Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is a varietal. In Italy, up to 10% of Sangiovese is allowed to be added to the [weighted] blend, hence its designation as “Dry Red Wine.” We obtained this one as a result of a Groupon deal from an online wine dealer, with the intention of trying some new-to-us wines at a deep discount. (By the way, when we learn about a Groupon or other such deal, we post it here for you to take advantage of, and then delete it when it has expired.)
APPEARANCE: Garnet, pink edges. Not clear, not opaque; occult/translucent.
NOSE, FIRST GLASS: Dust, typewriter ribbon. Bright raspberry tart. White pepper. Bright high notes.
TASTE: Dry tannins, almost mouth-puckering, but round and rich. Silky. Duskier taste than I expected from the soprano notes and raspberry impressions on the nose. A little molasses. Brambles. A little bit of wood—but what kind?
Did I love it? No. I liked it some—like a person I’ve just met and can’t quite relate to. But I didn’t dislike it, either, and I know just enough about wine to know that some people will really love this, and some will dislike it. (If you don’t like tannins, stay away.) It was, simply, different. I enjoyed thinking about it, and I enjoyed experiencing it, but I wouldn’t pick it out as my first choice.
Clark’s impression: “We should have different naming conventions for Italian wines. The words we use to describe California and French wines don’t work.” I thought that was pretty insightful, at least for occasions like this, when a varietal is unique and rarely encountered.