Valle Reale Abruzzo, Italy Montepulciano d’Abuzzo 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has the rightly deserved reputation for producing some of Italy’s most delightful table reds. The best versions showcase impressive balance between freshness and heft, framing snappy red fruits, and an herbal, earthy character all in one package. And yet, being one of Italy’s most recognizable and largest production styles of wine, it is also surely true that there is some serious variation between the best and the rest. Valle Reale is a recent endeavor, founded only in 2000, yet they have prime parcels in some of this vast region’s highest altitude subsections, and their viticulture has been organic since the get-go.
This zesty red hits you on the nose with enticing notes of ripe cherry, black tea, and violet. Moving to the palate, you’ll find this wine verging toward full bodied, yet with impressive freshness and some serious drinkability. It gives up notes of more cherry character alongside secondary notes of fresh earth, anise, and cranberry. This wine is about as versatile as it gets, making it the perfect companion to your next pizza night, but also for a more elaborate meal. Try it with our recipe for Winter Squash Risotto with Sausage.
Valle Reale sits at a particularly high-elevation within one of Abruzzo’s largest national parks at the foothills of the Gran Sasso mountain range. This location means that even in the dead of summer when daytime temperatures rise, allowing the grapes to ripen, the significant cooling effect at night preserves all-important acidity, making for a more balanced wine. Unlike many wines at this price point, this Montepulciano is fermented solely with native yeasts. It is then aged in steel to preserve freshness of its fruit.