Poderi Boscarelli is anestate winery in the commune of Montepulciano, Tuscany, located in the prized Cervognano sub-zone in the southern sector of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. Its other red wines include Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Cortona DOC, and Rosso di Montepulciano DOC. Sweet wines are made under the Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC.
Background: The estate was founded in 1962 by Egidio Corradi, whose family was from Montepulciano. Egidio graduated in Economics and Business. He worked in both Milan and Genoa (‘Genova’) as an international grain broker. Egidio knew that back in the early 1900’s the Vino Nobile wines had enjoyed a good reputation. Egidio would buy his Vino Nobile wine specifically from the Cervognano sub-zone. He liked its soil and micro-climate and noted that people from Cervognano tended not to catch, ‘flu, whereas people in the nearby town of Chiusi were more prone to illness because it was more humid there (Source: Luca De Ferrari, interview during a tasting in the Il Marroneto winery in Montalcino on 13th January 2015). So in 1961-1962 Egidio bought two small estates (‘poderi‘) in Cervognano. The area around Cervognano where the winery is located was formerly a little wood or forest (‘bosco’), known for its porcini mushrooms and white truffles. The name ‘Boscarelli’ means little forest.
First vineyards: Egidio planted 2 hectares (4.9 acres) of vines in 1962 and 1963, enough to make just a few thousand bottles of Vino Nobile for himself for his friends, without having to become fully engaged in the wine business. His idea was to plant up to 10 hectares (24.7 acres) of vines, sell most of the wine he made and keep just 2,000 bottles of the best wine for himself each year. However, Egidio died in 1967. Planting continued and was completed in 1971 by Egidio’s daughter Paola (who had always wanted to farm), and her husband Ippolito De Ferrari. He was from Genova and worked as a cotton trader. The couple decided to invest, to finish planting the vineyard, and to produce estate bottled wine, rather than selling the grapes.
First wines: Together they produced their first 2,000 bottles of Vino Nobile from the 1965 vintage. These wines were released in 1968. The couple lived between Montepulciano in the week and Genoa at weekends. The journey but was much longer than it is today as there were fewer main roads. The family would stop at restaurants to eat, and would try to sell their wine to the eateries they frequented. One of the restaurants they sold wine to was Paracucchi in Florence. The famous wine critic Luigi Veronelli tasted the Vino Nobile from Boscarelli there. When he named it one his 100 best wines in Italy in 1976, the family were able to develop the business further.
3rd generation: Paola De Ferrari Corradi and Ippolito had two sons, representing the 3rd generation. They are Luca (Marchesi Luca de Ferrari Corradi) who was born in 1966 (studied political science) and Nicolò (Marchesi Nicolò de Ferrari Corradi 1969) who studied architecture. Neither son finished their degrees, because both became involved in the family wine business after their father Ippolito De Ferrari died in 1983. Paola hired Maurizio Castelli to train Luca and Nicolò (who initially worked here at weekends only) to run the estate.
Staff: Winemaking consultants: Maurizio Castelli, and Mary Ferrara. Agronomist: Nicolo de Ferrari.
Vineyards: 2013 14.5 hectares (32.5) acres) of which 11 hectares (27.2 acres) of Vino Nobile DOCG, 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres) of Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres) of Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC and 1 hectare (2.47 acres) of Cortona DOC. Luca De Ferrari told me at a tasting hosted by the Il Marroneto winery in Montalcino on 13th January 2015 that from 1987 a (re)planting programme began which ended in 2012. During this period all but 1 hectare (2.47 acres) was replanted. 6,000 vines per hectare on average (2,430 vines per acre). The change was made from planting mass selection to clonally selected vines for both Sangiovese and Colorino. | 2015 On 14th Oct 2015 at the Boscarelli winery Nicolò de Ferrari Corradi told me there were 14 hectares (34.6 acres) in Cervognano and 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres) of Merlot, young vines in the Cortona DOC. Overall there are 40.5 miles (65km) of vines rows. The rows are spaced from 1.7 to 1.8 metres (5.5 to 5.9 feet) apart.
Winery: The winery is located in the Cervognano sub-zone of Montepulciano and is integrated into a farm house largely hidden by oak trees.
Winemaking: Hand picked. Reds ferment slowly at 28-30ºC.
Wine production: In the early days the family would sell some grapes to the local co-operative. Until the end of the 1970s the family released abobut 60,000 bottles. In the 1980s production remained at 60,000 bottles, but the family was increasing the percentage of Vino Nobile. In 1988, having bought the Nocio vineyard, production reached about 80,000 bottles in total. This also coincided with the replanting of older low density vineyards at higher vine densities.
