Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC
It is said that the famous Phoenician general Hannibal and his soldiers were able to resist the Roman Empire for such a long time since the soldiers could refurbish with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Like most of the Italian varietals, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo was brought to Italy from Greece. It is often confused with Sangiovese, although it is a different clone, requires different treatments in the vineyards, and has a different flavor profile. Part of the confusion comes from a wine called Montepulciano DOC that grows near the town Montepulciano (Tuscany), which is indeed a Sangiovese varietal. The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC regulations require that the vineyards cannot be located at a higher elevation than 500m (1,500 feet), the blend has to be made of at least 85% Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes, and the yield cannot exceed 14 tons per hectare and a minimum alcohol level of 11.5%. The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a varietal that has a deep color, complex structure, and a balanced presence of tannins. It has been used in the past (and still is) as a blending grape due to its excellent color, intense fruit flavors, and structure. It stands alone as a great wine. An esteemed Rosé called Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo can also be produced from this varietal.
Winemaker's note: this wine has explosive aromas of blueberries, cherries, licorice, and sweet spices. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with fresh fruit and a smooth finish.
Appellation: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Varietal: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 100%
Vineyards areas: Chieti hills
Training system: Guyot. Vines are on average 15 years old
Vine density: 2.700 guyot and 1.700 pergola per hectare
Yield of grapes in wine: 80hl/ha (3.7 tons per acre)
Soil: mostly clay
Harvest: mid of October
Wine-making: a short cryomaceration (holding crushed fruit at a low temperature prior to fermentation) is made once the grapes are selected and derasped. The skins are kept in contact with the must at a controlled temperature of 28°C (82°F) for about 25-30 days. While the must is in contact with the skins, periodic delestage (rack and return) is performed to achieve a good fruit, soft tannins, and stable color.
Aging: the wine is separated from the skins by a soft pressing and is held in stainless steel tanks where the malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine is not filtered. Once it is bottled, the wine is left to refine in the bottle for 5 months before release.
Food pairing: it pairs well with beef, roasts, grilled meats, tomato pasta dishes and pizza with red sauce
Serving temperature: 18-20°C (64-68°F)
Glass type: balloon