Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
This wine is deep ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. It is clean, fresh and plummy on the nose, rich, supple and accessible on the palate. It is balanced and full-bodied with good tannins. The fresh, primary fruit characters are maximised by the fact that it does not age in oak, making it approachable and ready to drink.
Valentino Sciotti is involved with a number of wineries in Puglia, Campania (he is the man behind Vesevo) and his native Abruzzi. The Gran Sasso wines are made by young winemaker Marco Flacco and display a freshness and directness of fruit that is seldom found in this region.
Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Valentino and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
The grapes were hand-picked into small crates at the beginning of October. They were destemmed and crushed, then macerated and fermented at temperatures reaching 26-27°C for 15 days. The wine was then aged for five months in temperature-controlled stainless steel until bottling.
Decanter - Best value - Wine of the month
Meaning 'Great Stone', the winery takes its name from the Gran Sasso mountain in Abruzzo. This Montepulciano is a fresh, cheery wine with cherry spice aromas and a rich palate that showcases concentrated cherry notes and food-friendly tannins. Drink from 2009.