Home Winners > Winners 2016 > ITALY: Central reds, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Winner Details

Italy: Central - Red, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 6 Bronze: 4 Commended: 7
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 6 Commended: 4

Lacking in must-list appellations, this part of Italy needs to deliver wines that are incontrovertibly food-friendly and (ideally) competitively priced. Once the OTT ‘look-at-the size-of-my-codpiece’ wines had been weeded out, it did the former, though rarely did it deliver astonishing value for money.

Winemakers here, it seems, all want to make Hunger Games-type blockbusters, whereas in fact they might be better off aiming for cheaper ‘straight-to-video’ fare.

The Lacrima di Morro d’Alba – an interesting, different, undeniably food-friendly beast that picked up a Food Match Trophy – showed what this area can do when it leaves its ego at home and concentrates on just making something nice to drink. 


‘There were some very big, rich, overdone wines here, but when producers got it right, they were also balanced and fresh.’ Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

‘I expected a lighter touch, more delicate cherry flavours – not as heavily handled.’ Xavier Rousset MS, Blandford Comptoir

‘There’s no demand for wines of this type at £50, no way. But at the cheaper end some delivered – I would put them on the list.’ Christopher Delalonde MS, Medlar Restaurant

“These wines should be approachable. If they are over-oaked or over-structured, you lose the identity, the medium-bodied fruity freshness of Montepulciano.” Gaetano Giangaspero, Orrery

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

Award winners

Found 20 wines

Italy: Central reds, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Torri, Turan, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva, Colline Teramane 2006, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A heady wine,' said Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick, indicating how this struck Gold, and continuing: 'Very concentrated aromas of oak, fruit and sweet spices,with a rich, smooth, creamy mid-palate and very ripe tannins.' Team leader Tom Forrest agreed, saying: 'Toasty oak with red and black fruits, soft and squashy cherries, plus nice spice and liquorice.' Good to cellar for a year or two more, to allow it to evolve further.

£18.95 Rosarubra

Rosarubra, Lomanegra, Colline Pescaresi Rosso 2008, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

Big and serious, this bold Gold Lister has generous alcohol, and ripe, firm, big tannins. Understandably, team leader Angela Reddin painted a dramatic picture: 'Nose is like being in a battlefield, blood and gunpowder with hot steel. Cooking meat notes, too. The intensity is outrageous!' 'There's tar, burnt rubber, sweet spices – and an incredible length,' said Restaurant Nathan Outlaw's Damon Little.

£57.88 Rosarubra

Colonnara, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2014, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner Food Match

With its 'expressive aromatic nose of flowers, rose petals and red berries, good fresh acidity and long finish', Lukas Nikanorovas of Plateau Restaurant predicted 'Italian Gold' from the start – and he was right! 'Lovely balance, interesting and complex,' began Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants, going on: 'Violets, lavender on the nose, rose petals, elegant and feminine, with black pepper spice and hints of Turkish delight.' Great value and the Pulled Pork Food Match Trophy winner, too.

£8.81 Alivini

Torri, Bakán, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Pure fruit with graphite hints, juicy cherries and plums on the palate, with good acidity and balanced oak,' said Blandford Comptoir's Xavier Rousset MS, with Orrery's Gaetano Giangaspero adding: 'Lovely fruit, good balanced structure and tannin.'

£9.58 Rosarubra

Monte Schiavo, Alberto Serenelli, Rosso Conero 2012, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Fresh, dark cherry fruit with savoury oak, some coffee hints and benign balsamic notes,' began team leader Angela Reddin, with The Arts Club's Bart Michalewicz agreeing: 'Lovely bright fruit, very good value. Bravo!'

£6.85 Boutinot

Rosarubra, Intimo, Colline Pescaresi Rosso NV, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin found 'blue flower perfumes, sugar plum fruit notes and some Recioto characters', adding: 'Very dense, almost Amarone style.' 'Surprising, sweet balsamic notes on the palate, this is very different,' said Bar 44's Owen Morgan,' advising: 'Good with dessert.'

£19.03 Rosarubra

Moncaro, Vigneti del Parco, Conero Riserva 2010, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin was impressed: 'Soft, furry, dark fruit nose. Some nice animal elements and lovely texture. Makes up with elegance what it doesn't have in obvious power. Exceptional length.'

£15.76 Eurowines

Santa Barbara, Mossone 2013, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

A wine that left an impression on consultant Sumita Sethi: 'Ripe tannin, developed fruit, good acid structure. This is complex, sophisticated, composed, big-boned and delicious.' Team leader Angela Reddin agreed: 'Exceedingly complex nose, super-concentrated dark fruits, tobacco and kirsch notes, though oak is evident.'

£51.50 Delitalia

Perticaia, Sagrantino, Montefalco 2010, Umbria, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Well put together, with an earthy nose, showing underbrush, dark fruits and minerals,' began Medlar Restaurant's Christopher Delalonde MS, continuing: 'Massive structure on the palate, with tannins holding a tight grip, but great composure and balance. Elegant in its individual way.'

£23.30 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Rosarubra, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Natasha Hughes MW found it 'nicely balanced and long, with silky texture, supple tannins and dried cherry fruit', while Xavier Rousset MS of Blandford Comptoir noted its 'good use of oak and nice level of fruit'.

£13.92 Rosarubra

Feudo Antico, Rosso Riserva, Tullum 2010, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A 'ripe, rich but balanced' wine, according to Xavier Rousset MS of Blandford Comptoir, who said: 'Plums, dark cherries, well-polished and balanced tannin structure.' 'Silky, supple and quite restrained for this style,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£16.50 Eurowines

Tollo, Cagiòlo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Classic in style, this has a very earthy character and great texture,' said The Savoy's Erik Simonics, while team leader Natasha Hughes MW found it 'dense, with almost passito richness; chewy, big and oaky'.

£14.57 Eurowines

Orsogna, Coste di Moro 2012, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Very typical plum and blackberry compote nose with sour cherry hints. With violet notes, the multi-fruited palate is not too lengthy but ripe, and really soft and accessible.

£9.42 Cantina Orsogna

Colonnara, Tornamagno, Marche Rosso 2010, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.60 Alivini

Tollo, Mo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.60 Eurowines

Orsogna, Bucefalo 2015, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

Fantini, Sangiovese, Terre di Chieti 2015, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.30 Liberty Wines

Poderi dal Nespoli, Prugneto, Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva Superiore 2013, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.42 Bibendum

Ulisse, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.12 Tenuta Ulisse

Orsogna, Malverno 2012, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner


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