Poliziano is a conventionally farmed winery in the Montepulciano region of Tuscany, Italy. The name Poliziano refers to Montepulciano’s most famous son, the late-fifteenth century poet and classical scholar Angelo Ambrogini. His nick name was Il Poliziano and today, the generic name for an inhabitant of Montepulciano is ‘poliziano’. The Poliziano estate was founded in 1961 after Dino Carletti, a local, bought the land. He planted vines from 1962, and added winery in 1970. Since 1980 Poliziano estate has been run by Dino’s son, Federico Carletti, who prepared for the task by gaining an agronomy degree at the University of Florence in 1978. Under Carletti, and with Carlo Ferrini as consultant, the estate began to estate bottle its wines, and with the Falvos (then owners of Avignonesi) began the process whereby Vino Nobile gained renown not just in Italy but in international markets. The estate’s main wines are Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Rosso di Montepulciano DOCand Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC.
Owner: Dott. Federico Carletti (nickname: ‘il vulcano’). He took over from his father, and in 1978 took a degree in agriculture in Florence.
Cconsultants: Winemaking: Carlo Ferrini.
Vineyards: 240 hectares (592 acres) of land. Of this (Fabio Marchi told me by phone, 09th Nov 2015) 140ha were vines of which 45ha (111 acres) for Vino Nobile, 44 ha (109 acres) for Rosso di Montepulciano and 1ha (2.47 acres) for Vin Santo di Montepulciano. Marchi added that the vines were at 300-350 metres, south south-west facing, and on dry, compact sandy clay terrain producing small grapes, with good colour and concentrated, round tannins. The vineyards are in the Argiano, Caggiole, Gracciano, and Pietrose sub-zones in the northern sector of the Montepulciano region.
Vine density: The owners are looking to replant at 6,500 vines per ha.
Sangiovese clones: Under Federico Carletti (a viticulturist by training) Poliziano developed its own clone from vineyards at 600 metres above sea level at Rufina (it was propagated by Rauscedo under the name R Sangiovese Poliziano), but having found it unsatisfactory, they have brought vines in from “other experimentalists like Il Poggione and Banfi in Montalcino…The Poliziano clone…is about a week late compared with the other Montepulciano clones,’ (Nicolas Belfrage 2003, p.143).
Winery: A new winery was built in 1999 in Montepulciano, and is gravity-fed. The conical steel vats hold a metal plate for pressing. Also large botti and barriques.
Winemaking: Under Carletti the strategy was to extract colour in red wines early on during fermentation, when the level of alcohol [which is a solvent] is still low and the tougher Sangiovese tannins are relatively fixed in the skins, and to age the wines French oak tonneau (Nicolas Belfrage 2003, p.144).
Le Stanze: Le Stanze is the title of a famous work by the poet Angelo Ambrogini. The wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Oz Clarke (2015, p206) says some of the fruit comes from owner Federico Carletti’s other estate, Lohsa, in the Morello di Scansano DOCG region in the Maremma on the Tuscan coast.
Rosso di Montepulciano DOC: 2010: Open, polished, some toffee, bright, lacks a bit of lift but a popular hybrid of tradition and modernism (Anteprima 2014). | 2018 14% alc. Smooth, polished, slightly drying, a bit anonymous (Anteprima 2020).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Poliziano: “80% Sangiovese, with some Colorino, Colorino, Mammola [sic] and a little merlot ages for just 14 months in wood because both Federico Carletti and Carlo Ferrini feel the customary 24 months in wood is too long,” (abridged from George, R: 2004, p.186). ‘The style of the Vino Nobile wines of Poliziano is deep and vibrant of colour, rich and concentrated of fruit, firm of tannic backbone but with that soft cherry-berry fruit overlaying the tannins, seemingly powerful but more thanks to concentration than to alcohol,’ (say Nicolas Belfrage (2001, p.144). On Monday 09th Nov 2015 Fabio Marchi told me by phone the Vino Nobile was aged 16m in barrels, tonneaux and bottie grande 2-3 passagio. No new oak. | 2011 Sweet sticky fruit, decent sweetness in the Ferrini style without too much oak (Anteprima 2014). | 2015 Classic nose, savoury fruit/tannin, easy texture, twist of new oak (Anteprima, 2018). | 2017 14.5% alc. Smooth, polished fruit with alcohol poking up in the aftertaste (Anteprima 2020).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, (Vigna dell’) Asinone: Rather than being a riserva, Asinone, or Vigna dell’ Asinone is a site-specific wine from vineyards between Montepulciano and Montefollonico. It is made from 100% Sangiovese or with small percentages (10%) of Colorino and Merlot from newer plots. On Monday 09th Nov 2015 (and for a Decanter article) Fabio Marchi told me by phone the Asinone was aged in a mix of new and older oak. ‘Recent vintages have been hot. We are looking to use less new oak and age the wine in larger casks, for 20 months,’ he told me. The website said the wine came from 14ha (9ha planted in 1963 at 3,000 vines/ha, and 5ha planted in 1990 at 5,000 vines/ha. The vineyards are at 350 metres. SSW facing. Clay-loam soils with ‘scheletro’. | 1983 Debut. 2,400 bottles. | 2011 Deepish colour, sweet blackcurrants (Anteprima 2014).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Le Caggiole
Vin Santo Montepulciano DOC
Azienda Agricola Poliziano
Via Fontago, 1
Località Montepulciano Stazione
I-53045 Montepulciano (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0578 738171 | www.carlettipoliziano.com
Nicolas Belfrage MW, From Brunello to Zibibbo—The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy (2nd edition, London, 2003).
Oz Clarke 2015, Oz Clarke Wine A-Z (Pavilion, 2015), p.206.