Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

7 Top Montepulciano d’Abruzzo tasted in 7/2014

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Nicodemi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2012)
Comments: Earthy and powerful on the nose with deep balsamic. black cherry, and slate aromas dusted with paprika. Rich and smooth with lovely notes of ink and arugula on entry followed by delicate blue and black fruits. The tannins here are remarkably well managed, present but rounded and while the acidity is a bit on the low side this remains fresh enough particularly with the flavor profile which shows off precise, elegant and pure fruit and fine mineral notes both of which linger on the long finish. This is great stuff, though I still wish it were a bit brighter. 89pts
Previously available for $16.99
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2 Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2011)
Comments: Showing hints of evolution on the nose, this displays subtle fruit framed with hints of forest floor, mushrooms, and candied red cherries. Smooth and bright on entry, this is admirably broad on the palate while remaining transparent with lovely softening tannins supporting earthy and everso leathery dried strawberry and cherry fruit on the palate. the finish is fairly long, clean and precise with lovely wild cherry flavors. The tannins are a touch dry though and the peak out a bit on the finale but this is actually quite long because of that. 88pts
Average price: $9.99 from 138 stores
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3 Italo Pietrantonj Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2010)
Comments: Dark, leathery and spicy on the nose with hints of paprika and caraway adding details. This smells like Goulash. Smooth and focused in the mouth with more cut that one typically finds in Montepulciano. The palate is lively and transparent with light fruit that sits firmly in the dry, black end of the spectrum. The acid is well integrated here and the tannins fairly polished yet still firm. finishing with good focus to the black cherry and spice flavors this is a bit subtle but quite fine and long with some finesse on the finish. 88pts
Average price: $11.99 from 1 store
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4 Cora Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2011)
Comments: A touch stemmy on the nose which shows a hint of pencil lead and quite perfumed bay leaf aromas. Smooth, a touch matte and with a hint of richness on the palate, this delivers a nice mouthful of slightly spicy black cherry fruit supported by lovely austere little tannins. Its not a complex wine but one that shows off good purity and intensity to the fruit finishing with freshness and a touch of aggressiveness to the austere and angular tannins. The fruit remains attractively aromatic through the mouth. 87pts
Average price: $16.00 from 1 store
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5 Quattro Mani Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2012)
Comments: Grapey and fresh on the nose with hints of balsamic herbs and blackberry fruit showing streaks of dark, oily minerals. medium plus bodied and rather raw on entry, this shows off bright acids and small if stiff tannins on the palate supporting lovely black cherry and blackberry fruit. There’s a touch of extra weight here that should resolve with a few months in the bottle. That extra weight causes some stickiness on the finish, which is long and fresh. A nice blend of modern and rustic with good purity to the fruit which is very aromatic in the mouth. 87pts
Average price: $12.69 from 5 stores
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6 Renato Romagnoli Il Rosso di Casa Romagnoli Marche IGT Rosso (2011)
Comments: Montepulciano: 70%, Sangiovese: 25% Lacrima: 5% Spicy on the nose and quite floral with the spicy notes of lacrima being quite pronounced and layered over a base of raspberry and tea aromas. A touch sweet on entry, this is well balanced and fairly complex on the palate with hints of jellied berry fruits and a touch of peachy sweetness yielding to some nice stoney notes on the backend along with some firm, austere tannins. The finish pits the sweet fruit against the tannins, adding energy and length here. A bit chunky and rustic but a great value. 86pts
Previously available for $8.00
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7 Arboreto Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2012)
Comments: Very pretty on the nose with hints of blue fruit, dried flowers, a bit of a meaty edge and some peppery background notes. Focused in direct in the mouth, this shows off early flashes of blue fruits before settling down with some spicy black berry and black plum flavors. it’s in a leaner style with good acids and soft tannins, but what is really appealing is the purity of the aromatic fruit on the palate and the relative lightness this displays. The finish shows a return to the blue fruit of the entry, and while this doesn’t have great length is fresh and fun as it leaves the palate. 86pts
Previously available for $10.99
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