In the December 2020 issue of Galveston Monthly magazine, get gift ideas for the wine lover in your life.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
As seen in the November 2020 issue of Galveston Monthly magazine.
Some thoughts on the Gamay based wines from the Beaujolias region of France along with Beaujolais recommendations that were found on the Island.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Merry Edwards "Meredith Estate" Pinot Noir 2017 - Robust, yet elegant, with fresh aromas of black raspberry, cherry, and cocoa with floral notes of violet and a slight hint of forest floor. The full bodied wine is dry and beautifully structured with smooth fully ripe tannins and bright acidity with juicy flavors that mirror the nose throughout the persistent white pepper laced finish. Lovely to drink alone and even better with food. 14.5% ABV.
I served it with Moroccan braised lamb shanks, a recipe that came from the Merry Edwards website, this rich and savory meal was a perfect pairing for this beautifully layered wine. Find the recipe at MerryEdwards.com.
This wine was sourced from a 24 acre vineyard site that Merry Edwards and her husband purchased in 1996. It is located on the southern edge of the Russian River Valley in a cooler area where summer fog covers the area until the afternoon. The vineyard was planted in 1998 with Dijon clones on Goldridge sandy loam soils and has been maintained with sustainable vineyard practices.
This wine was part of the Somm Con Geographical Digest series, Domestic Bliss, which featured some of the special vineyard sites in the United States. Current winemaker, Heidi von der Menden was one of the featured speakers. This highly recommended wine has an SRP of $68.00.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
This was one of the featured wines on last week's episode of the Somm Con Geographical Digest series. Aly Wente was on and spoke about the family’s five generations of winemaking in Livermore Valley, the region's coastal influences, and the Charles Wetmore Vineyard from where this wine was sourced.
The Wente Wetmore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec. It is grown in the Charles Wetmore Vineyard which is named after one of Livermore’s most prominent early wine pioneers who is believed to have brought vine cuttings from many of Bordeaux’s top Châteaux to the Livermore Valley. It is located between the two major arroyo’s, or steep gullies, in the Valley Arroyo del Valle and Arroyo Mocho and ranges in elevation from 460 to 735 feet. This vineyard site was primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon because of its climate and gravel soils which allow for a later harvest and help the vines to fully ripen while encouraging intense dark fruit flavors to develop.
Wente Wetmore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 - Pronounced dark fruit aromas with floral violet and dried herb notes, dry, and beautifully structured with a full body, velvety tannins and bright acidity with flavors of blackberries and hints of tea and earth. (14% ABV) SRP $35.
Aly Wente described it as a yummy wine with a strong sense of place.
Pasta Bolognese was one of the recommended pairings for this wine so I cooked that to serve with the wine for dinner and I do agree that the pairing was delicious.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
I registered to participate in SommCon's live educational series last Thursday which focused on some of the top American wine regions in the western United States. That week's webinar was called Domestic Bliss: The West Coast - California, Oregon and Washington. This wine tasting series is in conjunction with National Geographic Books who publishes The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.
I tuned into the Zoom webinar to watch it live but the monthly series is also available through an on-demand streaming platform, new service that provides year-round training and education for both beverage professionals and wine enthusiasts. It can be watched live one Thursday a month or it can be viewed at a time that is more convenient. Wines for each seminar are also available for purchase from BottleTribe.
Sarah Quider with Chalk Hill Estate Winery and Heidi von der Menden with Merry Edwards in Russian River Valley, Aly Wente with Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Miles MacDonnell from Round Pond Estate in Napa Valley, Damien Grindley with Brecon Estate in Paso Robles, Guillaume Large with Résonance Wines and Wayne Bailey from Youngsberg Hill in Willamette Valley, and Dennis Cakebread with Mullan Road Cellars in Columbia Valley were the guest speakers for the Domestic Bliss webinar.
I was given media sample bottles of two of the wines that were discussed to taste while I watched, I will be sharing my tasting notes in a separate post.
The remaining schedule is listed below:
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
These wines were sent to me from the Texas Fine Wine Group as part of an online group blind wine tasting. They were bagged and taped to conceal their identity. My husband uncorked them for me so I did not see any branding prior to tasting. Tasting notes were written before the reveal. Afterwards, winery representatives discussed each via zoom.
