Sunday, November 27, 2011

La Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008

   One of the friendliest and most widely planted grapes in Italy, Montepulciano from the mountainous region of Abruzzo is usually an easy drinking red wine that will pair perfectly with your Bolognese or roast chicken. This example is from La Valentina, one of the most important producers in the zone, whose higher end bottling called "Spelt", usually receives accolades from the top reviewers. It is indeed an attractive wine, with baked cherry, licorice and a stony minerality on the nose. Small wonder, as the vines here live in stony soils at 500 - 1000 ft. in altitude. And although it has wonderful up front dark fruit in the mouth and excellent acidity giving it lift, it finishes with a bit of drying tannins that make me wonder if this bottling is a bit too serious for it's $11.99 price point. It seems that it could benefit from a year or 2 in the bottle. Still, at an everyday price like this, it's definitely worth checking out for yourself. Imported by Dalla Terra, a company with a very nice looking portfolio, this is still a fine example of Abruzzo Montepulciano. Cheers.

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