Founded by Abruzzo native Gianni Masciarelli in 1981, Masciarelli and its wines have become the standard-bearer for the Abruzzo region and an inspiration to all emerging Italian wine regions. After a summer in Champagne, Gianni Masciarelli became convinced that world-class wines could be produced in Abruzzo, and through tremendous vision and non-stop innovation, Masciarelli became one of the most admired wineries in Italy.

The Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo represents an intense and remarkable expression of Abruzzo’s main variety. The 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes from eight of the estate’s top parcels and truly represents the summit of what Montepulciano can achieve. Villa Gemma may be the most famous Montepulciano produced by Masciarelli, the only Italian wine to win the coveted Tre Bicchieri award 14 times (and counting), but many view the Marina Cvetic Montepulciano as its equal in quality, differing only in style, and often benefiting from the fact it is blended from parcels crossing a range of altitudes and soils.

The eight specific vineyards that bear fruit for this wine range in altitude from 480 to 1200 feet in soil composed of calcareous clay and lime. Vine training: Pergola, Guyot, Spurred Cordon.

The winemaking process includes fermentation in stainless steel for 15-20 days and maceration for 20-30 days. Aging involves 12-18 months in first-passage French barriques, 100% new. The wine has an alcohol content of 14.5%.

After a mild winter and spring, the vines were several weeks ahead of schedule. However, clouds and cool days slowed the growth and intermittent rain required heavy vineyard attention. Late August and September returned to normal with plenty of sunshine and the resulting fruit was of excellent quality.

Vinous Media describes the Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2016 as “deep ruby-red. Pure aromas of plum, smoke, oak and sweet spices. Dense, suave and deep, offering rich, concentrated flavors of red cherry and dark plum lifted by a hint of violet. The finish is both luscious and long, and features rising, youthfully peppery, chewy tannins. Probably not the longest San Martino Rosso ever made by Cvetic, but a truly lovely red wine. Well done.” For more information, visit vintus.com.

The 2015 Montefalco Rosso Riserva embodies the bolder spirit of its little brother Montefalco Rosso, with a similar composition of Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Merlot. The special vineyard sites and location for this wine rival textural and body characteristics of even the best Brunello di Montalcino. The appellation is Montefalco DOC. The first vintage was produced in 1993. The varietal composition is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 15% Merlot in soil composed of limestone and clay. The vine age is 25 years and cultivation is 100% sustainable. Elevation is 820 feet with density of 2,227 vines per acre. Training is spurred cordon. The vines were harvested after a very dry July and August with a good water reserve due to a solid rain during spring time. September and October were in the average which yielded a good vintage with a great freshness. The aging process involved 20 months in French oak barriques with minimum six months aging in bottle. The aging potential of this wine is 10-15 years. It has an alcohol content of 14.5% with a pH of 3.49.

The 2015 Montefalco Rosso Riserva hints of a bouquet of wild cherries preserved in spirits, chocolate, violets, vanilla and exotic spices. Full bodied and round, it is perfectly balanced with vibrant, velvety tannins. Visit wilsondaniels.com.

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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