The Texas Fine Wine group is comprised of five well respected wineries who have set the goal of making high quality, benchmark wines from 100% Texas grown grapes. They make estate wines as well as source from some of the top growers in the state. All of the following wines are recommended and are excellent examples of the caliber of wines that Texas can produce.
Bending Branch "Lost Pirogue Vineyard" Texas Hill Country Picpoul Blanc 2019 - Clean, fresh, and dry with notes of honeydew, pear, and lemon zest on the nose. The wine is medium bodied with medium+ acidity and flavors that echo the aromas with the addition of a grilled pineapple note in the lingering mineral-laced finish. The wine was fermented and aged in barrel giving it a more rounded texture, it is very balanced and easy to enjoy. (12.7% ABV) Only 250 cases were made of this wine but Bending Branch does have several other Picpoul Blanc options, $32
Brennan Vineyards Comanche County Texas Dry Rosé 2019 - Beautifully aromatic, the floral notes distinguish this wine immediately on the first sniff quickly followed by orange zest and red fruit aromas. The wine is dry, medium bodied, and refreshing with medium acidity and ripe raspberry and red plum flavors in the lively finish. Crisp, elegant and pleasing. An unusual blend of 70% Mourvèdre and 30% Muscat of Alexandria. (12.1% ABV) $22
Spicewood Vineyards Texas Hill Country Estate Tempranillo 2017- Vibrant black cherry and dried leaf aromas with a full body, smooth, integrated tannins, balanced acidity and flavors of blackberry with hints of sage and red pepper continuing through the persistent and slightly spicy finish. This wine was sourced from the estate vineyard which sits on sandy loam soils and was planted in 2008. About 50% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months. (14.9 % ABV) $40
Duchman "Oswald Vineyard" Aglianico 2016 - Rich and dark with black cherry, plum and sweet spice aromas, the wine is full bodied, dry and well-structured with high acidity and smooth, ripe tannins and matching flavors of black plum, black cherry, and white pepper with a slight savoriness in the long finish. (14.5% ABV) $40
Pedernales Texas GSM Melange 2017 - A blend of more than the GSM would imply, the mix is 43% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignon, 14% Cinsault 25% Grenache, 4% Syrah, and 4% Petit Sirah which creates a very complex and layered wine. Robust yet approachable with blueberry, chocolate covered cherries, baking spice, and hints of leather and smoke, this wine is medium+ bodied with smooth tannins and medium acidity and a lingering finish. (13.3% ABV) $35
Monday, October 5, 2020
In the October 2020 issue of Galveston Monthly magazine, I talk about the Sangiovese grape, its home in Italy and some of the places that make magnificent wine from it. I also talk about how Sangiovese is doing in Texas.
As seen in Galveston Monthly magazine - on the stands now.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
As seen in the September 2020 issue of Galveston Monthly magazine
This month, I talk to Ron Yates, owner of Spicewood Vineyards and Ron Yates Wines. He shares some thoughts on the 2020 Texas wine grape harvest and gives a few recommendations for wines to drink now and some that collectors may want to hold.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Over Memorial Day weekend, I attended the "4th Annual Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé". This is an event hosted annually by wine writer/blogger, Jeff Kralik of The Drunken Cyclist. Texas had already begun to reopen after the Covid-19 Stay Home order had been lifted but this was my first day to go out since it had begun. In addition to Jeff and I, two other brave souls, also writer/bloggers ventured out to join us as well, Katrina René from The Corkscrew Concierge and Rebecca Castillo from My Vino Rules.
Jeff defines a true rosé as an intentional rosé, a wine in which the grapes have been grown, harvested, and vinified with the plan of making a rosé versus the Saignée method which is bleeding off from a planned red wine and vinifying the juice as a white wine.
