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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > ITALY: Central reds, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Winner Details

Italy: Central reds, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo


2015: Gold 2 Silver 5 Bronze 6 Commended 4
2014: Gold 1 Silver 4 Bronze 7 Commended 4


This area of the Sommelier Wine Awards might be lacking in star quality DOs (even Montepulciano’s most ardent fans would probably agree that it’s more ‘regular in Casualty’ than Hollywood A-list). But that does have certain advantages. Not least, a heartening tendency to be affordable. With both Golds going to well-priced wines from Fantini, more than a third of the medal winners here were under £10, which is something of a result for Italy, and, moreover, when the region did decide to move upmarket and get all five-star with the pricing it pretty much pulled it off. A seriously good hunting ground for ‘typical Italian crunch’ without wallet-rinsing prices.

Star Performer

Congratulations to Farnese for picking up both Golds in this category for wines coming in under £7.

FOOTNOTE: includes wines from Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Abruzzo & Molise.

From the Tasting Teams


‘These are definitely wines for food. They don’t tend to shine so much in tastings, but pair well with meaty food, when they really shine.’ Max Allwood, Alimentum

‘The trademark high acidity was there, plus a hint of rustic character. Trademark Central Italian reds, with nothing clumsy or over-made.’ Chris Wood, Chelsea Vintners

‘At the low end, the Montepulcianos were fruity and simple; safe, quaffable and not overcomplicated. As soon as it started gearing up a notch, the wines became deeper, more complex, tannic and perfumed wines – a very good flight!’ Athila Roos, The Arts Club

‘The Montepulcianos would be a bit of a hand-sell at the top end, but it would be worthwhile. It’s a bit of a chameleon grape, it can give some joy when young, and more serious pleasure when older.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘Price was the main issue. The bulk of Montepulciano ends up in casual dining places – an easy-going wine to drink with pasta and pizza. People are not going to spend up to some of these prices.’
Neil Bruce, Studio Alto

 

Award winners

Found 17 wines

Italy: Central reds, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Farnese, Fantini, Sangiovese 2014, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

Kicking off the Golds was a wine low on price but big on the nose. ‘Juicy red and black fruits with juicy acidity and delicate oak,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel adding: ‘Vibrant, juicy fruit, some mushroom on a dry, spicy palate.' Maxwell Allwood of Alimentum noted: 'Blackcurrant jam and liquorice, smooth texture, and very ripe, black cherry fruit'.

£6.75 Liberty Wines

Farnese, Fantini, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

Balance and ripeness, tang and taste – but above all, wonderful value, took Farnese to the first of its Golds with this expressive wine. ‘Bags of crushed dark fruit and clove spice, there’s pepperiness and freshness with enough weight and texture,’ said a pleased Athila Roos of The Arts Club. ‘Good fruit, nice spiciness and leathery hints, good for by the glass,’ agreed Andrea Domenicucci of Whatley Manor.

£6.50 Liberty Wines

Colonnara, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2013, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Massively floral nose, with mandarin, grapefruit and candied aromas, and the palate revealing pepper and confectionery notes,’ said consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel adding: ‘Pepper, jammy tomato and liquorice with natural ripe tannins.’

£8.81 Alivini

Santa Francesca, Sagrantino di Montefalco 2008, Umbria, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Bright, pungent and perfumed, oaky with some candied, peppery notes,’ said Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone. ‘Attractive and unusual, with pepper and spice but a juicy finish,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Pair with lean, juicy cuts of venison,' advised Maxwell Allwood of Alimentum.

£13.00

Rosarubra, Lomanegra, Colline Pescaresi 2008, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Definitely one for the cellar,’ began Whatley Manor’s Andrea Domenicucci, continuing: ‘Dark chocolate, rosemary herbs, leather, a little wild animal with a tiny bit of smokiness. Beautiful acidity and perfectly constructed.’ ‘Complex and intense, to reward those who can wait,’ agreed The Arts Club’s Athila Roos.

£51.88 Rosarubra

Torre San Martino, Vigna Claudia, Forli Rosso 2008, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe nose, with liquorice, raspberry and spice,’ began Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone, with consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet adding: ‘Fresh, minty, with rose petal notes and lots of liquorice. Good, reliable.' Alimentum's Maxwell Allwood noted the 'fine, rich tannins with coffee bean notes on the palate'.

£14.30 Eurowines

Santa Barbara, Mossone 2012, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant and sophisticated, with good fruit and tannin structure, well-balanced oak and some complexity,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. ‘Dense, concentrated and lots of oak,’ added Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone.

£35.00 Vinum

Nicodemi, Notàri, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Serious nose, with leather and spices. Soft and juicy on the palate, with lots of concentration and spice,’ said team leader Andrea Briccarello. ‘Blue fruit and violets, with plenty of extract, this is crying out for an al fresco BBQ extravaganza,’ added The Arts Club’s Athila Roos.

£13.59 Wine Traders

Rosarubra, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Seductive nose, showing a dark side, with crushed mulberries and chocolate with a whiff of espresso,’ began Athila Roos of The Arts Club, continuing. ‘Inviting, perfumed, the palate follows suit, with fine depth, complexity and grip.’

£12.32 Rosarubra

Torre San Martino, Vigna 1922, Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva 2011, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright and crunchy with fine-grained tannin and a smooth finish,’ said Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding: ‘Attractive and complex, higher acidity style, with bitter cherry notes and red fruit.’

£17.05 Eurowines

Lunaria Orsogna, Coste di Moro, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

While Michael Moore of Room 24 highlighted the ‘liquorice nose and dark chocolate dryness’, Athila Roos of The Arts Club noted: ‘Very attractive, perfumed nose with dark fruit, dried petals and incense. There’s a meaty, animal note to it on the palate, intensely perfumed.’

£9.15 Cantina Orsogna

Orsogna, Malverno 2010, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Complex nose with a juicy, structured palate with a long, cherry finish,’ said Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel. ‘Sweet, tomato leaf and dark fruit palate with notes of chocolate and coffee grounds,’ added consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet.

£9.15 Cantina Orsogna

Antonelli, Chiusa di Pannone, Sagrantino di Montefalco 2005, Umbria, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Big barrel effect of coffee bean, chocolate powder and toffee,’ began Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel, continuing: ‘Plenty of black frui,t with nutty hints and big grape tannins. Needs time.’

£26.55 Laytons

Nicodemi, Terrana, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.70 Wine Traders

Moncaro, Vigneti del Parco, Rosso Conero Riserva 2009, Marche , Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.30 Eurowines

Rosarubra, Intimo 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.97 Rosarubra

Valle Reale, Estate, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2010, Abruzzo , Italy

Commended medal winner

 

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