2010 Col del Mondo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

As The Wine House’s 38th Anniversary Sale gets underway, I’d like to kick off the celebration by highlighting a super bargain for a charming, medium-full bodied red with juicy fruit and unobtrusive tannins: the 2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Col del Mondo. This wine will take you far this fall and winter, with its bolder character and supple flavors. Whether you are cozying up to a fireside dinner or are rushing out the door- late again!- to your best friend’s soirée, having a case of the 2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Col del Mondo at the ready can ease some of the strain of the season.

Photo courtesy of winery’s FB page

The Montepulciano grape is widely planted in eastern Italy along the Adriatic Coast. Especially in the region of Abruzzi, Montepulciano proliferated as it adapted well to the climate, and could produce easy-going, drinkable reds. Historically, the intention here was to make a whole lot of good wine, not necessarily emphasizing premium quality wine. This thinking has changed dramatically in recent years as winemakers and wine drinkers have woken up to the great potential of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to make outstanding wine.

Photo courtesy of winery’s FB page

Col del Mondo is a winery that came together when three friends set out to change the perception of Abruzzi wine. It is widely noted that Abruzzi farmers are more grape growers than winemakers, so it was common and convenient to join a cooperative. Nowadays, winemakers seeking to produce higher quality wines in the region have set out on their own. Col del Mondo is a young operation with Fabrizio Mazzacchetti, the son of one of the partners, making the wines. The vineyards are extremely well placed in the commune of Collecorvino in the Pescara province. Hillside elevations with south/south-west exposures only 12 miles from the sea provide an ideal growing climate for producing aromatic, fresh and fruity aromas in the wine.

The fruit for the 2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is grown within the desirable sub-zone of Terre dei Vestini. The wine is fermented in tank and then spends approximately 14-18 months in barrel. What makes this Montepulciano d’Abruzzo stand out is its suppleness. The flavors lean toward plum and blackberry with just a trace of leather. It’s juicy and plump with rounded tannins. Dark in color, you might expect an onslaught of heaviness, but for a big red it sits poised on the palate. I can easily savor a glass on its own as much as I enjoy how it handles a main course.

Photo courtesy of winery’s FB page

The $19.98 bottle price is fair, though the $16.95 sale price is certainly a better deal. The full-case price of $150 is more than a 30% savings…now that’s a super deal! We have a limited number of cases in stock as we took advantage of end-of-vintage savings. Once the 2010 is gone, it’s gone.

Yesterday at the shop I was trying to cram in a days extra work for I had been temporarily derailed this week with an eye ulcer…who knew that was even possible? Anyway, we were working on The November Dirty Dozen when Pete commented on one of my food pairings and mused why there hasn’t been an upscale revival of chili in this town? The conversation then turned to chili and wine pairing in general; I had suggested in the DD to pair Tempranillo with chili. As I began my research for this newsletter, I stumbled upon a headline: “The Perfect Chili Wine: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo”. It must be in the air! I concur that Montepulciano d’Abruzzo would be a clever choice for a meaty, tomato-y chili; spicy or not. Before we sell out of this beauty, I’ll have to squirrel away a bottle to do my own research at home with a bowl. As luck would have it, I made nearly 12 quarts of chili last week for Halloween dinner. Even after my guests had their fill, I had enough leftovers to send care packages to some neighbors and freeze some for dinner later. If only I could plan this well all the time! – Anya Balistreri

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Filed under abruzzo, Anya Balistreri, montepulciano d'abruzzo

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