Article by Hannah Lunn
Montepulciano! This wondrous grape, not to be confused with the typically Tuscan village of the same name, is the second most planted variety in Italy. Juicy and thick skinned, it needs ample sunshine and warmth to ripen fully, and as such is most at home in the sun-soaked lands of Abruzzo. Here the topography is rich with peaks, forests and coastal plains; a region scattered with micro-climates that has been producing wine for over 2000 years!
The grape itself is favoured for its ability to produce high yields of ripe fruit, fresh in flavour and rich in colour. It lends itself to producing soft, juicy red-fruited wines yet is also perfect for the bolder, deeper more structured styles – given the right circumstances.
Belonging to several wine designations, the largest and most well-known is the classic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC. Quite literally meaning ‘Montepulciano from Abruzzo’ one of Italy’s special ways of labelling a wine (cue ‘Brunello di Montalcino’). Here, in the ‘d’Abruzzo DOC’ the vines must be grown on hilly sites, allowing them to benefit from richer sunshine and better drainage, ideal for producing quality fruit. When it comes to Torri Cantine, it is the beautiful hills of Teramo that give life to their Montepulciano vines year after year.
This particular wine is a delicious example of what this grape can do. Aged in large oak casks, it is soft, juicy and ripe. The nose is laden with bright cherries, red plums and ripe strawberries with a beautiful violet tone running through. In the background notes of earth and tomato leaf add a savoury freshness. On the palate we have lashings of sweet ripe fruit: red cherries, juicy red plums, ripe strawberries and wild raspberries. Those violet tones come through too with that fresh earthiness (think powdery soil) and those fragrant hints of tomato leaf. There is an extra layer here adding pep and tang: cinnamon, cloves and sticky balsamic. This is a highly quaffable wine with a lot to give. The medium + tannins are present but supple adding to the round medium + body whilst the fresh, high acidity adds balance.
Eco- friendly packaging
Not only does it taste good, it looks good too. It is definitely the most attractive portable wine I’ve seen so far. With an elegant rope handle and smooth tubular shape, this is a classy take on the bag in box phenomenon. The concept remains the same: as the wine is poured the bag collapses in on itself, maintaining the vacuum and keeping the wine fresh and fruity. This type of packaging is also eco- friendly. Easily recycled it takes up less space both in transit and in storage and being lighter to transport than glass, it maintains a low environmental impact.
Whether you’re purchasing it for the ease of having a delicious glass of red to hand or planning to take it to that long-awaited family gathering, this is a wine for all occasions. Pair it with a roast dinner, a plate of your favourite hard cheeses or a good book.