We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: Central - Red (including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Winner Details

Italy: Central - Red, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

2019 GOLD: 5      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 13
2018 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 7      BRONZE: 5      COMMENDED: 9

This, you might think, is the place to come hunting for those bistro/gastropub killer wines. After all, the Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo are hardly names that people look for specifically, so the pricing needs to be knockout, correct?

Well, kind of. There were good wines here, and our tasters seem to be more positive about them every year, which is heartening. It’s not that long ago that two Golds was a decent performance here, so five is impressive. But when even this unheralded ‘knee area’ of Italy finds it difficult to produce wines for £35 on a restaurant list we know we are in dark days financially.

There were many wines here that overdelivered, but they often did so in the £12-£20 area. However good they are, to sell a ton of these wines you’ll need to be at your most hard-nosed with your salesman and your most persuasive with your customers.
But well done to Umani Ronchi, who picked up two of the five Golds.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I’d really like to work more with these. They’re full-bodied wines that can have a real conversation with food, and exciting wines to work with in a restaurant setting.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘These are very exciting. I think the fruit quality has improved in recent years. It makes us look at these regions more, and be more challenging, rather than the safe DOCGs. You can find better value, too.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘Montepulciano fits between Valpolicella and Chianti Classico – vibrant red fruits, spice, high acidity. Duck, game, would work; the acidity would really clean the palate.’ Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen

‘When the price started going up they had more oak and ripeness, but there are people that like that style – there’s a market for them. And there were some more restrained styles here, too.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘I appreciated the cheaper end [of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzos], they were a little bit more focused on the freshness of the style; more authentic.’ Ennio Pucciarelli, Kahani London

 

Award winners

Found 26 wines

Italy: Central, including Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Casata Mergè, Sesto 21, Syrah 2016, Lazio, Italy

Gold medal winner

For team leader Carlos Ferreira, this Syrah was ‘a big wine, but very well balanced, with notes of blackcurrant and vanilla’, while fellow team leader Tom Forrest described it as ‘lightly spiced and juicy, with soft cherry fruit’. ‘Velvety and toasty,’ added Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam.

£20.92 Casata Mergè

Umani Ronchi, Jorio, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

Impressed by this lighter, fresher style of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, judges handed over a well-deserved Gold, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW described a ‘silky palate full of juice, like plums and damson’. Consultant Cinthia Lozano appreciated its ‘round tannins, and smooth and dry palate, with oaky notes of chocolate and coffee’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS spoke highly of its ‘dark cherries and blackcurrants, along with some liquorice spice’.

£11.18 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Umani Ronchi, Pelago 2014, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

Team leader Hamish Anderson was impressed by this Gold winner’s ‘great nose and classical palate’, going on to describe ‘lavender and pepper aromas, with red fruit, spice and minerals, as well as good grip and structure on the finish’. Joshua Castle of Noble Rot described ‘tannins suave and captivating, along with tomato leaf, ripe red fruit and cardamom spice’, while team leader Lionel Periner thought the palate ‘mature, full bodied, complex, with an elegant finish’.

£24.87 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Orsogna, Nican 2009, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

As an impressed panel of judges elevated this to Gold, consultant Cinthia Lozano praised it as ‘complex and round, with smooth blackberry fruit and a velvety texture, with stunning aromas of mocha and coffee’. Finding it ‘toasty and smoky, with leather, prune, thyme and rosemary’, and going on to describe a ‘well-structured palate with firm, powdery tannins’, The Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki thought this would be ‘great with venison in a prune sauce with red cabbage’.

£23.52 Cantina Orsogna

Talamonti, Modà, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

This worthy Gold winner was ‘bursting with flavour’, according to team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, who spoke of ‘vivid sour cherry notes’, while Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London described it as ‘quite intense, with violet and a touch of smoke, leading to a juicy and refreshing palate, with velvety tannins’. Victoria Sharples of St John Wines, meanwhile, enjoyed notes of ‘rich, round plums and bright acidity’. ‘Great value and an excellent choice by the glass,’ concluded team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£7.69 VinumTerra

Casata Mergè, 1960 Cesanese 2017, Lazio, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This is rich, powerful and dense,’ said team leader Hamish Anderson, ‘with notes of grilled meat, stewed plum and earth; yet there is a real feeling of poise in the power. It’s iron and grippy to the finish – an intriguing and complex wine.’

£18.95 Casata Mergè

Orsogna, Coste di Moro Riserva 2012, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This has farmyardy aromas, with notes of the forest floor,’ said Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse, while team leader Laura Rhys MS noted: ‘With its ripe and jammy, rich dark fruits it’s certainly bold and intense.’

£11.13 Cantina Orsogna

Orsogna, Coste di Moro Riserva 2011, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This has high intensity and is very concentrated with pronounced notes of cedar with supple tannins,’ said Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish, adding: ‘Black cherry and liquorice coat the palate, with raisiny notes leading to a long finish.’

£11.13 Cantina Orsogna

Monte Schiavo, Sassaiolo, Rosso Piceno 2016, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

With its ‘deep brambly nose with wild herbs, spice and earth there’s a lot going on for the price’, said team leader Hamish Anderson, adding: ‘The palate has red cherry, herbs and meat. It’s lovely characterful stuff.’

£7.00 Boutinot

Querciabella, Mongrana 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘An intensely complex nose with bitter cherries and chocolate, are followed by a ripe fruit palate and uncompromising but ripe tannins,’ said team leader Hamish Anderson, ‘and there’s a warm, earthy finish that would make this great with hearty braised meats.’

£11.50 Armit Wines

Torre dei Beati, Cocciapazza, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘This feels very savoury,’ said Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish, ‘'it’s aromatic with meaty, smoky and herbaceous bell pepper aromas; the black cherry palate finishes long.’

£21.53 Matthew Clark

Santa Barbara, Mossone, Merlot 2016, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

With its ‘dense, black fruit and balsamic notes’, Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London noted that this brooding wine was ‘fresh, though tannic and long’.

£51.50 Delitalia

Vinicola Tombacco, Biferno Rosso Riserva 2014, Molise, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A deep and powerful brooding nose,’ noted team leader Hamish Anderson, ‘this feels very modern and polished – almost New World in style; but it certainly has an appeal.’

£7.50 Continental Wine and Food

Marotti Campi, Orgiolo, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Superiore 2015, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.65 Bibendum

Farnese, Fantini, Edizione 17, Cinque Autoctoni 2015, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£21.02 Liberty Wines

Cincinnato, Pollùce 2017, Lazio, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.22 Wine Traders

Cantina Tollo, Montepulciano D'abruzzo Dop Biologico 2017, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.80 Eurowines

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Notturno dei Calanchi, Pinot Nero 2015, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£27.35 Eurowines

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Atlante, Cabernet Franc 2014, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£31.90 Eurowines

Cantina Tollo, Cagiòlo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.45 Eurowines

Casal Thaulero, Orsetto Oro, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.39 Alivini

Cantina Tollo, Mo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2014, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Eurowines

Talamonti, Tre Saggi, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.48 VinumTerra

Colle Corviano, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

Lungarotti, Rubesco, Vigna Monticchio, Torgiano Rosso Riserva 2012, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£28.95 Eurowines

Lungarotti, Montefalco Sagrantino 2015, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£21.30 Eurowines

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.