SOLD OUT! Montepulciano Lovers Unite! The 2017 Illuminati Ilico Montepulciano is one of Italy’s best. In fact, it was one of just eight Montepulcianos to receive the coveted Tre Bicchieri Award from Italy’s Gambero Rosso. Wines honored with this prestigious award are generally recognized as Italy’s best.
After tasting this with one of my most trusted reps, I can confirm that this wine is a splendid example of the varietal. From one of the top producers in Abruzzo, this single vineyard wine offers up tremendous textural richness and intensity. At less than $20, you will be hard-pressed to find a better Italian red for the money!
2017 Illuminati ‘Ilico’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva
Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso — One of Italy’s Top Montepulcianos!
Nicola Illuminati founded his family’s winery in 1890 and today, his grandson Dino runs the show. The focus here is Montepulciano, the leading grape of the Abruzzo, and their Ilico bottling is the estate’s top wine. I know Montepulciano often yields rustic and simple “pizza and pasta wines,” but this is a much more “serious” version of the grape that deserves short ribs, ossobuco, or some other slow-braised dish.
Like I said earlier, this was just 1 of 8 Montepulcianos to be rated Tre Bicchieri with Gambero Rosso. I can’t put into words how BIG of an award this is. It’s the equivalent of receiving a 95+ point score from Wine Spectator. How many 95+ points wines can you name that retail for less than $20? Trust me, there aren’t any. And don’t forget, this is a wine that out-performed hundreds of other Montepulcianos, many that fetch $50+. Let’s just say this is a terrific value!
Fermented in stainless steel and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 12 months, this pours a beautiful deep ruby color. The nose is all ripe dark cherry, mint, violet, and oak spice and the palate is full and rich yet juicy and pliant. Medium to full bodied, with firm but finely knit tannin, this is going to provide pleasurable drinking for the next 5 years or so.
We are one of the only stores in Western North Carolina to get any of this one. If you love Italian reds with one foot in the Old World and the other in the New World, you’ll love this modern classic!
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville