Poliziano Vino Nobile

Rating: 91
Price: $20
Wine: 2001 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

First of all, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Montepulciano, GO!

It's a small town in southeast Tuscany, close to the Umbria region. It's situated on the top of a tall hill dividing two gorgeous valleys, and you can walk from the east side to the west in about 5 minutes. The sunsets in fall are amazing, and this is certainly off the path of tourist traps something which can no longer be said for some of the wonderful Chianti Classico wine areas closer to Florence, like Greve.

Montepulciano is best known for Vino Nobile and the DOCG name is sometimes confused with the more expensive Brunello di Montalcino.

Drinkable now, but the somewhat heavy tannin will smooth out within a couple years. Smells of blackberry, licorice, and sage. The mouth is austere early, with notes of raisin and plum, and a long chewy finish.


Cline Mourvedre

Rating: 88
Price: $9-14
Wine: Cline 2003 Ancient Vines Mourvedre
Region: USA, California

The mourvedre grape is principally used in French Southern Rhone wines, such as Chateauneuf du Pape. However, it is best showcased in wines from the Bandol AOC, often showing a note of "barnyard". In this form, coming from California (Carneros I believe) the wine is much more fruit forward, so the banyard is in the background. This is a fantastic wine for the money, very vibrant fruit and balanced tannin. It's sturdy enough to stand up to some spicy foods, and very enjoyable on its own.

Cline is known as a consistent producer of quality Zinfandels, and there are terroir notes in this wine that also show up in the Zins. The most exciting thing is that this wine will expose many new people to this wonderful, and largely unknown grape.

A Votre Sante!