with bright orange/red edges and a black/garnet core and a beautiful perfume of violets, sweet herbs and fresh mint leaf with dark berries leading to a full bodied palate of refined tannin structure and smooth acidity with rich layers of blackberry, cherry, plum and fig paste as well as sweet tobacco cigar wrapper, mocha, licorice, tangy currants, mineral tones and spicy elements. A long lingering finish with balsamic dipped strawberries, a hint of framboise and cedary oak really make for a lovely and well crafted Tuscan red, it drinks wonderfully now, but has another 10 plus years of pure enjoyment ahead. Imported by Siena Imports of San Francisco, the Le Berne is a great value in Vino Nobile and this 2011 takes it to the next level, best from 2016 to 2024.
($32 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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