He had accumulated seventy-four sample bottles of American-made rosé wine for this tasting. Virtually all were more than acceptable ranging in the very good category of an 88-89 score or the excellent category of 90 and up, we did have one corked bottle. I would be delighted to accept a chilled glass of any of these wines this summer.
|Jeff Kralik - After the unveiling.|
The rosés that were Pinot Noir-based tended to be more highly-rated by me at this tasting though their were exceptions. Many of my highest scores were wines from Willamette Valley though my highest was from California. I decided to write this event up in two posts featuring my top picks from both states, I'm starting here with my top scorers from Oregon. I brought the leftovers of some of my favorite wines home, I did not get them all as some of my fellow tasters were quick to take their favorites as well. I re-tasted these wines with my family with barbecued ribs as part of our holiday celebration the following day. I will include their top picks along with my original notes from Jeff's house.
Big thank you to Jeff Kralik for inviting me to all your great tastings!
Top wines from Willamette Valley:
Willakenzie Estate Rosé 2019 - Light pink with fresh berry and melon aromas and flavors with a hint of minerality in the lingering slightly pithy, crisp finish. 93 points with a $28 SRP.
Adelsheim Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 - Complex mix of floral and fruity aromas with red cherry flavors with lime zest in the fresh, citrus-filled finish. 93 points with a $28 SRP.
This was my husband's favorite from the lineup.
Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 - Fresh watermelon and grapefruit aromas and flavors with tangy acidity in the lingering citrus-laced finish. 92 points with a $28 SRP.
My daughter who has taken the WSET-2 and Texas Wine Specialist course and now tastes with me on the Houston Chronicle Tasting Panel crowned this as her favorite, her note was that it tasted like watermelon and joy.
Lange Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 - More deeply hued, this wine was a bit weightier and had sweet ripe raspberry aromas and flavors with a pleasant slightly tart persistent finish. 92 points with a $28 SRP.
My son loved this one, he tends to prefer darker rosé and lighter red wines.
Winderlea Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 - Floral notes of red rose with beautiful acidity and more subtle lingering flavors of apricot and citrus. 90 points with a $35 SRP.
Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 - Light and fruity with aromas and flavors of fresh strawberry, a bit softer on the palate with a fresh grapefruit note in the finish. 90 points
From elsewhere in Oregon:
Troon Vineyard Rosé - This Tempranillo-based blend was a very different wine in the line-up. It had a yeasty sour beer note, great acidity and grapefruit aromas and flavors with a lingering fresh citrus finish. 92 points with a $25 SRP.
Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir Rosé - Crisp and lively, very Provencal with notes of lavender and a mineral laced finish. 92 points and a $20 SRP.
Division Winemaking Company Gamay Noir - Sweet fruit aromas with a floral note and a lingering fresh, fruity finish. 90 points with a $ SRP.
A to Z Winework Rosé - Composed of Pinot Noir, this one had an interesting sweetart candy note with a rounder feel and a fresh finish. 90 points with a $16 SRP.
Honorable mention to these wines who scored in the 87-89 point range.
Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Montinore Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Estate 2019
Erath Pinot Noir Rosé Oregon 2019
Furioso Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Tori Mor Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Galveston Monthly magazine,
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Jeremy Parzen gave me this bottle of Scarpa Freisa Secco 'La Selva di Moirano' Monferrato 2006 to review. He is a friend and also works with the winery. Since I had taken my daughter to a Scarpa tasting at a local wine bar last fall, I decided to include her in this tasting. Morgan has the WSET2 certification. I also thought it would be fun to share how we go over a bottle of wine at family meals. Please excuse any Italian misprounciations.
Scarpa Freisa Secco 'La Selva di Moirano' Monferrato 2006 - This wine is very complex yet still somewhat youthful with notes of sour cherry, leather, sage, and black olive with a distinct savory element. It is beautifully structured, dry, with fresh acidity, fully resolved, smooth elegant tannins, and a lingering finish. It is very food friendly and quite easy to drink. As my daughter states in the video, "it's elegant with a rustic flair". Highly recommended.
As we are both very curious about this grape now, we will be seeking other versions and vintages. Please share in the comments if you have a recommendation.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Regarding tourism in the region, there is quite a bit to see and do. It has a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Citadel of Blaye, which was built in the 1600’s. This historic site houses not only an ancient fortress and a herd of goats, it also has a recently remodeled hotel with nearby cafes and shopping. I stayed at the Hôtel de la Citadelle Blaye for two nights. It had a nice restaurant with a excellent breakfast spread and it also had live entertainment on Friday night. The pool overlooks the water and the rooms are air-conditioned which is always important to my fellow Texas travelers.
