La Fiera 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($8.99)
Clear dark reddish-purple, shading to a lighter garnet edge. Simple but fresh, tart cherries and blackberries with an edge of spice on the nose and palate. Fresh-fruit acidity and moderate astringent tannins surround dark fruit on the palate, with appealing cherry-berry fruit lingering in the finish. Its 13 percent alcohol doesn’t overwhelm the flavor. U.S. importer: Winesellers LTD, Niles, Ill. (Oct. 25, 2018)
FOOD MATCH: The label suggests tomato-based pastas, pizza and roasted poultry, and I can sign on to all those standard options with Montepulciano. It was good, too, with spicy sausage, although the wine brought up the heat; with creamy cheese, and – perhaps surprisingly – with chocolate.
WHEN TO DRINK: The sturdy metal screw cap will help keep it fresh, but this is a wine for enjoying within the next year or two, not cellaring for years.
This simple, bright Montepulciano might not compete with more complex renditions at higher prices, but it’s hard to beat for value at Wine-Searcher.com’s $9 average retail.
This importer’s link offers basic information about La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, with links to more detailed downloadable information.
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