What is Montepulciano D’Abruzzo?

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Choosing great wine can be a very tricky task, depending on what exactly you are looking for. If you’re looking for a red wine that goes well with rich and fatty foods, you can never go wrong with a Montepulciano wine.

What Type Of Wine Is Montepulciano D’Abruzzo?

Montepulciano is a red wine variety grape that originates from East-Central Italy and hasbeen widely grown in the Apennine foothills and the Adriatic Sea coast of the Abruzzo region in the 18th century. Here, the climate provides conducive conditions for the vines to grow well. Unlike most Abruzzo western parts that are known to be very rocky for viticulture. Other regions where the Montepulciano is grown are the Marche, Molise, and Puglia regions. Montepulcianois a late-ripening grape that has thick skin. It is also the second most planted red grape in Italy; the first is Sangiovese.

Montepulciano wines, also known as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, are sometimes confused with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine, made from Sangiovese grapes. In the town of Montepulciano, Tuscany. They are, however, very different from each other.

How They Make Montepulciano D’Abruzzo?

Montepulciano wines are made from montepulciano grapes while Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made of Sangiovese grapes. Montepulciano just happens to be the town’s name in the Tuscany region where Vino Nobile wine is produced. The Tuscany region is positioned in central Italy. It is a place well-known for its dry, red wines. Like Nobile di Montepulciano, Rosso di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montepulciano, and sweet white wines like Vino Santo di Montepulciano.

Montepulciano is produced in large quantities on the plains anddescents around the Adriatic coast, and they are sold under the DOC title. The best types of Montepulciano are said to come from the north of Abruzzo, the Colline Teramane foothills to be precise, and they are quite expensive because of their DOCG title. Well, they are worth that money. Some of the finest Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines include Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG, Pasetti Harimann 2009, Cantina Zaccagnini 2017, Emidio Pepe Montepulciano 2010, Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Riserva 2016, Cerasulo d’Abruzzo DOC, Masciarelli Villa Gemma 2014 and some others. Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno are also very good montepulciano wines, and they are both produced in the Marche region.

montepulciano grapes
Montepulciano grapes @Pinterest

DOC vs DOCG

You may be wondering what DOC and DOCG mean. Italian wines are broken down into four classes: Vino da Tavola (VdT), Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). There are certain standard the wines have to be made by to ensure their quality. The higher the standards, the higher their guaranteed quality.

Vino da Tavola means ‘’table wine’’ in Italian, and they do not have geographical attestation. They are made from grapes grown anywhere in Italy, and they do not have enough quality to make them retailed in the European market or even exported to the US. In the IGT category, the wine labels contain the IGT region where the wine is produced. The wine in this category is of lower quality than DOC wines.

DOC is the main category of Italian wine classification and represents many Italian wine types. There are about 330 DOC titles in Italy, and each tag has a set of rules controlling its winemaking procedures. Montepulciano made a reputation for itself in the late 20th and early 21st century as one of Italy’s universally exported DOC wines. The DOCG, on the other hand, is the highest quality level of Italian wines. Here, steadfast rules are controlling the production of DOCG wines. Thereby giving a guarantee of the best quality. There are about 74 DOCG wines in Italy. There is a numbered government seal on the neck of every bottle.

montepulciano dabruzzo doc la grondaia
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC La Grondaia @Pinterest

About Aging

Rustic wine, as in Montepulciano wines, is best drunk while they are young. They are dry and have a deep colour with intense aromas and flavours such as hints of oregano, pepper, tobacco, and black fruits. The taste, however, can be affected by how it is aged. The typical ageing processes used in maturing Montepulciano are Oak-aging and Neutral-aging.

The oak-ageing goes way back to the early days of Roman winemaking, and it is still a widespread practice. Wines aged in oak barrels tend to grow flavours such as cocoa, vanilla, and mocha from the wood. These wines also give away deep black fruit flavours like boysenberry, blackberry, and prune. They often have sticky tannin and can be sable, making it more preferable to look for up to four years old. Oak-barreled is widely preferred because of the richness of its taste.

Neutral barrels are sometimes oak barrels that have lost their flavouring ability. These barrels permit the introduction of oxygen into the wine slowly. As a result, bringing about a softening effect. Here, some winemakers produce a lighter style by ensuring little or no contact with the skin during fermentation. The barrel-aged wines have red fruit flavours of red plum, sour cherry, cranberry, raspberry jam, hints of violet, and dried herbs.

Read more: Tasty Dishes That Goes Well With Wine

What Does Montepulciano D’abruzzo Taste Like?

Montepulciano wines have high tannin and acidity levels, making it ideal for them to be paired with dishes like beef briskets, Pizza, pasta Bolognese, roasted meats, baked winter vegetables, and lots more. Their alcohol volume ranges from 11.5% to 13.5%, and as a result of its acidity, Montepulciano can cut through the rich flavours of fatty foods. One way to enjoy the Montepulciano is to pair it with something that has fat. It is also good to notethat you cannot pair with the wine because pairing wrongly can cause some ingredients/flavour identification war on your palate. So, avoid pairing with simple dishes like salads and raw fish.

glass of fine montepulciano wine
Glass of fine montepulciano wine

The price of a Montepulciano varies depending on the style, producer, and quality. It, however, falls within $25 to $160. So, if you won’t get a wine with a moderate alcohol level, which is also easy to drink and has a single varietal, Montepulciano is your best bet.

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