We also got to enjoy a very French celebration at Château Le Camplat, a Festibalades. We were treated to a dinner feast with many wines and some live entertainment along with both a vineyard and nature tour. Everyone we met was very welcoming. While we were very focused on the red wines while we there, the region also produces some excellent dry, Sauvignon Blanc wines as well.
Some of my recommended producers that I tasted with during my visit are Chateau Le Camplat, Chateau La Croix St-Pierre, Chateau Mondesir-Gazin, Chateau Monconseil Gazin, and Chateau Cap Saint-Martin. I am always looking for their wines here in Houston.
Recently, I located two wines from Blaye in my area. While I did not visit these two producers, the exceptional drinkability brought back many fond memories of my time there.
I served both of the wines to my family with a steak dinner.
Château Peyredoulle Blaye - Côtes de Bordeaux 2016 - This wine is 91% Merlot, 6% Malbec, and 3% Petit Verdot. Intense cherry/berry aromas and juicy flavors with a distinct floral note, dry, full-bodied, with good acidity, velvety tannins and a slightly spicy, mineral-laced finish, a steal for $19 at Total Wine.
Château Belle Coline Blaye - Côtes de Bordeaux 2014 - This wine is a blend of Merlot and Malbec. It is loaded with red fruit aromas and rich, red raspberry flavors, nicely structured with a medium body, good acidity, and smooth, rounded tannins, it is dry with a pleasant, fruity finish, quite quaffable and affordably priced, $22 at Houston Wine Merchant.
Both wines are highly recommended.
Friday, May 1, 2020
This wine was selected when favorite Texas white wines was the theme of the talk. I consider Duchman to be one of the best wineries in the state. My favorites have typically been the Vermentino tasted here and their Aglianico, but they also make a good Trebbiano and Montepulciano.
Duchman Family Winery Vermentino 2016 - Grapes sourced from the Bingham Family Vineyard. Dry, smooth, medium body white wine with tropical aromas of white flower and pineapple with notes of lemon peel and a hint of saline in clean, refreshing finish.
Full disclosure, one of the owners is now my husband's cardiologist but I was enjoying the wines long before they met. Read more about the winemaker for Duchman in a feature I wrote for a local magazine.
This wine was selected when favorite Texas winery was the theme. I met Ron Yates a few years ago at Spicewood Vineyards. Since then, he has expanded with a new winery producing wines under the Ron Yates Wines label. I wrote about meeting Ron in 2014, you can click here to read more about him. I tasted both of these wines at that first meeting mentioned above and purchased both of these bottles at that time. The High Plains was my favorite of these two wines then. This was my last bottle of each. Halfway through dinner, I pulled the Hill Country wine out. We were discussing that first trip and I couldn't resist comparing the two again. My son and daughter were also at home to join the discussion, both bottles were fully consumed.
Spicewood Vineyards Texas High Plains Tempranillo 2012 - This wine was starting to show its age a bit but has become more elegant as well. I had a friend that used to make oven dried fruit snacks with no added sugar for her kids and that was the aroma and flavor of which I was reminded. Dried strawberry with leather, and a dusty note, the wine was dry, and medium bodied with a lingering white pepper finish. It was definitely different than the fruity wine, I remembered.
Spicewood Vineyards Texas Hill Country Tempranillo 2012 - This wine is also evolving but it is defying its age a bit better. This wine had the similar strawberry note but was more vibrant, it displayed some fig and tobacco, along with a lighter leather note, it was fuller bodied, a bit more structured but still with a persistent spicy finish. On this evening, the Texas Hill Country was the preferred wine by all.
The theme for this night was wines made from Italian grape varieties. 86% of this wine meets that criteria. I was also curious to see how the 2013 vintage was holding up after tasting the 2012s. The THP on this label stands for Texas Hocus Pocus named because it is a blend of grapes that are not usually blended together. This red is composed of 54% Aglianico, 21% Montepulciano, 14% Tempranillo, and 11% Barbera.
