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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Other Wines by this Producer
Trebbiano is the white grape that Gianni Masciarelli fought so hard to legitimize. In Abruzzo, the specific clone is different than the high yielding, sometimes simple version of the grape found elsewhere in Italy. On Abruzzo's soils, this variety of Trebbiano creates immensely expressive, a touch opulent, and age-wort wines.
Colline Teatine IGT
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The Trebbiano Riserva Marina Cvetic represents the ultimate expression for the estate of one of the historical vines of Abruzzo. Like Montepulciano, Trebbiano was once thought to be a workhorse grape without the potential to produce great wine. The interpretation of this wine is original and has a character. Marina Cvetic wines have full body and are elegant and are a “lone voice” for the most demanding and technical experts.
Gianni Masciarelli one day suprised his wife by presenting her with this wine, from the grape he made famous from the region, named after her. Croatian in origin, her first reaction was that no one would be able to pronounce the wine. Because of the outstanding sites used to produce the wine and the serious winemaking care it undergoes, Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo soon became the most widespread example of serious Montepluciano in the world.
ISKRA is a true outlier, representing a single vineyard handled in a particular way to create a wine of extraordinary distinction and depth.
Colline Teatine Bianco
While the Villa Gemma Montepulciano was the wine that announced Abruzzo to the world, the Bianco, created just a year later, further defined what the region and grapes of Abruzzo could produce. This wine, first released in 1985, speaks to the white grape varieties specific to the region and has become on of the most exciting wines produced at the estate.
Started in Gianni Masciarelli's grandfather's basement, Villa Gemma is the wine that announced Abruzzo to the world, showcasing what the region and grapes of Abruzzo could produce. Villa Gemma Montepulciano Riserva is the only Italian wine with 14 consecutive Tre Bicchieri awards and, more importantly, was the wine that established Abruzzo as capable of making truly distinct, extraordinary wines. Villa Gemma Montepulciano Riserva is a powerfully - almost undeniably - intense wine of character and complexity, with deep fruit and earthy, spicy secondary charachteristics that could only come from the Montepulciano grape in Abruzzo.
Perhaps the finest rosé production area in Italy, and one of the few appellations dedicated only to rosé, Cerasuolo has a long history of producing serious rosé, and showcasing how well the Montepulciano grape is adapted to rosé. Masciarelli first produced this wine in 1986, only 5 years after the winery was founded. With deep fruit and structure but no shortage of pleasure, it is a rosé you can take to the dinner table.