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The Wines of Abruzzo

Wines of Abruzzo Abruzzo’s wine list is a short wine, as the region essentially conducts a simplified wine classification system grounded in two principal offerings: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. It’s a list that many, nevertheless, are quite familiar with, given Abruzzo’s high and undiscriminating turnout of both….One may naturally assume that Abruzzo is inherently deficient, lacking the essential elements necessary to support quality wine production. However, its microclimate and terroir are actually quite well suited to the cultivation of grapes. Others attribute Abruzzo’s failure to realize its potential to its favored white grape—Trebbiano, Italy’s most ubiquitous white varietal, the primary distinction of which lies, in fact, in its productivity, as it basically turns out the same performance regardless of where it is grown.

There’s no excuse, however, when it comes to the red grape in question— Montepulciano—which essentially offers the virtual antithesis of its fellow white, delivering a profile comprised of generous black fruits, low acidity, and sweet tannins. Despite such ample provision, an emphasis on quantity rendered it the most exported DOC wine—as well as one of the most lacking in distinction. In recent years, however, producers have sought to maximize Montepulciano’s rich core of black and purple fruits through aging in barrique and rigorous processes of selection, producing concentrated offerings. Then there are those producers who have always performed far above the mainstream, demonstrating the remarkable inherent potential not only of Montepulciano, but of the lowly Trebbiano as well. In fact, the work of Abruzzo’s foremost practitioners—the late Edoardo Valentini and Emidio Pepe—has enabled the wines derived from these grapes to share the company of Italy’s most esteemed natives.
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Per Linda Cerasuolo 2013 750ml
Per Linda Cerasuolo 2013 750ml
Price: $12.99

Offering a light pink blush complemented by aromatics of dew-laden roses and the pleasing saline mineral tones, this wine complements its ripe bosc pear and smooth flavor of vine-ripened blackberry with a gentle but persistent acidity and fruit-forward flavor. Proof that quality does exist under $15 a bottle, Per Linda Cerasuolo has become a signature on our shelves and is one of our best-selling wines for easy drinking at the table or for pouring at a gathering of friends. Cerasuolo, the Abbruzzese word for "rosé," shows us how delicious and practical a blush wine from the Montepulciano grape can be; pair it with classic fish dishes of the Adriatic (prawns, clams, or fish stew), as well as pizza and tomato-based pastas.
Per Linda Cerasuolo 2014 750ml
Per Linda Cerasuolo 2014 750ml
Price: $12.99

This wine bursts with an optimistic blush hue, a signal of its aromatics that blend roses, violets, saline minerals, and ripe orchard and berry fruits. Fresh yet round, this wine holds a delightful tension in its mouth-feel that is at once energetic and satisfying. Proof that quality does exist under $15 a bottle, Per Linda Cerasuolo has become a signature on our shelves and is one of our best-selling wines for easy drinking at the table or for pouring at a gathering of friends. Cerasuolo, the Abruzzese word for "rosé," shows us how delicious and practical a blush wine from the Montepulciano grape can be; pair it with classic fish dishes of the Adriatic (prawns, clams, or fish stew), as well as pizza and tomato-based pastas.
Per Linda Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2015 750ml
Per Linda Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2015 750ml
Price: $12.99

A bright straw color in the glass, this ’15 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo bursts with crushed white flowers, green plums, citrus and herbs--it’s a delicious, food-friendly white that will take you from appetizers to seafood entrees. Structured, nicely acidic and very fresh, this white is the ideal anytime sipper. Deriving from north-facing vineyards with sandy soil, this organically grown Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ferments with natural yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel; it ages for about five months before bottling.
Per Linda Cerasuolo 2015 750ml
Per Linda Cerasuolo 2015 750ml
Price: $12.99

Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012 750ml
Price: $269.00

Valentini’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a cult classic, and this ’12 bottling will only increase its status. Ripe, brambly fruits dance on sun-warmed loam, underbrush, baking spices, licorice, truffles and new saddle leather in this beautifully delineated yet sumptuous wine. Complementing its sweet inner perfume with savory minerals, this wine unfurls with a savage grace, building to a remarkably sustained finish. While you’ll be tempted to drink this warm weather Montepulciano early, put it in the cellar and try to forget about it for a few years--this ’12 Valentini has the stuffing to age for decades.  The late, great Lord of the Vines, Edoardo Valentini, put this wine on the global map with his elegantly rustic, unfiltered red produced from late harvest grapes grown on vines of 25 to 35 years of age; since Edoardo’s passing, his son Francesco has made wine as his father taught him--traditionally, secretively and with astonishing high quality.
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006 750ml
Price: $275.00
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Valentini made just shy of 1,100 cases of this intense, muscular, killer Montepulciano. The first release since 2002, you’d expect this cult wine to be special--and it is. Energetic red fruit dance on a dark bed of ash, star anise, grilled Portobello mushrooms, saddle leather and tar. While this wine tends toward the rustic when young, as it ages, it morphs into elegance, like a gentleman farmer in a bespoke suit, yet it still retains a seductive undercurrent of wildness. Thrumming with spice and game, this ’06 needs a couple of years in the cellar, but then you can drink to the end of the next decade.
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2000 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2000 750ml
Price: $375.00

Deep purple in color, the ’00 vintage offers a complex bouquet of ripe dark fruit, tobacco, and pepper. This rich and intense, velveteen-palate wine offers black currant jam, cocoa, truffles, and spice, with a strong backbone and tannins that provide for a marathon finish. This Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of Italy's most sought-after wines and a cellar trophy for the collector. The late, great Lord of the Vines, Edoardo Valentini, put this wine on the global map with his elegantly rustic, unfiltered red produced from late harvest grapes grown on vines of 25-35 years of ages. The production varies by vintage, but one thing is certain: the wine's ability to deliver concentration and agebility.
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1997  750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1997 750ml
Price: $699.00

Rich, structured and elegant, this ’97 offers tremendous harmony among its elements, balancing its juicy, succulent fruit with brooding notes, its acidity with sweetness, and its velvety tannins with all the rest. This "wild" wine is difficult to describe, bringing together attributes of a great Hermitage and a Taurasi, but it remains uniquely Valentini. While delivering a concentrated expression upon release, Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo requires several years to develop its full profile of black licorice, smoke, ash, leather, and game; a significant period of aeration is requisite to approach the wine meaningfully prior to that time. Remarkably vibrant and fresh even at more than two decades old, a vintage Valentini d’Abruzzo offers a patina of smokiness, notes of tar and black olives, and remarkable mellowness and integration to its components.
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1994 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1994 750ml
Price: $699.00

A singular bottling from the hands of the “Lord of the Vines,” Edoardo Valentini himself, this brooding, umami-laden, knockout 1994 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a classic bottling of this cult wine. Now with more than twenty years of perfect maturity, this wine is coming into its own, offering its full profile of black licorice, smoke, ash, leather, and game. Remarkably vibrant and fresh even at more than two decades old, this vintage Valentini d’Abruzzo offers a patina of smokiness, notes of tar and black olives, and remarkable mellowness and integration to its components. In any vintage, Valentini's Montepulciano is a provocative, sublime rendition crafted from late-harvest grapes, made only in exceptional vintage years, and crafted only from the choicest grapes. Ripe, rich, and concentrated, Valentini's Montepulciano always needs a few years to coalesce; this '94 is a rare, gorgeous wonder, and it's our pleasure to put it in cellars like yours!
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1973 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1973 750ml
Price: $899.00

Astoundingly supple, fresh, and graceful, this ’73 stays light on its feet despite its brooding notes, saline minerality, and more than four decades of age. Drinking a vintage Valentini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is like drinking a perfect campfire: licks of cherry-red and black fruits dance with sunbaked earth, charcoal minerals, and exotic spices. This ’73 shows tremendous balance among its elements, and it crescendos in a lingering tannin-laced finish. This "wild" wine is difficult to describe, bringing together attributes of a great Hermitage and a Taurasi, but it remains uniquely Valentini. While delivering a concentrated expression upon release, Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo requires several years to develop its full profile of black licorice, smoke, ash, leather, and game; a significant period of aeration is requisite to approach the wine meaningfully prior to that time.