Winery of the Month
So, we have done this one before but seeing as how Francesca Palmitesta will be joining us for a dinner on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, we thought we would revisit this acclaimed winery.
This month we are heading to the central east coast of Italy, and the up and coming region of Abruzzo. It is here that we have one of the fastest rising wineries in Italy, Masciarelli. The winery was started in 1981 by Gianni Masciarelli at the tender age of 22. The idea was to prove that the montepulciano grapes grown in Abruzzo could produce wine as good as anywhere else in the world. To achieve his aim he first started raising fruit quality in the vineyard. To do this he focused on vineyard management, changing to organic vineyard practices, and drastic yield reductions. In the winery, he changed fruit handling and sorting practices, modern fermentation practices and introducing French Barriques.
Today the winery is headed by Giannis wife Marina Cvetic. She is not new to wine having grown up in the Croatian vineyards her grandfather owned. The winery has holdings in all four provinces of Abruzzo; Chieti, Teramo, Pescara, and L’Aquila. With over 350 HA Masciarelli is the largest organically farmed estate in Italy. Whether they have succeeded in their stated goal is up to you, but they are close, as they have received 29 Tre Bicchieri awards, the highest rating that the Italian wine magazine Gambero Rosso awards.
Villa Gemma Bianco
Here we have a blend of three different vineyards ranging in elevation between 435 to 1200 feet above sea level and the average age of the vines are 35 years. The wine is dominated by Trebbiano d’Abruzzo at 80% with 15% Cocciola and 5% Pecorino. White floral aromas and citrus fruit are apparent on the nose with grapefruit, apple and pear fruits on the palate. You can taste a little bit of the limestone subsoil as well. Medium bodied with more intensity than normally found in Trebbianos.
Regularly $16.99 Sale $12.99
Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Here is the wine that we give to people who have never tried a montepulciano. Medium bodied with bright red berry and cherry flavors with a hint of spice. Intended for early drinking and a good compliment to many Tratorria dishes.
Regularly $13.99 Sale $10.99
Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
This is an interesting wine as it is the only Italian wine with 14 straight Tre Bicchieris. The vineyard for this wine sits directly behind Giannis Grandfathers house. Definetly not your average Montepulciano. Flavors of red fruits, mainly cherry and currant, don’t overwhelm the violet aromas or the medium body. There is some vanilla and baking spice present to announce the 24 months of oak aging that the wine went through.
Regularly $99.99 Sale $74.99
Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva
Here is another wonderfull example of what Montepulciano can do. It is a mixture of fruit from the best sites controlled by the winery. Big and bold with tons of red and dark fruit. The tannins help to reign in the wine and preserve balance with the acid and mineral notes. Behind the fruit is some vanilla and a light cedar and presence. On the finish you may taste a hint of dark chocolate.
Regularly $26.99 Sale $19.99