Castello di Semivicoli Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2008
Combined complex seashell saltiness and texture with some elegant stone fruit depth and viscosity.
Villa Gemma Cerasuolo 2011
A traditional way of producing montepulciano, whereby the must is cold soaked for about 24 hours then pressed off, which gives a dark rose colour to the wine. Showed candied fruit sweetness of strawberries, cherries and cream, plenty of lively acidity and textured tannins, but was again quite simple.
Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009
The fruit was astonishingly good and showed great authenticity, but it was drenched in toasty sweet oak tannins.
Iskra Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2004
Had the benefit of several more years of bottle age, but couldn’t escape the overuse of oak, which in my opinion won’t help the wine improve in the cellar.
Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2005
After 30+ days of maceration on skins spends the next four years in a variety of old and new oak treatments. The over maceration gave the aromatics a volatile acidity nature, and the concentration of fruit combining with the oak makes it a very complex, mature and intense wine, that will probably benefit with more age.
A box of Masciarelli wine
One of the things I have noticed on my trip visiting wine regions is that the best wines come from vineyards planted on a slope. There are exceptions to this of course, but these wines are generally not necessarily of elegance, nor do they come from cool climate regions. All of the regions I have visited in Italy so far, including Tuscany and Valpolicella, have steep and/or terraced vineyards where the best fruit tends to come from. In every case the fruit grown in vineyards on valley floors or flat lands provide volume and approachability. What varies of course is the steepness, elevation, exposition and depth of the soils and this in turn reacts with the particular variety and micro-climates. The fascinating thing about Italy which I didn’t realise is that the entire length of the mainland has a mountain range through it, known as the Appenino Mountains. These mountains are quite wild and imposing between Lazio and Abruzzo/Le Marche, a fact I discovered quite well when I drove from the Adriatic Coast to Rome and back for the weekend. Much like the Great Dividing Range up the east coast of Australia, or the Rockies/Andes Mountains that travels the entire west coast of the Americas, this allows viticulture to be quite diverse and high quality along them. Even in Mediterranean climates like in Abruzzo, you can easily produce red and white wines of elegance and structure, but plenty of fruit and tannin. How one expresses the climate, soils and native varieties is ultimately up to the producer, as I was to discover on my first day in the Abruzzo region.
|Me in the 11th century tower on the Torre Raone estate in Abruzzo