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Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (2006)

by Lindsay Heller

Mascarelli Montepulciano d'AbruzzoWith multiple estates mostly concentrated in and , this specific Montepulciano d’ was first produced in 1981 when Gianni Masciarelli decided to enter the wine business and follow his passion. Containing grapes from his estates in and Pescara, this wine is deep ruby red in colour and was rather surprising to me in how it delivered.

To the nose this wine seems intensely -forward with discernable notes of raspberry and cherry, yet in its early delivery the expected bouquet was not what I got, but rather I tasted more tobacco and earth than the berries I smelled moments before.  This wine is somewhat deceiving in that respect. Another unexpected occurrence here was how long it took this wine to open up: I always let red wines breathe but this one took an exceptionally long time to reach its full potential.  It seemed so light and once it finally opened up after about twenty minutes I finally started to taste some of the plum and berry notes I figured I would be tasting from start to finish.  Other notes present besides the aforementioned are red currant, which along with the smoky tobacco hints made for a nice balance overall.

This is a great wine to keep around as something to enjoy a glass of while relaxing at home, but I do not think it has a lot of pairing options.  Since this wine is in the light-medium range in body, it is best enjoyed with cheeses such as Fontina Val d’Aosta, a young (no older than 8-14 months aged), or one of my personal favourites, scamorza.  Each of these cheeses will bring out the earthier notes in this wine that are faint in comparison to the notes and will balance well with the wine overall.

If you would like to pair this with a meal, lightly seasoned pork or lamb will be most suited and if they are grilled even better.  I myself prepared some pork and once the wine opened up the two worked together brilliantly.

This wine is actually meant to be enjoyed young according to its maker, and I can see why: since I only had access to a 2006 one can tell that its individual essences become very blurred over time and therefore lose their respective intensities.  A great bargain, this wine retails anywhere between USD $8 — $13 per bottle (depending on the vintage), so buy plenty and drink often!

Further Reading

Mascarelli Official Website

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Antonio Dignetti
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Antonio Dignetti

Zaccagnini is also a favorite of mine

Antonio Dignetti
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Antonio Dignetti

I agree 100% a great table wine!

Peter Austin
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Peter Austin

I was going to say that I love this Masciarelli with scamorza (al brace, of course!) But you said it already!!!

Joshua Lawrence
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Great description of one of Abruzzo's best table wines. It also has the unusual characteristic of costing the same in the US as it does in Italy, so it is a bargain.
It's a good, everyday wine from one of Abruzzo's most famous producers.