I was at Trader Joe’s picking up the fixings for my Easter meal and I was going to grab some Sangiovese to go with my pasta dish. Normally, when I need Sangiovese for a crowd, I go with Grifone. The wine steward suggested I try Villa Cerrina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo instead as it just came in and was similarly priced. I was grateful as I’m always up for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo but it’s hard to find a good one for under $10 in the USA.
I don’t really have any exact information on Villa Cerrina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as the bottle isn’t very forthcoming and neither is the internet. For those of you who don’t know, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is its own grape type from Abruzzo Italy which has a maritime influence from the Adriatic sea. If you like Sangiovese but find it’s a bit too tannic for you, this is a good grape to know. The Villa Cerrina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes in at 13% ABV. I chilled the wine to around 60 degrees which is just slightly over chilled. I used stemless red wine glasses to taste and we aerated the wine with our Vinturi. The wine was a medium red violet shade. There was a hint of strawberry aroma when the wine was opened.
The Villa Cerrina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has a nose full of strawberry, raspberry, and hints of red and black plums, violets, and oak. The flavor of the wine matches the nose with additional notes of tobacco, cedar, and coffee. It’s got a certain smoothness and feel to the body that would remind you of a nice Pinot Noir. The finish has nutty notes, oak, dried fruit, baking spices and a subtle mineral note. As the wine opens and warms a bit more the spices are noticeable in the palette too. The acid is perfect and the finish is longer than expected for the lightness of the wine. One thing that is notable here is that there is no vanilla note at all. It makes it an exceptional wine to pair with food especially lamb!
The Villa Cerrina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is certainly praiseworthy and case worthy. I can’t believe this wine is $5. I’d honestly be happy paying $15 for this. As such, I’ll probably be picking up a case or two. My husband gave it an 88 point rating and I was a little more generous with a 90. If the nose was a little richer or the wine had just a touch more complexity I would have gone higher. That’s not to say this isn’t the absolute epitome of the perfect daily drinker. My guests all asked for the name of the wine and then they took photos of the bottle so they could remember it when they went shopping next. High praise indeed.
Have you ever had any Montepulciano d’Abruzzo? Do you have a favorite?