So the challenge is to find well made wines at very affordable prices. Many winemakers have realized that they have two choices, being sucked up by the big monsters and have their wine on a shelve among thousand of others and where the price dictates in the majority of cases, or to be part of those who want to make a great wine, stick to their believes and produce a typical wine from that precise region and terroir. Supermarkets are not always a good sign for a wine, except if you are a producer that makes wine by the hundred of thousands, where quality and identity doesn't matter, it is all just business, then supermarkets will be their window, in other words bad wines sold at a juicy profit.
Abruzzo sitting central Italy on the Adriatic side with Marche to the north, Lazio to the west-south west and Molise to the south, south-east. The region has three main historical DOC, the red Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, and the third DOC of Controguerra one of which we hear less off. Here reigns the Montepulciano grape, not to be confused with Tuscan city of montepulciano where they produce Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, there they use sangiovese as grape. The montepulciano has with time gained a wide following for its fruit driven, somewhat complex and approachable reds. A recent reorganization of the region's wine classification system has brought under this new system Abruzzo DOC several interesting sub-zones for Montepulciano wines, such as Terri di Casauria, Terre dei Vestini and Alto Tirino.
Abruzzo DOCG wine appellations; Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane.
Abruzzo DOC appellations; Abruzzo, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, Controguerra, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Ortona, Terre Tollesi or Tullum, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Villamagna.
Abruzzo IGT wine appellations; Colli Aprutini, Colli del Sangro, Colline Fretane, Colline Pescaresi, Colline Teatine, Del Vastese or Histonium, Terre Aquilane or Terre l'Aquila, Terri di Chieti.
Wine making in Abruzzo dates back to about sixth century B.C. thanks to the Etruscans, who played a vital role introducing viniculture to the area. But wine making in Abruzzo wasn't very popular, a decline population made it so that very little wine was made and not so good either. It is only in the last 40 to 50 years that viticulture has come back above water and has been growing steadily. Today USA and Germany are the main importers of Abruzzo wines, but many countries worldwide have searched to have Abruzzo wines on their shelves.
Abruzzo has about 36.000 hectares (89.000 acres) of land under vines, with an annual production of about 92.000 gallons (3.5 million hectolitres), in terms of quantity is Abruzzo placed fifth on the ladder. The territory is very rugged and mountainous, it has a lush green landscape with national parks and forest. It has an idealistic climate sitting between the Adriatic on one side and the Apennines and maiella mountains on the other side. There is enough sunshine and a generous annual rainfall and variable temperatures, to produce wines of substantial quality and identity.
- Montepulciano (red)66%
- Trebbiano (ugni blanc white) 12%
- Pecorino (white) 7%
- Pinot Grigio (white) 3%
- Sangiovese (red) 2%
- Chardonnay (white) 2%
- Rare white blends 2%
- others 6%
Fosso Corno estate is located in Roseta Degli Abruzzi in the province of Teramo and covers 30 hectares on a single hill. On one side you have a view on the deep blue Adriatic, whereas towards the west you can enjoy a view of the imposing mountain of Gran Sasso. The family bought the estate in 2001, they uprooted all the existing vineyards and new ones were planted. In February 2003, 9 hectares of Montepulciano was planted in a density of 4500 vines per hectare, another 11 hectares were planted in 2004 en 2005. The striving to produce a wine of high quality and complexity, by paying great attention to the terroir, protect it as much as possible, and carefully taking every decision with thought and upmost respect towards the past, terroir and visionof the future.
- Orsus, 3 hectares, 4500 vines per hectare, exposure south-west, soil clay, altitude 190 meters above sea level, grape: Montepulciano.
- Il Grande, 1.6 hectares, 4500 vines per hectare, exposure west, soil clay, altitude 160 meters above sea level, grape: Montepulciano.
- Merlot Admire, 1.40 hectares, 4500 vines per hectare, exposure south-west, soil clay, altitude 150 meters above sea level, grape: merlot.
- Mayro, 10 hectares, 4500 vines per hectare, exposure south-west, soil clay, altitude 100 meters above sea level, grape: Montepulciano.
- Riserva Fosso Corno, 6 hectares, 4500 vines per hectare, exposure south-east, soil clay, altitude 140 meters above sea level, grape: Montepulciano.
Grape: 100% Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Price: €12 $14 £11 average price ex tax
Visual: A deep ruby/sherry red appears when pouring in the glass, colour intensity is about 3 out of 5, its limpidity is perfect so limpid, its brilliance is somewhat less impressive and appears neat, the legs are medium thick and run down at a normal pace, it looks mature, definitely past its youth, the rim shows tiny signs of brownish colour, it looks like a gentle wine with a correct presence, inviting.
Nose: the first hit of aromas is not entirely clear a bit confusing, after awhile there are little hints of alcohol not top, but soon there are aromas of blackcurrants, whispers of cardamon and cloves, under layers of juniper and thuya, flurries of tonka bean/ chocolate, hints of animal aromas like civet, in all not overly clear in its being but interesting variation.
Palate: The attack is good, straight in length not wide and muscled, tannins loosen up, blackcurrants dominant fruit, acidity ok could be better, lingers on medium long, dry feel at the gums, back throat a bit sharp but not bothering, nice to be served fresh.
Conclusion: Definitely not a disappointment, the wine is well made and sits pretty well in its price category, this wine is now 4 years old and is at its perfect window and will be for another two years maybe a tat longer? This works with tapas style food and charcuteries, white meats and if served chilled even fleshy fish. Good composition and a house that knows what it wants and where it want to be, at the top of Montepulciano's d'Abruzzo. It surely has a chance.
Score: I rate this wine at 18.8/20 88/100 (rated as a very good wine taking in consideration its price)
Until next time please do drink responsibly.