Tue 15 Feb 2011
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that yesterday was Valentine’s, but today the Wine of the Week is La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008, made from Abruzzo’s indigenous montepulciano grape. (Not to be confused with Tuscany’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made from sangiovese grapes.) The winery was founded in 1990 by Sabatino Di Properzio in the hillside village of Spoltore. Winemaker is Luca D’Attorna. La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008 is the perfect knock-about red wine for pizza — we did this on a recent Pizza-and-Movie Night — hearty pasta dishes and grilled or braised meat. The grapes ferment in stainless steel; the wine ages 12 months, 80 percent in a combination of stainless steel and cement tanks, 20 percent in wood. The color is dark ruby/purple; aromas of black currants, blueberries and red plums (with a slight coffee-prunish cast) are permeated by briers, brambles and a touch of graphite-tinged minerals; give it a few minutes and hints of violets, lavender and baking spices emerge. La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008 is robust without being rustic, quite dry but not austere, and lent vigor by lively acidity; juicy black and red fruit flavors carry a shading of woody spice and deeper stretches into the finish of foresty tannins. One of those inexpensive wines that makes you happy to be drinking it. Now through 2012. Very Good+. About $14, a Great Bargain.
Imported by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, Napa, Cal.