A Monster of a Montepulicano

Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is usually associated with easy-going table reds from the Abruzzo region. In this country we often see them in the magnum 1.5 liter bottles and they’re generally consumed in their youth with any number of Italian dishes. Obviously that’s only a narrow perception if you’ve experienced the many wonderful reserve level offerings that check in at $15 and above. These wines have the ability to age gracefully for at least five years and may even have the endurance to go a decade if you find the right producers.

Though rarely do we find such a powerful manifestation of Montepulciano like Masciarelli’s Marina Cvetic 2007. While still jam packed with the typical leathery red and black fruits you should expect with Abruzzo reds, this wine boasts herculean structure, scale busting weight and a seductive frame of soft vanilla oak accents that would entice even the most dedicated California drinkers. This is a lush, full-bodied crowd pleaser that sticks to its Italian roots yet aims for the stratosphere with its immensity and power.

While the price is well above the jug wine table red from Abruzzo, at $35 it drinks like a classically rated Super Tuscan – or in this case Super Abruzzo. Thirty-six months in French oak may sound like a lot but this wine has the fruit to take it head on. It’s one of those wines that we had to have at the shop and both Aroma Restaurants.

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