Montepulcianio D' Abruzzo
A good solid taste that comes out fighting round after round.
The Montepulciano grape, named after the Tuscan town of that ilk is best known for the wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo which is produced from the aforementioned grape and made in the Abruzzo region of Italy. This is a dry, red wine which, while not having the subtlety of the great wines of France is nonetheless a thoroughly decent splosh.
A good example of this wine will have a full body with a dark, almost purple colour rather like a good but young red Bordeaux. If you see a thinner, redder colour, you should be wary and I hope that you will not have paid a lot for the wine as, in my experience, this is the mark of a less appealing wine.
These wines are often sold ready to drink at less than two years old and sometimes at less than one year.
On the label, you should look for the description, "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo" together with the authentication mark "Denominazione Di Origine Controllata" or just DOC. You will also see the bottler's name and year.
This wine seems to vary less from year to year than most and I have only ever encountered one poor example which was the 1999 bottling by Corvit. Forli. Other wine from this producer has been good as has all of the 1999 vintage from other bottlers so I can only assume that the bottler themselves had some problem that was confined to one year. The outlets that carried that wine switched to the 2000 vintage pretty quickly so I guess that everyone involved accepted that there had been a bit of a cock up. (I stress that this is no reason to avoid the year or the wine of this bottler, just avoid that combination.)
If you like Chianti or if you are an habituee of the cheaper end of the Bordeaux market, you should do yourself a favour and check out this wine. It generally offers slightly better value for a wine of similar appeal and quality.
It is one of our staples for everyday drinking and it is rare that a week passes without at least one bottle of this wine being opened (and finished) at jpoc towers.
You should serve it at room temperature and it is best with half an hour breathing before you drink it but, in an emergency, you can uncork and imbibe right away without doing the wine too much of an injustice.
If you want some precious luvvy stuff about what food this wine goes with then it's great with microwaved pizza but really that's all tosh, it's just a decent, inexpensive wine that you can enjoy drinking whenever.
To guide you, I am giving an award for the best wine and the best value for each vintage.