Montecarlo DOC – A Widely Appreciated Enological Tuscany Treasure You Must Try At Least Once
Whether diving into the art of winemaking fascinates you or simply like to give your days a delectable taste, a glass of Montecarlo DOC is something you certainly need to surprise your taste buds with. Indeed, the Montecarlo village has given its name to one of the most appreciated local wines that have gained a place in all Tuscany tables since Medieval times and are superbly paired with seafood dishes. And, if you are wondering what makes Montecarlo DOC a delightful option to epitomise a toothsome dinner, here is some information that speaks of its superiority and magnetic allure.
Its excellent reputation lingers on
Nicely tucked on the hill between the magnificent Lucca plain and a region now referred to as Pinocchio’s land (aka Valdinievole), Montecarlo village is associated with prolific winemaking traditions dating back many centuries. The fertile ground, combined with the prosperous climate, bless the southern Lucca province with an inspiring regional wine-making scene.
Undeniably, Montecarlo wine is rightfully regarded as an enological Tuscany blessing and a beloved wine whose identity has crossed the strict Italian borders. Its fame and appreciation date as back as the late 1300s, with references of the 206th Pope, Pope Gregory XII, speaking incredibly enthusiastically (even poetically) about this finely balanced and scented wine.
In fact, a 15th-century document written by the cellar master of Pope Paolo II Farnese, Pope Gregory XII and a bishop and exquisite wine connoisseur, Cardinal Dominici di San Sisto Ragusa, visited Montecarlo village to taste its fine wine. At that time, the local wines were highly valued by the church and were synonymous with royalty. No wonder we can still find testimonies about Montecarlo wine being served at weddings between blue-bloods, such as the wedding of King Umberto II!
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How is Montecarlo DOC made (plus distinct characteristics)
The wine with the quirky personality is made by blending various grape varieties in specific amounts each. Depending on whether a wine producer wants to make Montecarlo Rosso, Montecarlo Bianco, or Montecarlo Riserva (new Montecarlo Rosso denomination), the Wine Consortium of Montecarlo has ruled the following:
- Montecarlo Rosso – The majority of the grapes used to make it must be Sangiovese (50%-75%). The rest should be Canaiolo Nero grapes (5%-15%), and another 10%-15% should be Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malvasia Nera, Colorino, and/or Ciliegiolo (either mixed together or singularly). Montecarlo Rosso got a DOC seal in 1985 (October 1) and stands out with its intense scent, vibrant ruby colour, strong, full-bodied taste, and bright limpidity.
- Montecarlo Bianco – This requires Trebbiano Tuscany grapes (40%-60%) and 40%-60% other grape varieties, such as Roussanne, Sauvignon, Vermentino, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Gris, and Semillon (mixed together). The only particularity about the rest of the grapes to be used is that three or more of the selected varieties must reach 10% singularity. Also recognised DOC in 1985 (August 13), whitish Montecarlo Bianco has a bright limpidity, distinctive and delicate scent and taste, and varying intensity.
- Montecarlo Riserva – A relatively new Montecarlo Rosso denomination that has to be produced with grape varieties that come with no less than 11.5% natural alcohol level. The wine also needs to be aged for at least 24 months and bottled for six months or more before consumption. The resulting wine is a palate-pleasing variant with an inviting amber tone.
How to enjoy Montecarlo DOC the most – Food Pairings
The white varieties of Montecarlo DOC go exceptionally well with traditional Tuscan dishes (mainly appetizers) and, of course, seafood and soups based on broth. They also make delicious pairs with risotto, veggie soups, and classic cuts (i.e., prosciutto crudo bazzone). Montecarlo Rosso and its Riserva denomination will give you an exquisite gastronomical experience if you use them to clear your throat after practically any meal (almost)!
Now, if you have a moderately-aged red Montecarlo DOC, do consider trying it with roasts. You will probably get a taste straight from the heavens, whether you savour it at your elegant Lucca villa overlooking the spellbinding countryside or a picturesque Tuscan restaurant!
Featured Photo by Rodrigo Abreu on Unsplash