SOLD OUT! I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is you cleaned us out of Scuderie Ducali Montepulciano. Good news is this is the “big brother” to that wine, and it’s about as good of a Montepulciano as you’re going to find in the marketplace.
From a small, certified organic, family-run winery, this is Centorame’s old-vine, lower yielding, more powerful Montepulciano. I’d put it in the same league as the Masciarelli Marina Cvetic so many of you loved. And you can’t beat the price.
2017 Centorame San Michele Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
94 points Josh Spurling: "Big, deeply colored, full flavored, world-class Montepulciano!"
I don’t want to lead you to believe this is anything like the Scuderie Ducali. Though from the same producer, this is a much bigger and more substantial red with deeper color and fuller flavor. From the estate’s oldest and lowest yielding vines, this is an epic, full-bodied Montepulciano that will wow the senses.
Coming to us from our friend and importer Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports, this is another stellar wine from his fantastic portfolio of small growers and producers. Centorame might me fairly new on the scene, but I predict they will quickly be a producer that those in the know will be talking about.
There’s just so much integrity here. Proprietor Lamberto Vannuci refuses to use any chemical fertilizers — only cow manure is used. He also believes in using “slow, good machinery that respects the grape.” And all of the fruit is estate-grown and hand harvested in small baskets, from parcels quite close to the cellar. In regions that can be warm at harvest (like Abruzzo) this does matter. It is better for the eventual wine if little time passes between fruit being picked and finding shelter in a cool cellar.
It’s this attention to details and commitment to quality that I look for in all of the wines I choose to feature. And when you get this home, pull the cork, and pour it in your glass, you will immediately notice this is a very high quality wine. It pours a dark purple color and breathes of ripe red plum, dark cherry, blueberry, savory herb, and sweet spice. With air, additional notes of mocha, earth, and violet emerge. Full-bodied on the palate, it is silky smooth with round tannins and soft acidity, finishing long and satisfying.
As with many high quality Italian reds, decanting is beneficial. I’d give this one a good 45 minutes to an hour of “air time” before enjoying it. And enjoy this marvelous Montepulciano with braised or grilled meats with red peppers, lamb, game, stews, or burgers… the pairing options are numerous.
I don’t know why I’ve been featuring so many Montepulcianos recently. I guess I’ve just been looking for wines that provide comfort during these crazy days. And there’s not a much more comfortable wine than Montepulciano and this one is super!
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville