An inprompteau dinner sparks an old memory…
Tuscany has no shortage of iconic drives. There are meandering highways and byways that carry tourists and locals alike from one historic hill town to the next. One particular drive will take you from Montalcino through the Val di Orcia to Montepulciano.
It was out for pizza that the memory of this drive and the winery visit that day came back. The Val di Orcia does not so much strech as roll with the countryside defined by the golden wheat fields and phallic cypress trees. Rectangular stucco villas (no doubt with a Ferrari in each driveway) dot the view. As the crow flies the drive should not take too long. There is no straight road from A to B. With views like this you would hardly be in a rush.
Our destination that day was the town of Montepulciano. The visit to the city was intentional, the diversion to the Poliziano Estate just happened. The day was noticeably hot. The long tour down deep in the winery’s cellar with its cave like ambiance and temperature was welcome. The scale of the estate brought to mind larger wineries in the Napa Valley. Everything was just so with all the necessary requirements for modern winemaking. After spending three days in and out of wineries in Brunello it was worth the visit to learn more about the history and wines of this town.
The 2014 Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano, our pizza night wine, is amiable without being flat. This Tuscan red is fruity with structural backbone, acidity, and a chalky finish giving it more depth than might be expected. On its own the wine had a metallic quality that was washed away when paired with the pizza or charcuterie on the table. A classic wine that agreed with everyone and everything. Some nights things should be that straightforward.