Llano Estacado Texas High Plains THP Stampede 2013 - Red cherry and cranberry aromas and flavors with fresh cracked black pepper, and dried herbs, medium-bodied and easy drinking with good acidity and fine, powdery tannins, and a juicy, spicy red fruit finish.
These vintages are no longer available on the winery websites but you can find more current releases.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
The Malbec grape is originally from southwest France near the Pyrenees in Cahors and it is one of the approved red grapes for Bordeaux. It immigrated to Argentina in the 1800s and since 2011, it has been the main grape cultivated in its new homeland. Argentina has over 100,000 acres planted to the grape with 85% of that in Mendoza. Lujan de Cuyo is a subregion of Mendoza, it is located next to the Andes Mountains about 3,300 feet above sea level and has a hot, dry climate. There is good temperature variation from night to day allowing the grapes to fully ripen from the intense sun yet still maintain their natural acidity.
I celebrated Malbec World Day with a bottle of Eolo from Trivento. 2015 was considered a more challenging vintage, it was warmer and wetter than typical. Producers spent more time in the vineyard working to overcome these difficulties. The grapes for this wine are sourced from a vineyard planted in 1912 that is situated on the north side of the Mendoza River. The site is very windy which is the inspiration of name, Aeolus was the Greek God of the winds and the name Eolo is the Spanish form of that name.
Trivento Eolo Malbec 2015 - Very balanced and elegant with rich blackberry aromas and flavors with notes of tobacco and spice. It is full bodied, yet supple with fully integrated ripe tannins, good acidity, and a persistent spicy finish. A beautiful wine thoroughly enjoyed with grilled ribeyes. I've held this wine for over a year, it is available on Wine-Searcher.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
The Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Rosé got a spot at my dinner table with a curbside carryout meal from one of my top Houston restaurants, Nobie's. Their Winner Winner Chicken Dinner is a family favorite. We added some grilled carrots, pierogis with carrot sour cream for dipping, and their famous dilly bread to accompany it.
Friend and fellow wine blogger, Jeff Kralik, introduced me to this Champagne house a few years ago. He is such a fan, he named their beloved family dog after it. I've been seeking it at restaurants and wine shops ever since and it has become a preferred brand in my home as well.
Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Rosé - The grapes for this wine come from one of the seventeen Grand Cru villages in Champagne, this one located in the Montagne de Reims. This area is famous for its Pinot Noir and this sparkler is made primarily from it. The brand was created in 1929 by a small group of growers that decided they wanted to make their own wine exclusively from the region's grapes. Crisp and fruity with aromas and flavors of red berries and blood orange citrus, it is dry, fresh, and has a softer finish than many Champagnes, it was excellent with dinner but is also superb on its own. $50 at Total Wine.
Monday, April 27, 2020
Casa Madero was established 1597. It is located in the Valle de Parras which is located in the southern part of the State of Coahuila, in the north-east region of Mexico. The area is situated at almost 5,000 feet above sea level. Winters are cold and summers are sunny with temperatures ranging between the high 60s to mid 80s Fahrenheit.
Local sommelier, Sean Beck, is the beverage director for the H Town Restaurant Group which includes the James Beard Award winning restaurant Hugo’s, as well at Caracol, and Xochi. Beck has been promoting Mexican wines at these authentic Mexican restaurants for many years. I purchased this bottle from him with a take-out meal from Backstreet Cafe, another restaurant in the aforementioned group.
Casa Madero V Rosé 2018 - This rosé wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Parras de la Fuente region in Coahuila. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks. It is dry, medium-bodied with fresh aromas of raspberry, watermelon and orange peel with rich juicy flavors. Smooth, fruity and refreshing with a hint of salinity in the finish, it is an excellent wine to enjoy on the patio by itself or with a mixed array of food including, but not limited to, tacos, grilled fish, grilled vegetables, and cheese.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
|This photo was borrowed from Château Pitray's Facebook Page while the rest were taken by me during my visit.|
|Jean de Boigne|
Château de Pitray rests on 250 acres of land in the Côtes de Cadillac sub-region of Bordeaux. The estate is divided between meadowland, forest, and the vineyard.
|The Dining Room|
Jean de Boigne, who took over the management of the chateau in 2003, met our group upon our arrival. After getting us settled into our rooms, we were welcomed into the living room to have pre-dinner cocktails with the family. Happy children invited us to go swimming with them and to see more of the property. A family dinner immediately followed giving us the opportunity to taste through several wines over dinner as the family's long history was shared.
