2007 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy, Abruzzi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

The vast majority of wines from Abruzzi are quaffable/forgettable inexpensive red wines.  This is neither of those.  Emidio Pepe is one of the great producers of wine in Italy.  His red and white wines are both expensive and sublime.  They can age for decades.  This 2007 is just beginning to hit full maturity.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is complex with cherries, black cherries, baking spices, slight tarragon, and tar.  Dull bodied.  A strong streak of acidity (this is Italy).  Full bodied.  On the palate, layers of cherries and black cherries with underlying tar

2019 Art of Earth Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

This is an inexpensive Montepulciano from Italy.  It is made from certified organic grapes and comes in a screw capped bottle.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries and warm earthiness.  On the palate, this has sour cherries with firm tannins.  Moderate acidity.  It finishes with plums and slightly bitter almond notes.  Consumed over three days, this was best on day one and two and then fell off.  It is easy drinking but works better with food than on its own.  A great choice for pizza or burgers.  This is a nice value although it pays to shop around.  

2015 Gianni Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić Riserva, Italy,

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

There is a wide range in style and quality for MdA's.  This is one of the better ones that is still affordable.  This took about thirty minutes to really open but then drank quite well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries and plums with some clove notes.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, cherries, slight sour cherries with a strong backbone of acidity.  There is some depth and complexity though not a lot.  It begs for food and worked with a lasagna in bechamel sauce though perhaps a tomato sauce would work better.  It drinks ok on its own although the acidity stands out.  It probably

2017 Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy, Abruzzo, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$8.00USD

Citra is a collection of farmers in Abruzzo who got together to form a winery.  They make a variety of wines that are inexpensive yet enjoyable.  This is screw capped.  It has a deep garnet color.  The nose has cherries, candied cherries, smoke and a bit of spice.  On the palate, it's more cherries and sour cherries with some spice.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  An easy drinking wine that is priced well.  Made to drink now.  Will work well with pizza, pasta or burgers. 

2012 Abballe Biferno Biferno Rosso Reserva DOC, Italy, Molise, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is a really interesting wine that sells for $15.  It is 80% Montepulciano and 20% Aglianico.  The 2012 is what seems to be in the stores in the US right now and it is drinking great.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has black cherries, smoke and plums.  On the palate, there is a nice underlying minerality with nice black cherry fruit.  Good acidity.  This worked well with pasta but drinks fine on its own, the acidity is not as much as many Italian wines.  Good finish.  Probably has another 3 to 5 years left.  Maybe more.  

2009 Torre Raone Montepulciano d'Abruzzo San Zopito, Italy - Wine Review

Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is a step up from most MdA's.  Very good.  it is ripe and there is a slight ripe/sweetness to it.  It is delicious.  Purple in color.  The nose has plums and sandalwood.  On the palate, ripe plums and dark cherries.  Enough acidity.  Good finish.  At $30, it is pricier, but worth it.  At 8 years from vintage, it seems to be just closing in on peak but not quite.  

Wines to Go Buy This Week: "Comfort Wines" - A Zinfandel by Glenn Hawk and Tulip Hill's Cabepulciano (yeah you read that right)

I live in San Francisco and January weather here means 50 degrees and rain. Constant bone-chilling rain, or so it seems. And before the rest of America emails to remind me how good I have it and how freaking cold it is in New York or Ohio or whatever other frozen tundra they call home, I'm just gonna say that when you are cold, you are cold, and comfort food -and comfort wine- goes a long way towards warming your heart when Old Man Winter starts to have his way with you. So with this in mind, I bring you two comfort wines you should go buy this week. Glenn Hawk Zinfandel - I typically don't gravitate to Zinfandel. I associate Zins with "cocktail wines", that is, wines that are delicious for a few sips of a single glass but can be a bit too fruity and overwhelming for those of us who tend towards enjoying multiple glasses. So I don't recommend many Zinfandels simply because I don't drink many of them. Every once in a while I stumble back down the Zinfandel path and am reminded of how good the varietal can be. I recently tried the 2009 Glenn Hawk Zinfandel from Livermore Valley (just south of Napa in the shadow of Mt. Diablo).

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