Sunday, December 4, 2011

Castellana Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2010)

Although Vino Nobile di Montepulciano may be my favorite Italian wine (at least for the moment), Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a close second.  Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines are much cheaper than some of the more well known and prestigious Italian wines, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico.  Yet, the Montepulciano d' Abruzzo wines can be just as enjoyable as those wines.  Another thing I like about these wines is that they can be a little more rough and rustic, much like the Abbruzese and their countryside. 

The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo has its own DOC, which covers most of the Abruzzo region, from the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to the shores of the Adriatic Sea.  This large area covers parts or all of Abruzzo's four provinces: Chieti, L'Aquila, Pescara, and Teramo.  There is also separate DOCG for the wine that is produced with grapes originating exclusively from Teramo, where the wines are called Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane.  The rules for making Montepulciano d'Abruzzo require that at least 85% of the grapes be Montepulciano grapes.  The remainder of the grapes must be Sangiovese grapes.  The wines must be aged a minimum of five months, and, wines aged for two years in wooded barrels can be classified as Vecchio.

The Castellana Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is made with 100% Montepulciano grapes.  The wine pours a cranberry red color, with a well defined water line along the edges of the glass.  I am told that the line along the edge is a sign of good aging, but I do not know if that is actually true.  

The label describes the Castellana Montepulciano d'Abruzzo as a medium bodied, vivid red wine with cherry fruit and subtle spicy flavors.  The aromatic elements of this wine do suggest vivid, ripe cherries.  This is an interesting contrast to the San Lorenzo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, which had elements that suggested dark cherries and darker fruit, like plums.  And, with regard to the taste of the wine, where the San Lorenzo could be compared to a Syrah, the Castellana was more like a Merlot. 

The label suggests that this wine could be paired with grilled or roasted meats, rice, pasta dishes and pizza.  Personally, I like to pair Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines with traditional Abruzzese dishes, like Maccheroni alla Chitarra and brodettos.  

This wine is available at wine stores.  I do not recall how much the wine cost, but these wines generally sell between $9.99 and $14.99 per bottle.  


For more about the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC and DOCG, check out Wikipedia

1 comment:

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