2011 Valle D’Oro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

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After the most recent Chianti disaster I went back downstairs for a new wine and came back with this Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. We haven’t discussed this yet but Moby and I are big Montepulciano d’Abruzzo fans. It’s important to clarify that Montepluciano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo are very different. Montepulciano is the name of the grape and can be grown anywhere and blended all different ways. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is from the Abruzzo region of Italy and makes quality, 85% or more (often 100%) montepulciano wines. This is probably my second favorite region of Italy next to Piedmont.

Back to the wine, this wasn’t our favorite Montepulciano d’Abruzzo but it was a solid effort. I have three bottles of our favorite in the basement waiting to be reviewed .

colonelgrape: 80. A dryer version of montepulciano but there is still fruit flavor. It initially had a smokey quality but on the palate I found blackberry and cherry flavor with some earthy spice to it. Solid tannins and good acid helped bring out the flavor. It changed in the glass for the better and I found myself enjoying it more as the night went on. I’d recommend this with heartier Italian food. This bottle was about $18 and not bad for the price. The Marina Cvetic we love is $33 and much better but at 1/2 the price of the good stuff I’d say it’s not a bad effort.

MobyGrape: 71.  Smelled really smoky at first, and that lingered when you tasted it too.  Very dry, but the smokiness dissipates the longer it sits (like smoke tends to do), and it settles into a decent tasting wine after a bit.  Didn’t wow me, but I’m glad I didn’t throw it in the garbage after I thought it was smoldering when we opened it.

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