The Wines of Tenuta Valdipiatta

The Wines of Tenuta Valdipiatta


Tenuta Valdipiatta is a property full of surprises, the first of which is the road one takes to get there.

Well, let me clarify that: If, like me, you assume you know where you are and where you’re going, you might end up on a distinctly rough road that leads, via the vineyard roads, right to the Tenuta. Now, this road -- the wrong road -- is so surprisingly bad that it fills any poor soul who ventures down it with the dread that he has entered the seventh circle of hell.

OK, it may not be quite that bad, but it’s close, and it's an odd way to get to the lovely cantina of Valdipiatta. Once you arrive, if you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Giulio Caporali, the enthusiastic and knowledgable owner of the estate who was kind enough to spend time showing me around the splendid grounds and vineyards that make up the Tenuta.

Vino Nobile de Montepulciano

Vino Nobile is the lesser-known pillar of the trio of Tuscan giants. While Brunello and Chianti get most of the attention, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano frequently offers the best of both. With the power of Brunello (which is pure Sangiovese), and the complexity of great Chianti, which like Vino Nobile is a blend based on Sangiovese, these wines offer the best of what makes Tuscan wines special. While many of the best wines have joined the ranks of their more expensive brethren, the Rossos di Montepulciano remain among the best values in Sangiovese-based wines.
Related Imagery

As we walked among the vines, Giulio pointed out the little things that make the wines of the region so unique.

Valdipiatta produces both classic Sangiovese-based wines -- with a bit of Mammolo and Canaiolo added for complexity and balance -- as well as wines based on Pinot Noir and Bordeaux varieties.

Of course, the focus here is on the great wines of Montepulciano, and with 80% of the vineyards planted to Sangiovese, that’s a good thing. All of the vines are owned by Valdipiatta and are spread out among the rolling hills of the Gracciano commune that falls within the Vino Nobile DOCG.

The wines are made in a modern facility and yet, even here, among the stainless steel, can be found bits and pieces of history. The aging cellars, for example, which are located behind the winery, are bored into the hillside with an imposing fortress-like entrance that feels just a bit hallowed. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since Giulio, like many great producers, is really as much apostle as he is producer.

Whether it was the rich, marine soils full of seashells, or the unique clones of Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile (and Pinot Noir for that matter) that occupy the prime vineyard sites (easily distinguished since even during my late fall visit they were still full of vegetation), every small element pointed to an attention to detail and quality that comes through in the wines of Valdipiatta.

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  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 4,999

    That reserve bottle sounds pretty darn tasty. Too bad I've never encountered them in Japan....

    May 24, 2010 at 4:55 AM

  • Snooth User: jhberger
    133570 8

    Having spent some time around Montepulciano, I can say that a good Vino Nobile is hard to beat from anywhere in Tuscany. Many are around $20, making htem a great value.

    May 24, 2010 at 5:48 PM

  • Snooth User: khbcal
    359740 1

    2006 was an outstanding vintage for vino nobile. A way better value than a Brunello.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:00 PM

  • Snooth User: scotyman
    349842 2

    Now that is a Vineyard of teroir!
    How was the Nose?

    May 24, 2010 at 7:07 PM

  • Snooth User: nitwit
    490243 1

    Hay guys lets get real with some of your selection
    offering info on bottles 85.00 50.00 Who are you
    talking to Paul Getty, the Hunt Bros. and all the
    people sitting on a mountain of cash?
    Your marketing is geared to the folks on Mt.
    Olympus, lets get real and stay in the realm of reality! Other wise keep up the good work
    Lou Sisbarro

    May 29, 2010 at 3:41 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for the kind words. As far as pricing goes, this is a producer profile not a value wine round up. Having said that the Rosso di Montepulciano reviewed above can be found for less than $20 from many shops, and we even have one with it listed at less than $15.

    While we try and point out the values when we can the world of wine is broad, as it our audience, and while we will never make everyone happy, we try to include wines and many price points.



    May 29, 2010 at 5:41 PM

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