We tasted not only wines from Château de Pitray but some selections from Boigne's friends and neighbors, as well. The 2015 vintage was generous, smooth and enjoyably drinkable. We were surprised by a single varietal Cabernet Franc and we were taken back in time a bit with a bottle of the Château de Pitray Madame 2011 which was fresh, bright and elegant. I did not take tasting notes at this dinner as I wanted to hear the family's stories and enjoy the experience.
All of the vineyard care is done by hand from the pruning to sorting the grapes at harvest. Château Pitray has chosen to not use any herbicides in an effort to protect their people, the land and the environment. The vineyard of Pitray is ninety contiguous acres in size and sits on the clay-limestone plateau of Gardegan, facing south. It is planted with 73% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec. On average, the vines are about thirty years old.
The Chateau features four guest rooms that can be rented for a stay in the Cadillac area of the Côtes de Bordeaux, you can get more information on that here. During my time on the property, I was in the Bamboo Room. Both this bedroom and the attached bathroom are spacious with views overlooking the pool. The location is ideal for a relaxing country retreat but also close enough to easily visit the historic town of St. Emilion by car.
Both wines seen here are highly recommended as is a night at the château when traveling in the area.
Check out Château de Pitray's website for a virtual tour.
Friday, April 17, 2020
On my first day there, I was struck by the expansive views of the Adriatic Sea which I could see from my hotel followed by the lush beauty of the countryside with the mountains in the background that I would see while visiting wine producers. Why was this place not on more American's radar as a travel destination, I wondered. To see to what I am referring, you can just look at the photo at the top of this blog, it is a vineyard in Abruzzo that I took on my first day there.
One of my first wine surprises of the trip was learning about the deeply-hued rosato they produced called Cerasuolo D'Abruzzo. This wine had earned its own DOC in 2010 though it has been produced for longer under different labeling. The name translates to cherry and refers to the wines cherry-red color. The wine is made from Montepulciano grapes just like its red counterpart. The shorter time with the grape skins during fermentation is what allows it to have its lighter, brighter color and its more vibrant fruity flavor. I'm always delighted when I find one of these on a wine list. It is enjoyable to drink alone (as most dry rosés are) but it is particularly good to enjoy with lighter menu options like salads or with prosciutto. I did not visit this winery during my time there but I would be interested to do so on a future trip.
Cirelli La Collina Biologica Cerasuolo D'Abruzzo 2018 - This was a fairly average year for red wines in Abruzzo but this organic rosato shines brighter than the year would lead you to believe. Dry, fresh and flavorful with notes of sour cherry, orange peel, and a light floral nuance with a hint of minerality in the crisp finish. This was purchased for $23.99 at Houston Wine Merchant.
I was already somewhat familiar with the red wines of the region upon arrival. They were apt to turn up on Houston wine lists at casual Italian restaurants and, occasionally, as a bargain priced red on steakhouse menus. I was, however, surprised by the higher quality wines that I tried during this trip. Some from the Colline Teramane subzone were particularly incredible and deserve the higher prices being demanded. The wine that I am reviewing here is not that, nor is it a Riserva with extra aging time. It is one of those simpler reds that was my first introduction to the region many years ago.
This wine is produced by one of the winery's that I did get to tour. Our group then tasted a line of the wines over lunch at Castello di Semivicoli which you can read about here, I enjoyed myself so much on that visit that I did not take good notes while there.
Masciarelli Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2016 - This year was an exceptional year in Abruzzo and it can even be seen in this budget friendly red. Fruity aromas of black cherry and raspberry dominate over the lighter savory and spicy pepper notes, though its only has a medium length, this medium body wine is dry with soft tannins and enough acidity to keep it food friendly, particularly with the pizza with which it was enjoyed. Approximately $12, purchased at Spec's.