Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Tour of Masciarelli Winery with a Tasting Lunch at Castello di Semivicoli

Our second stop of the day was at Masciarelli Winery which is also located in the Chieti province. Open daily to receive guests by appointment, this winery was one of the most tourist friendly to visit. Masciarelli was founded in 1981. They have 18 labels and 5 product lines.

We took a quick tour of the wine making facility and then went to Castello di Semivicoli for a tasting lunch to try the wines. Typically, guests would taste in the shop next to the cellar but you can also book a tasting at the castle.

Castello di Semivicoli is a 17th century baronial mansion that has
been renovated into a luxury boutique hotel by by Masciarelli owner, Gianni Masciarellli. I sat across from a window which gave me beautiful views throughout lunch. It also distracted me so I did not take the best notes. I can tell you that the wine and food were delicious, the company was enjoyable, the views were spectacular and the ambience reminded of a more genteel time. The hospitality was so nice that I forgot I was working.

The Tasting with Pairings

Gianni Masciarelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2017 - No notes, I was admiring the color in my glass along with the view out the window and the view on my plate. We started with an individual bread basket filled with salad and prosciutto that was perfect with the wine.

Masciarelli Castello di Semivicoli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2014 - This easy white was fermented in stainless steel with 12 months contact with the lees, it was medium bodied, smooth and fruity with pear and citrus, a lovely complement to the saffron risotto which came next. A'Bruzzo fun fact- Saffron has been in the region for over 400 years, the amount produced is small but the quality is considered to be quite high.

Masciarelli "Johnny's Barrel" Trebbiano 2013 - Served in a Burgundy glass during the risotto course, this bottle was number 200 of 900 bottles. It was aged for 28 months in French oak. This was one of my favorite whites of the trip. Dry with aromas and flavors of honey, lemon citrus and a distinct mineral-laced finish.

Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 - Bright aromas and flavors of dark berries and plums, medium bodied with good tannins and acidity with a slightly spicy finish, great with food, delicious with the pasta course.

Masciarelli "Johnny's Barrel" Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 - This bottle was number 654.

That was the end of my notes, we were served two more wines after that one.

Masciarelli Villa Gemma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012
Masciarelli Villa Gemma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1995

All three of these red wines were delicious with the meat and potatoes.

After dessert, we walked off our lunch with a tour of the vineyards around Castello di Semivicoli. There is a large swimming pool out amongst the vines for hotel guests to cool down after a day spent at the beach, out wine tasting or sight seeing. The lunch service was impeccable, the building was elegant and the grounds were scenic, it truly looked like a lovely place to stay.

Neighbor Luigi Valori joined us in the vineyard to talk grapes, terroir and green pruning. It was a very informative afternoon perfectly paired with a beautifully prepared lunch.

All of the above wines are highly recommended.