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Valle Reale San Calisto Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2005
San Calisto is Valle Reale's flagship wine. This muscular yet refined wine is made from 100% Montepulciano grown in the San Calisto parcel, the oldest plot in the Valle Reale estate. Located within one of Italy's most beautiful national parks, and surrounded by the Gran Sasso mountain range. This unique vineyard benefits from the high elevation, a wide diurnal temperature range, lots of cool, breezy ventilation and limestone rich soils.
Deep, ruby-red in color, San Calisto offers layered aromas of ripe blackberries and crushed black cherries, followed by spicy notes of cassis, leather and dried herbs. Its excellent structure is perfectly complimented by a silky, rich mouthfeel and a long, persistent finish. San Calisto is excellent with sharp cheeses, barbecued ribs, lamb, filet mignon or steak au poivre.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Valle Reale is one of my favorite properties in Abruzzo. These rugged terrains located inside one of Italy’s national parks routinely yield wines of notable character. Consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini oversees wine making.
Valle Reale possesses all of the natural elements conducive to the production of great wine. There is an abundance of water, proximity to the sea and the benefits of a maritime climate, ample sunshine and mineral rich soils.
The Pizzolo family together with Leonardo Valenti have striven to produce a model of central Italian wine: strength, exuberance, vitality, Mediterranean color, elegance, balance and depth. They are working exclusively with the Montepulciano varietal and seek to highlight the grape's intrinsic qualities in both the young, vibrant base wine as well as the cru San Calisto which they hope will offer critics and consumers alike a new benchmark for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.
A warm, Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, in Abruzzo, the distance from mountains to seaside is relatively short. The Apenniness, which run through the center of Italy, rise up on its western side while the Adriatic Sea defines its eastern border.
Wine composition tends to two varieties: Abruzzo’s red grape, Montepulciano and its white, Trebbiano. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can come in a quaffable, rustic and fruity style that generally drinks best young. It is also capable of making a more serious style, where oak aging tames its purely wild fruit.
Trebbiano in Abruzzo also comes in a couple of varieties. Trebbiano Toscana makes a simple and fruity white. However when meticulously tended, the specific Trebbiano d’Abruzzo-based white wines can be complex and long-lived.
In the region’s efforts to focus on better sites and lower yields, vine acreage has decreased in recent years while quality has increased.
Consistently enticing and enjoyable, Montepulciano enjoys great popularity throughout central and southern Italy and is gaining quite a following in many other parts of the world. Widely prolific in its homeland, Montepulciano is actually the second most planted red variety in Italy after Sangiovese, though it is most associated with the region of Abruzzo where it achieves its highest potential. A tiny bit grows in California, Argentina and Australia as well.
In the Glass
Dark and inky, Montepulciano brims with boysenberry, black plum and juicy tart cherry flavors. Typical aromas come in the form of berry pie, freshly cut Italian herbs, dark chocolate and licorice. It’s a full-bodied wine with fine to rustic tannins.
Historically this variety has been one to inhabit many pizzeria and cafe wine lists throughout central and into southern Italy, offering amazing value for everyday consumption. It is no doubt a perfect complement to a variety of other foods we are used to: barbecued brisket, meatloaf, Shepherd’s Pie, meatloaf and grilled portabella mushrooms. Think of it as the perfect alternative to Syrah, Petite Sirah or Malbec if you’re looking to broaden your horizons.
The wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is actually not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Montepulciano is also the name of a village in Tuscany; Sangiovese grows there and is responsible for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The grape called Montepulciano grows in Abruzzo and makes the wine called Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.