Toscana Rosso DOC, Boscarelli dei Boscarelli: A SuperTuscan which was made from 100% Merlot aged in French barrels. | 2007 The last vintage of this wine.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG: Red wine.
Cortona Rosso DOC: Red wine.
Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Prugnolo: Prugnolo Gentile is the local name for Sangiovese. | 2012 80% Prugnolo. Mainly stainless steel. Pallid colour, elegant nose, clean and clear (Anteprima 2014). | 2018 Bright, floral, lovely structure (Anteprima 2020)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG: 2011 90% Prugnolo Gentile, 5% Canaiolo and Merlot, 5% Colorino. Blended but not yet bottled: elegant old vine moreishness (Anteprima 2014). | 2012 I cited this wine in a Decanter article on Vino Nobile. | 2015 Smooth, open knit, nice fluidity (Anteprima 2014). | 2015 Friendly plum-fruit texture (Anteprima 2018). | 2017 14% alc. Very clear fruit with good weight (Anteprima 2020).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva (white label): 2010 Debut. 15,000 bottles. €12. Sangiovese (280m) and Colorino but no Bordeaux grapes. Smooth, pink fruit, very sweet and well weighted at Il Marroneto on 13th January 2015. | 2013 14%. Limpid colour, smooth tannins and bright fruit (Anteprima 2014).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva, Nera: ‘Nera’ means black, referring to this being partly made with Bordeaux grapes which give much darker hued reds compared to the local Sangiovese (‘Prugnolo’). 2001 Debut vintage. Sangiovese plus on average 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. | 2009 Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. Hot. Not an easy year. Bright cherry and firm, shorter than the Riserva Bianca when tasted at Il Marroneto on 13th January 2015. | 2013 Good classic, well-weighted, clean fruit, simple, not trying too hard (Anteprima 2018).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Il Nocio (Dei Boscarelli): The Vigna del Nocio or ‘walnut tree vineyard’ was originally planted in 1972. The site is described as being a long tongue of land. The elevation is from 240-320 metres (787-1,050 feet) in the south south-eastern part of the estate’s vineyards in Cervognano (so Nocio is around 40 metres (131 feet) higher than the vines by the winery. The high part of Nocio, around one third, is on blanched white (hard) clay. The bottom part is very loose, sandy and the vines here need extra fertility in the form of foliar feeds. Each section of Nocio is pruned a little bit differently to take account of soil variations. The soil is full of limestone without any iron composition and it is on the top of a hill. It gets good ventilation because air movement is created by thermal movement from both the lake and the higher side of Montepulciano. The vineyard was extended in 1993 (using mass selection budwood from two estates in Montalcino, namely Tenuta di Argiano and Col d’Orcia, obtained by Boscarelli’s consultant Maurizio Castelli). The vineyard now comprises around 4 hectares of which 80% is Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile), 5% is Mammolo, and 15% is Merlot. South-south east-facing aspect. The soils are a mix of alluvial sand, clay, silt and limestone fragments. Until 1990 the wine went into the Vino Nobile or the Riserva. In 1991 Nocio was bottled apart for the first time. The wine was originally called ‘Nocio dei Boscarelli’ but from 2010 this was shortened to “nocio”. Nicolò de Ferrari Corradi told me (on 14th Oct 2015 at the Boscarelli winery) “Nocio has more texture, finer tannins, silkier fruit, from the combination of the terrain (sand, clay), the old clones, the good south-east exposure, and the good airflow, all of which combine maybe to make the wine more spicey.” | 1991 Debut vintage. | 2009 Limpid with some evolution at the rim, sweet hawthorn flavours, well made, bright and clear, good style (Anteprima 2014). | 2010 100% Sangiovese. Aged 50% in 15hl botti (wooden vats) and 50% in 500-litre French tonneaux. Lovely bright Sangiovese fruit, sweet and dense at the Il Marroneto winery (in Montalcino) on 13th January 2015. | 2011 14.5%. L1151. Lovely red. Took a day to open up, wild country red fruit, plenty of depth but not heavy, very youthful when tasted in Torrenieri in late Nov 2016. | 2011 14.5%. L1151. Maybe a bit of funk when tasted in Torrenieri in May 2017. | 2013 14.5%. Tidy fruit, savoury tannins, and bright (Anteprima 2018).
Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC, Familae: 50% Trebbiano, 35% Malvasia, 15% Grechetto.
Other crops: Extra Virgin Olive oil.
Nicolas Belfrage MW, From Brunello to Zibibbo—The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy (2nd edition, London, 2003), p.139-140.
Poderi Boscarelli, Via di Montenero, 28
Cervognano di Montepulciano
I-53045 Montepulciano (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0578.766882 (office) 0578.767608 (winery) | www.poderiboscarelli.com