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Posts Tagged ‘Abruzzo

An OK wine at an OK price

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Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013, La Cuvée dell’Abate, Zaccagnini ($18.30, 908954)
Another wine not listed on the producer’s website, this looks like it could be a Quebec-only bottling. 100% Montepulciano from vines between 20 and 25 years old. Manually harvested in several passes. Macerated on the skins for 15 days and fermented (both alcoholic and malolactic) in temperature-controlled (28-30C) stainless steel tanks. Matured in 1,000-litre oak barrels (90%) and second-fill oak casks for around six months. Aged three months in the bottle before release. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Balthazard.
Red and black berries, turned earth, terracotta and a hint of black licorice. Medium-bodied and well balanced. Dry but not austere thanks to the ripe sweet fruit (cherry) and thread of oaky vanilla. The smooth surface is supported but undisturbed by soft acidity and light tannins. Gauzy minerals and a faint astringency, most obvious on the finish, add savour. Not the kind of wine that has you sitting up and taking notice but drinkable all the same, an “OK wine at an OK price” as one Cellartracker user concluded about the 2010. That said, it’s the best pairing yet for one of my winter staples: pork shoulder stewed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, while wine, chile and black-eyed peas (grazie, Marcella). (Buy again? Sure.)

Written by carswell

April 21, 2015 at 09:03

Ilico presto

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Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011, Ilico, Azienda Agricola Dino Illuminati ($15.95, 10858123)
100% Montepulciano. The grapes are sorted and destemmed, gently crushed, macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks at 28ºC. Upon completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine is transferred into 250-litre Slavonian oak barrels for ten months’ maturation. Bottle-aged three or four months before release. The cuvée’s name, Ilico, is Latin for “on the spot” and these days is usually spelled illico. 13.5% ABV.
Sawdust, roast beef, dried herbs, black pepper. An hour or so after the bottle was opened, the fruit (black raspberry) and some sweet spice begin to emerge (so carafe it already!). Medium-bodied and supple, with ripe but not heavy fruit, bright acidity, lightly raspy tannins and some background old wood. Fair finish with that typically Italian bitter note and drying astringency. Not memorable but not bad, especially with food, though I kept thinking that a natural version (organic, spontaneously fermented, unmanipulated, unsulphured) would be a lot more fun. As it is, a decent enough weekday dinner wine. (Buy again? Sure.)

Written by carswell

October 26, 2013 at 10:41

Posted in Tasting notes

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MWG June 21st tasting: report (1/4)

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IGT Terre di Chieti 2010, Pecorino “Unico”, Tenute Ulisse ($18.80, 11660418)
100% Pecorino from 5- to 10-year old vines. Chilled, destemmed and softly crushed before ferminting and three-months aging in stainless steel. 13% ABV. Vino-lok closure.
Apple and lemon on the nose. Medium-bodied but full of extract. Kept bright by acidity. Savoury lemon intertwines with chalk and quartz. Good, clean finish with a faint bitter note (hazelnut skin?). Fine as a apertif or with simply prepared seafood. (Buy again? Sure.)

Verdicchio di Matelica 2010, Bisci ($20.20, 11660979)
100% Verdicchio. Lightly crushed then pressed to separate the must from the skins. Fermented at a cool 20ºC or less. Aged seven months before bottling. 13% ABV.
Floral bouquet with chalk, grapefruit, melon and eventually jalapeno notes. Rounder and weightier than the Pecorino but also blander (perhaps due to its being served too chilled; the estate recommends 14ºC or higher), which isn’t to say lacking dimension. Clean and bracing with lifting acidity. At this point, not as exciting as the 2009. (Buy again? Yes, especially to lay down for a year or two.)

Rias Baixas 2010, Albariño, Fillaboa ($22.05, 11668129)
100% Albariño from one of the appellation’s top producers. Sees extended lees contact. 13% ABV.
Odd nose that had us wondering whether the bottle wasn’t slightly off: curdled cream against a background of lemon, flowers and coral. Lighter and simpler than its reputation suggests it should be: a savoury, minerally, lemony mouthful with crisp acidity and a saline, slightly alcoholic finish. Not bad but I couldn’t buck the impression that something was missing, that the parts weren’t coalescing into a whole. (Buy again? Maybe to give it another chance.)

Bierzo 2010, Godello, Dominio de Tares ($26.25, 11631852)
100% Godello from 20-year-old vines. Fermented 20 days at 19ºC. No malolactic fermentation. Aged three months in new French oak barrels with daily battonage. Cassein-fined before bottling. 13% ABV.
Complex and evolving nose of yellow fruit, spice and a hint of oak. Ripe-fruity and rich in extract, so conveying an impression of sweetness, yet briskly acidic and actually quite dry. Subtle peach and vanilla give way to a long, spicy finish. Intriguing. (Buy again? Yes!)

Written by carswell

June 26, 2012 at 23:00