One of the web reviews for this wine, described it as, “ … flavor notes of dried plums, dried cherries and forest floor …“. At a younger age, having done a few face plants into the forest floor while camping, I question whether flavor hints of a forest floor is a good thing? After all, there’s likely to be rotting leaf mulch and plenty of creepy crawly things down there at the base of the food chain. Those aren’t the types of things I’d want to see on the wine’s ingredients label. I doubt that any of them have found their way into the wine, despite the literary license.
However, I will agree with the other review that this wine has a more “earthy” taste than the other Sangiovese wines reviewed in this list. It’s a distinctly different taste than the other, generally more neutral tasting, Tuscan wines. A quick Wikipedia search may provide a clue about the origins of that taste. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a blend by definition. Although 70% of the grapes are required to be Sangiovese, up to 30% of the brew can come from other grapes. In this case, the majority of that other 30% is typically the Canaiolo Nero grape. While most wines, including this one, don’t list the blend of grapes used in making the wine, I’m going to take the leap of faith and say, the addition of the Canaiolo grape (or at least a higher percentage of this grape) is the reason for the difference in taste. At least it’s a more pleasant explanation than leaf mold from the forest floor.
While different in taste, this is still a smooth wine that’s not going to burn your throat on the way down or leave a particularly bad taste in your mouth. While earthy, it’s not the kind of earthy that’s going to pucker and dry out your mouth.
For me, this is a dinner wine, more than a wine for sipping while writing a wine review. Although I have to say it’s currently serving the purpose.
As for classification, from memory, the taste of this wine moves in the direction of the D’Abruzzo (and don’t confuse the name Montepulciano from the D’Abruzzo with the Montepulciano on this label – they’re totally different – it’s enough to make someone drink). As noted on the label, this is also a DOCG wine. That’s generally a sign that you’re not getting the runt of the litter when you uncork the bottle.