Dark reddish-purple with a clear garnet edge. I detect fresh, subtle mixed berries on the nose, blackberry over back notes of strawberry and blueberry with a touch of warm spice. Fresh acidity wakes the palate, with soft tannins adding structure to simple but pleasant ripe plum and berry fruit. On the rustic side, but there’s nothing wrong with that in a modest Italian table wine. Tannic astringency, not unpleasant, lingers after the fruit fades. The label’s midrange 13% alcohol statement seems about right. U.S. importer: Vintus LLC, Pleasantville, N.Y. (March 31, 2018)
FOOD MATCH: It’s a natural with the stereotypical Italian pairings, pizza and, our choice, tomato-and-meat-sauced pasta, but it would go well with any red meat, poultry, or meatless cheese and bean dishes.
WHEN TO DRINK: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is traditionally a lighter, rustic-style wine meant to be enjoyed with food and drunk up soon. That said, though, this one is nicely balanced and protected with a heavy modern metal screwcap, so there’s no need to be in a rush to finish it during the next year or two.
Even at my local $11.99 price, a couple of bucks over Wine-Searcher.com’s $10 average retail, it’s still a fine value in the lower teens.
Here’s an importer’s fact sheet on the 2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
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