Montepulciano is the most popular grape in Le Marche and Abruzzi, so we want to offer you a full 2009 Montepulciano vintage report, which will give an idea of the wine’s potential. We start with the most representative bottles from Conero, the DOC Rosso Conero and the DOCG Conero. Moroder and Le Terrazze, wineries that enjoy a bucolic, mild-weathered location by the sea, sheltered by Mount Conero. The production is limited to artisanal quantities, which allows for strong quality control. Then Piceno’s two pure-bred, which elude any attempt to categorize them, Kurni and Regina del Bosco.
We’ll close on two wines very different for origin and structure, but at the same time quite similar for intent, rigor and preparation: Emidio Pepe and Praesidium. Two wines made completely by hand, from harvest to pressing, unfiltered, from organic vineyards where the short distance between plants and the close pruning allow for small yet very concentrated yields. Here are our 2009 Montepulciano tasting notes for you!
Conero Dorico Riserva, 2008, Moroder
Pure Montepulciano. It looks menacing from the start, dark, with purple tones. A monument to these lands’ beauty, it’s concentrated, a potential masterpiece, densely fruity, perfectly fused in powerful tannic weaves that persists until a savory finale. Beware: this wine can be addictive and bring uncontrollable euphoria. Its fierce tannin requires a Sacrifice of Korean-Barbecue Ribs. It will easily get to twenty years.
Chaos 2008, Fattoria Le Terrazze
A blend of Montepulciano, Syrah and Merlot. Dark ruby. Elegant in its deep, fruity notes of sour cherry and blackberry, its spicy wealth and its savory suggestions that come from the sea, a luminous window opened in a dark tannic filigree. This wine has great personality and consistency, which make it one of the great standards of the area. Its fine bouquet can be accompanied by game pies or Turkish shish kebabs with a garlicky tahini.
Kurni, 2010, Oasi degli Angeli
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a bottle. Only six thousand bottles per year make the Kurni a pure temptation, an idea that became substance. This is its greatest quality, to elevate itself above matter and aim for the Absolute. Its appearance is imperturbable like ink, splendid, a whirlpool of red fruit in many forms—fresh, caramelized, in alcohol, in a frappé, in ice cream, in yogurt—but also rose, mulberry, carnation, licorice, iris, aniseed, coffee, cinnamon, tobacco, china root, rhubarb, ginger, myrtle. It’s a surprising fugue of flavors that finds no rest. The magnificence of its taste is amplified by a warm texture, while tannins are under control. Its sweet intensity make it taste almost like a passito, the dream of a sweet-toothed kid. One wonders if such roundness isn’t maybe too much, too frivolous, but this feeling doesn’t last, and becomes fresher, sharper, a statuesque body behind this softness. A wine for meditation, it performs at best with a Castelmagno cheese or duck with orange.
Regina del Bosco, 2009, Fattoria Dezi
A strong-willed wine, which encompasses all the nuances typical of the vine, the ruby color, the clear fruits and massive character. The sweet concentration of wild strawberries and cocoa turn it into an irresistible syrup. The taste flows boldly. Its warmth is persistent, yet never overwhelming. Pair roasted pig with plums or Canadian onion soup.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2009, Emidio Pepe
It bursts with youthfulness, but no one says the Montepulciano—especially when it comes from the coast of Abruzzi—can’t be enjoyed in its prime. Its purple color is inviting, its nose is fresh, sharp, with overtones of sour cherry, morello and tobacco. Its spicy taste is warmly balanced with exceptional savoriness, which gives way to more intense fruitiness—almost like a jam. It tends to resist, due to its acidic charge, but it’s the good omen of a prosperous future. This Montepulciano welcomes any Indian food that includes lamb and curry, lamb biryani time!
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2007, Praesidium
From the cradle of the Montepulciano, it boasts to have been deeply loved by its maker, who personally works in the fields every day. Drinking this wine is a tough mission, like entering a forest you think you know. Everything is in the right place: the scents, the flavors, the sour cherry, the typical spices, but then comes a meteor shower of mint and aniseed, and you don’t know where to take shelter: the forest is on fire. It’s an encounter with Dionysus: this is how wine must have tasted two thousand years ago—one of the most astonishing we’ve ever tried. It has something almost indecipherable, seductive. A grassy rebellion, a sharp mineral tension that sets this nectar ablaze. This Montepulciano can be accompanied by spicy sausages or bulgogi (불고기).