A local white wine has ever been served in the halls of Palazzo d’Avalos, half a millennium ago? Maybe obtained from that San Francesco grape that historians want imported into this land from Spain, precisely by the Marquises of Vasto. In the same aristocratic environments, on 8 June, the Consortium for the Protection of Abruzzo Wines served white, red and pink wines from the green region of Europe to the journalists invited for the Grand Tasting organized as part of the Abruzzo Wine Experience program, an event highlight of the five-day incoming among natural beauties, vineyards, villages, wineries and typical products.
In Vasto, a city of art on the south coast of Abruzzo overlooking the Adriatic, among the collections of this prestigious residence of the ancient d’Avalos family – which also included the poet Vittoria Colonna, Marquise of Pescara – the labels of the various protected mentions have alternated, “by the historians Montepulciano and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo – which this year celebrates its first 50 years in Doc – to the increasingly popular Cerasuolo, up to Abruzzo Pecorino, Passerina, Cococciola, Montonico and Villamagna ”, as underlined Valentino Di Campli, president of the Consortium. The new vintages of about 300 labels will be tasted, representing different territorial productions from the four provinces, from the best known to the emerging ones, ready to make their way on the national market and in foreign countries.
“The goal is always to make the opinion leaders understand the extraordinary increase in the quality level of Abruzzo wines “, Di Campli explains,” highlighting the common thread that binds wine, territory, culture, traditions to us, and which in recent years we have put into a system in the territorial marketing project and wine tourism “Routes – Abruzzo Wine Experience”, now also equipped with a useful App “. Meanwhile, Abruzzo wines continue to improve on international markets, marking an increase of 10% in exports in 2021 alone, with the flagship Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and other increasingly popular native wines, such as Pecorino, without forgetting the recovery of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and the growing affirmation of Cerasuolo which since 2010 represents the first controlled denomination of origin in Italy exclusively dedicated to the rosé type.
The most reactive markets are always the historically relevant ones for regional brands, such as the United States and Germany, but also Switzerland, China and Japan, countries in which the Consortium is investing in terms of promotion, for a total turnover that exceeds 205 million euros and a positive trend in consumption in Italy which recorded a + 14% in the first quarter of 2022. This is also due to the greater perception of the Abruzzo wine identity, on which the new “Abruzzo Model”, recently approved by Mipaaf, is also focusing and which marks a change for producers in terms of disciplinary regulations. The aim is to strengthen the common matrix of regional oenology, while enhancing the individual territories and making the scale of values even more recognizable, as President Di Campli highlighted. Among the novelties there will be the introduction of the Superior mention for the current Doc / Dop “d’Abruzzo”, which can boast provincial appellations on the label, and the reduction of Igt from 8 to one. During the Grand Tasting, after the sessions dedicated to the technical tasting tables and the free tasting stands with the producers, coordinated by Davide Acerra, communications manager of the Consorzio Vini d’Abruzzo, the prizes of the international journalistic competition “Words of Wine – Words of wine ”and of“ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo by the glass 2021 ”.
Here then are our tastings, underlined in the notes, among the many valid proposals on the menu, for the surprises reserved by the glass from lesser-known labels, often from very young producers, with an inviting quality-price ratio. White wines from exclusively native vines – Montonico, Cococciola, Pecorino, Trebbiano – and pink wines from Montepulciano grapes, mentioned as Cerasuolo according to tradition. Wines that emerge, outside the laurels of the wine mainstream, as a battery of promising outsiders, winning and placed.
La Quercia – Abruzzo Montonico Doc Superiore “Santapupa” 2021
Antonio Lamona of the La Quercia di Morro d’Oro winery was one of the first to believe in Montonico, a native white vine that was born in the municipal area of Cermignano, following the path of the identity of a pure white with Santapupa. Delicate with fruit and flowers, easy to drink, it plays on freshness and flavor.
Cingilia – Cococciola Colline Pescaresi Igt 2021
The vineyards of Cugnoli, in the lands of Casauria already renowned at the end of the eighteenth century for their grapes, are home to this local white grape variety originally widespread above all in the province of Chieti. Fabio Di Donato confidently produces his Cococciola, with a strong personality; it is a floral, mineral, fresh wine with a lively persistence.
Costantini Vini – Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Doc “Febe” 2021
In the countryside of Città Sant’Angelo, in the province of Pescara, there is the productive heart of the Costantini family’s farms, which have been involved in the cellar for a century. Among the oldest vines, the local Trebbiano plays an important role, from which pure wines such as Febe are obtained: sober in the floral profile, it presents an intriguing acid-savory verve to the taste that is pleasantly prolonged.
Nicodemi – Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Doc “Cocciopesto” 2020
Outside the village of Notaresco, Elena and Alessandro Nicodemi’s company is an icon of the local landscape. As a white grape, they focused on Trebbiano in unsuspecting times. It has also been vinified in cocciopesto jars for a few years. They presented a strong white that brings out, frank and multifaceted, floral and herbaceous hints, strong minerality: it persists muscular on the sip with an elegant closure.
Rabottini – Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Doc “To begin” 2019
A small winery in the hills a few kilometers from the city of Chieti, that of Massimo Rabottini is a young reality that takes step from the agronomic training of the producer. Trebbiano plays a key role in the life and history of the company, in this vintage it tells the taste-olfactory facets of a complex and juicy, savory and persistent wine.
Cantina Rapino – Pecorino Terre di Chieti Igt “Gira” 2018
Emilio Rapino’s Pecorino comes from the hills of Francavilla al Mare, a young winegrower who modernized the company founded by his grandfather. Coastal wine, evolved, characterful, of citrus and aromatic herbs, of warm colors and candied tones, we could venture, round and material, with a nice support of acidity, it is saline, long to the taste.
Faraone – Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc “Le Vigne” 2021
Federico Faraone continues the paternal style in the vineyard and in the cellar, paying homage to a classicism that has set a school in the Teramo hills. From the cellar of Colleranesco di Giulianova he dismisses his weighted Cerasuolo, of weight and color, concentrated on the fruit, full, incisive.
Speranza – Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc “Impeto” 2021
An authentic and only apparently disinterested approach: that of Edoardo Speranza is a traditional “making wine” that follows in the family footsteps in the Rosciano countryside. L’Impeto, the name chosen for this pink wine, rightly tells its tip Cerasuolo, tonic and concessive, between citrus and well-opened rose notes, up to a pleasant, typical, bitter almond finish.
Olivastri – Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc “Marcantonio” 2021
The vineyards of the Olivastri family look at the southern and captivating sea of Abruzzo, as rural civilization watches and learns from enological modernity. Here, in San Vito Chietino, the Marcantonio is born, slender and tasty, in balance between those two recalled worlds, a floral wine, with hints of red fruits and a clear finish.
Tenuta De Melis – Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc “Bardasce” 2021
In the San Pellegrino di Penne district, an ancient vestina area, the identity of a “young and genuine” wine – as Valeria Tatoni De Melis presents her “bardasce” (little boy in Abruzzo dialect) – is reflected by a lively and balanced Cerasuolo at the same time, fruity, fresh, which makes certain edges and nuances its strong point.
Torre Raone – Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc Organic 2021
The company of Luciano Di Tizio, in the hills of Loreto Aprutino, owes its name to the suggestive ruin of a Norman tower surrounded by vineyards. With the last harvest he presented an immediate and sharp pink wine, with floral scents, of summer fruit; essential structure and happy drinking do the rest.
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