La Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
Other Red Wine from Italy
At first sight the deep, intense ruby red color of the wine is striking, with small violet arches. The bouquet suggests red fruit, rose petals and hints of wet spices. It is soft and warm to the palate with notes of red prune, cherry and blueberry which are harmoniously intertwined around a lively tannic theme. Being fruit of an exceptional harvest, gives it a full, enveloping body, which finishes with liquorice and cloves. The fine performance is completed with an after-taste of black pepper and cranberry. This wine may be drunk immediately or laid down for 5 years. It is ideal to accompany pasta timbale, lamb stew, char-grilled cod and seasoned, pecorino cheese. Drink immediately or keep for 5 years too.
The Wine Advocate - "La Valentina's 2008 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a gorgeous wine that stands head and shoulders above most of its peers in this price range. Dark cherries, juicy plums and spices are some of the notes that emerge from this juicy, highly pleasurable Montepulciano. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014. "
Fattoria La Valentina Winery
La Valentina owns and rents a total of 30 hectares of vineyards at 200 to 300 metres altitude in the rolling Abruzzo hills, just inland from the port of Pescara on the Adriatic coast.
The area benefits from a special microclimate, taking advantage of cool breezes from the mountains and the maritime winds from the Adriatic.
The vineyards are impeccable, on clay and gravel soil, they are managed like a well kept market garden. Yields are low and harvesting by hand carries on until late October achieving optimum ripeness.
The results are remarkable with intense rich red wines that have oceans of fruit, bright rich black fruit flavours, as well as enough spice, elegance and depth to make them ideal partners to many Italian dishes ... especially pastas and risottos. View all Fattoria La Valentina Wines
About Other ItalianView a map of Other Italian wineries Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria
LombardyHome of the fashion capital of Milan, Lombardy is not quite Italy's capital of wine. It is, however, home to a few wines worth noting. Most vineyards are far north, far south or far east. First, in the south, the sparkling wine Franciacorta – this sparkling wine is made in the methode champagnoise and the better wineries produce wine that can hold it's own in a quality bubbly line up. Lugana, a pleasant, white wine made from Trebbiano, comes from Lombardy as well. Lean reds from the Nebbiolo grape are made further up in the Valtelliana region, near the Alps.
Emilia-RomagnaThe region of Emilia-Romagna is better known for its food rather than wine. Most of the wine coming from this region is the red, slightly-fizzy Lambrusco. It's high in acid and best drunk young. The white coming out of the region is mostly Albana di Romagna. Made from the albana grape, it's typically dry and pleasant, although not found often.
UmbriaTalk about being in the center of things… the land-locked region of Umbria is smack dab in the middle of the country. The most familiar white wine of the region is Orvieto, named for the medieval Etruscan town. It's a Trebbiano-based wine with good fruit flavors and high acid. Originally a sweet wine, most Orvietos are now dry. Red wine from Umbria includes Torgiano and Montefalco - Torgiano made from the grapes of Chianti, while Montefalco uses the native sagrantino grape, making big and bold reds.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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