Thursday, March 3, 2011

San Lorenzo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2008)

One night when Clare and I were at one of our favorite restaurants, Cesco Trattoria, we decided to order a glass of wine with our dinner instead of a bottle.  We both ordered a glass of San Lorenzo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and we both loved the wine.  Since that night, I've been able to find this wine in various stores, like a nearby wine and beer store and Whole Foods.  Whenever I make a meal inspired by Abruzzo, the region in Italy from where my mother's relatives emigrated when they came to the United States, I usually serve this wine.

The Montepulciano grape is grown in many parts of Italy; however, the grape known as Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from Emilia-Romagna to Apulia.  The Denominazione di Origine Controllata for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo -- one of more than forty DOCs established for the Montepulciano grape -- was created in 1968.  The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC covers most of Abruzzo and parts of Molise and Le Marche.  The rules of this particular DOC permit winemakers to make a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo with at least 85% of the Montepulciano grapes, blending up to 15% of Sangiovese grapes with the wine.  In addition, a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva must be aged for two years, with six months of the aging in wood.

Located outside of Madonna degli Angeli, San Lorenzo Wines produces its Montepulciano d'Abruzzo entirely from the Montepulciano grapes.  This Montepulciano d'Abruzzo has characteristics of very earthy wines, such as a Syrah.  Although generally a young wine when consumed, it pours a nice deep ruby red. The nose and aromatic elements of this wine bespeak of many deep fruits, like blackberries, plums, and dark cherries.  Those fruit elements are very forward in the taste of the wine, hence my comparison of the wine to a Syrah.  There are definitely cherries and blackberries, but I also get a little earthiness and spice in the wine. 

The winemaker recommends this wine be paired with red meat and game, as well as strong cheeses.  Given the strong fruit character of this wine, I think the winemaker's recommendations are good selections.  However, I think this wine could also be paired with pastas, such as Maccheroni alla Chitarra or other pastas with red sauces.  This wine would also bring out the flavors of the meatballs or sausage served with the pasta.  

This wine is one of my favorites and, what makes it even better is that it can be found for $9.99 or $10.99 a bottle.


For more about Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes, check out Intowine.

1 comment:

Abruzzo white wines Italy said...

Montepulciano, one of my favorite wines, ever.

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