Bennati 2018 “Castellano” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($10.99)
Bennati Castellano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a good, food-friendly Italian red, a bit on the rustic side, as is typical of the affordable wines of this region. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Dark reddish-purple in the glass, it offers pleasant dark cherry-berry aromas. Flavors follow the nose with blackberries and tart cherries shaped by pleasant mouth-watering acidity, light tannic astringency that lasts, and a pleasant whiff of red-clay minerality. 12.5% alcohol. U.S. importer: Sunrise Wines, Raleigh, N.C. (Sept. 2, 2021)
FOOD MATCH: Rustic wine for rustic fare: Hearty red meat like beef and lamb and roast pork will serve this pleasant, affordable Italian red well. We enjoyed it with pasta e fagioli, borlotti beans from Rancho Gordo in a rich tomato and onion-based sauce with mini penne.
WHEN TO DRINK: There’s no rush, but like a lot of other modest wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo might as well be drunk up upon purchase; there’s no advantage in cellaring it.
When you’re in the mood for a good, cheap Italian red to go with food, you can’t go wrong with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This is a good one at a fair price.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
You may have a hard time finding the Castellano label. Importer Emanuele Magnani tells me it was originally designed for sale to a group of restaurants, but now is available in limited quantities in a few states. However, it’s very similar to Bennati’s Ca Brigiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which you’ll find at this Wine-Searcher link.
You can also browse this extensive list of other wines from Casa Vinicola Bennati on Wine-Searcher.com.
Finally, you can follow this Wine-Searcher link to look for scores of other wines of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, virtually all of them affordable and worth it.