Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017
Masciarelli is such an extraordinary story because, as few producers have managed to do, they have succeeded at the very top in creating a global icon, while also creating something special for the everyday consumer, a wine so much better than it needs to be, an ambassador for the region. This wine for so many people is their introduction to the Montepulciano grape and the Abruzzo region, and the quality and care shown in producing this 100% estate but widely available wine result in an enormously positive impression.
In a span of only 30 miles between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Masciarelli has carefully assembled 60 specific sites averaging just 5 acres and spread across the diverse soils and altitudes of the 4 provinces of Abruzzo. These vineyards are farmed sustainably, and the 9 specific vineyards that bear fruit for this wine range in altitude from 435 to 1,200 feet, planted on soils of calcareous clay, and in a combination of traditional pergola as well as spur cordon and single guyot training that Gianni Masciarelli pioneered in the region.
After destemming, the grapes are pressed and undergo a short, warm fermentation on the skins in stainless steel. Further aging in stainless steel maintains the freshness and vibrancy of the fruit, producing a wine that exhibits bright red berries, cherry, redcurrant and violet aromas and flavors. The wine is then racked and bottled by gravity without fining or filtration.
The second smallest vintage in Italy since the 1940s, 2017 saw the yields of some regions 30% lower than normal. Dry and warm winter, but a record snowfall in Abruzzo. Early bud break again and then frost. A little rain in spring but mostly characterized by warm spring and summer. Harvest was warm and grape bunches were small. Clemency; a little rain and cooler temperatures at harvest. In the end, only the healthiest grapes were harvest, resulting in aromatic whites and structured reds.
Rich and ripe dark cherry fruit, along with attractive spicy, smoky notes. Fleshy and full, with surprising depth and length.
This wine is intended to be consumed in its youth and is a terrific complement to roasted meats, pastas and pizza – the ultimate trattoria wine.
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