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Montepulciano Delivers Juicy, Affordable Wines

January 23, 2019
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In Italy, Montepulciano is a grape and a place and two very different wines.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, the grape montepulciano of the region Abruzzo, the central Italian region on the Adriatic Sea, makes a drinkable red wine.

As though wine isn’t confusing enough, another completely different Italian wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is a Tuscan red made with the Sangiovese grape.

But let’s look at Abruzzo. The region produces a lot of wine. In Italy, it is a volume producer where government regulations allow for high vineyard yields on the fertile soil. The wines are affordable, juicy and straightforward — sort of pizza or pasta wine. The region also makes a white wine, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, worth trying.

Tenuta Ulisse Sogno di Ulisse 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a light wine that tastes of pomegranate with an earthiness closing with a slightly tart, modest finish. $9.

Talamonti Tre Saggi 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo tastes of fresh plum and cherries with cocoa. It’s a smooth wine with a brush of tannins in the finish. $15. 1/2

The other wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, will be a bit more polished and expensive, show more oak influence and call to mind a really nice Chianti.

GRADE: Exceptional ★★★★★, Above average ★★★★, Good ★★★, Below average ★★, Poor ★.

DAVID FALCHEK, executive director of the American Wine Society, reviews wines each week.

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