The region of Abruzzo lies along Italy’s east central coast, where it meets the Adriatic Sea, southeast of Tuscany. It is one of Italy’s most mountainous and isolated regions. The Apennine Mountains here reach to about 9,000 feet, their highest in Italy. A rough and rustic region, Abruzzo is sprinkled with mountains, valleys and gorges all bathed in verdant foliage. Abruzzo boasts the greatest number of national parks and preserves in the country.
Warm, sunny hillsides provide ideal conditions for cultivating grapes. Unfortunately, many producers focus on quantity not quality. Abruzzo’s average yield is the highest in Italy. Less than 20% of the wine is DOC. And yet, as with most of Italy, a renaissance of quality is taking place, and there are an increasing number of producers, such as La Quercia who are leading that quality movement. Their wines are very good yet still reasonably priced.
La Quercia is a small winery with about 12 hectares under vine and 3 hectares of olives, located on a windy hillside with a vista of the Adriatic Sea. The winery is keen to respect nature and the environment in order to produce the best wines possible with the least amount of harm. Quercia means oak tree which beyond being a beautiful and majestic tree is also a symbol for strength and longevity. All grapes are hand picked and pressed within two hours of harvest. During cultivation and processing, treatments are kept to a minimum in order to allow the drinker to find a reflection of the place of origin and its peculiarities in their glass.
On offer this week is the 2012 La Quercia Montpulciano. This is another of my personal favourites – an incredibly undervalued and versatile wine. It will accompany a wide range of foods and is delicious by itself. This wine is highly recommended!
The 2012 La Quercia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is available for immediate delivery. Order by email or call 416-463-4677
2012 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
$20.50 btl / $246.00 cs (case of 12 x 750ml)
This Montepulciano is a great example of what happens when you match low-yield winemaking expertise with a prolific growing zone, and constantly cut, cut, cut back the vines. Made by winemaker Antonio Lamona, the result is one of the best quality, most expressive and balanced Montepulcianos around. Full-bodied, smooth, and packed with notes of blackberry, wild cherry, chocolate and spice.
Drink: Now – 2020
Food Pairing: Try with olive tapenade, pork chops with sautéed onions and chicken kebabs, as well as eggplant Parmesan, lasagna or pizza
Accolades: This creamy red is well-balanced and accessible, with flavors of pureed cherry and raspberry fruit, accented by herbed black olive, mocha and spice hints. Drink now through 2017
The Wine Spectator, June 15, 2014, 87 points