Established in 1984, Salcheto is the creation of viticulturist and winemaker, Michele Manelli. Michele’s genuine passion for refined and delicate wines has propelled this tiny estate into one of Montepulciano’s top producers. His mission is simple and clear: seek quality, both in the vineyard and the cellar, with an unfailing respect for the character of the grapes. Manual collections, sulfite-free vinifications, native yeasts, “Tuscan Governo” method and large botte and tonneaux barrels are the tools used to produce wines that are elegant and soft, with pronounced aromas and uniqueness for each vintage released. Though lesser known than Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile offers incredible value and an earlier drinking window for Tuscan wine lovers. Geographically situated between its more famous neighbours, Vino Nobile’s style takes the best from each—bright and supple, concentrated and powerful. Salcheto is an ‘off the grid’ winery operating one of the wine world’s only energy-independent cellar systems. Along with countless other environmental initiatives, this led to Salcheto being named Gambero Rosso’s Sustainable Winery of the Year in 2014. Their 50 hectares of organically- and biodynamically-farmed vines are planted with Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese), Canaiolo, Mammolo, Colorino, Merlot and Trebbiano. Their ‘Obvius’ lineup offers a clean, modern style of natural wines made from, as Michele puts it, ‘grapes only’.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of Italy’s classic red wines, and has unquestionably helped Tuscany retain its privileged place on the world wine map. According to DOCG rules, to be labeled as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano a wine must come from vineyards on the hills which surround Montepulciano, a picturesque hill town 40 km southeast of Siena, in southeastern Tuscany. This area is made up of slopes reaching 250–600 masl in altitude, located between two rivers – the Ocria and the Chiana. The key grape variety grown here is Sangiovese (known locally as Prugnolo Gentile).
From the most mature plots in the Salcheto vineyards: the “Salco” (2 ha/5 acres) and the “Laghetto” (3,5 ha/8 acres). Salco is produced thanks to a clone of Sangiovese Prugnolo Gentile that, at each vintage, reaches with ease a slight over ripeness.
Sangiovese, a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. Virtually synonymous with the red wines of Tuscany and all the romanticism that goes with the territory, Sangiovese is the core constituent in some of the great names in Italian wine. It is prized for its high acid, firm tannins and balanced nature. Savoury flavours of dark cherries and black stone fruit are characteristic and may be backed by secondary notes of tomato leaf and dried herbs. The use of oak has become more popular and this coaxes richer flavours from the grapes, tending toward plum and wild raspberry.
Hand-harvested from the best vines in the Salco vineyard. Hand-sorted so only the finest berries are selected. After a long maceration on skins to extract pigment and tannic structure, the wine is aged in a combination of new and used French oak barriques for two years, before receiving another four years of bottle aging prior to release.
A little brighter than the 2015, with ripe red cherry, raspberry and cassis notes. The palate is full and rich, with flavours of Maraschino cherry, red plum, earth and spice, as well as a meaty, savoury element and hints of red pepper. A healthy dose of acidity and some tannic grip provide balance to the fruit and make this a perfect partner to a grilled steak.