|Sub-district||Vino Nobile di Montepulciano|
Minty, balsamic, black fruit, saturated and persistent. Palate is rich and layered, dark chocolate, tobacco, Earth and blackberry fruit, rich seam of acid, pure ripe tannins, savoury grip on the dark finish. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 L&S (Apr 2019)
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Nutty notes with a touch of dark chocolate. Alcohol also hits the nose. Scorched earth and liqueur, dried cherries. Cocoa-powder tannins, with plenty of length, albeit with a touch of alcohol there. Interesting. Drinking range: 2019 - 2028 Rating: 16.5 Tim Jackson MW, www.jancisrobinson.com (Apr 2020)
The 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Bossona is a dense, powerful wine. Brooding and muscular in the glass, the Bossona speaks with authority. Black cherry, gravel, smoke and licorice add to an impression of gravitas. I wonder if more finesse might be possible here. Even so, the 2013 Bossona is terrific. The 2013 spent two years in 10 and 20HL casks. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 Rating: 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Mar 2019)
This shows loads of black cherries, burnt-blackberry essence, tar, treacle, cedar and tobacco, as well as an undercurrent of fresher scents of citrus and raspberries. Full body, plenty of juicy and structured tannins and a long, chewy finish. Drink in 2020. Rating: 92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Sep 2018)
The Dei vineyard was founded by Alibrando Dei, grandfather of Caterina who runs it now, when he bought the Bossona vineyard in 1964. This turned out to be a brilliant vineyard site, and is the source of the 'Bossona Riserva'.
In the 1970s Alibrando bought the Villa Martiena, just at the foot of the village of Montepulciano, which came with more land for vineyards and olive trees. At first all the grapes were sold, but in 1985 the family produced their first wines under their own label, renting a winery in the middle of the town. The first winery on the Villa Martiena property was built in 1989. Caterina's father Glauco, also known as ('l'ingegnere' (the engineer) had a successful business in (and a passion for) Travertine marble, so the current gravity-fed winery at Villa Martiena is a palace of Travertine built into the hillside, designed by Glauco and Caterina with the help of architect Alessandro Bagnoli.
The vineyard now extends to 50 hectares, planted at 4700 vines per hectare, in five main parcels; Martiena and Piaggia, at 400m altitude, are mainly a mix of sandstone, giving bright yellow soils, Bossona, also at 400m has tufa on the surface with a calcareous subsoil rich in fossils, and is probbaly still the best site, while Ciarlina, at 300m, is a mix of clay and limestone and Cervognano (250m) is tufa and clay.
Caterina Dei has run the estate for the last 25 years, constantly working at small refinements in the vineyard management, as well as in the winery. Ploughing is kept to a minimum so as to reduce the number of vehicles that have to go into the vines, organic fertiliser and cover crops are used - barley which breaks up the earth like ploughing, clover as a nitrogen-fixer, mustard which is draining, while rape has an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect. When these a mowed off, they add more organic matter to the soil. No chemical herbicides are used, and careful canopy management is used to prevent disease.
Caterina, musician, singer, actor, grew up with the vines around her and with a love for art and the countryside and vineyards, and all inspire her dedicated approach to making this the premier estate for Montepulciano. 'I rediscovered my love for music through good wine, as they are not as different as one may think. Both wine and music speak a universally sensory language, and celebrate the joy of living... This is what I would like to offer at Cantine Dei, as our truly unique winery is the perfect place to celebrate life. This is a place brimming with artistic emotion and passion for wine, where I would like everybody to enjoy a sensory experience, surrounded by culture and art.'
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