When it comes to reds, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is not one I generally think of as a wine to be laid down. It tends to have less in the way of tannins, which give wine the structure to age well. Of course, that’s not the only factor that contributes to great wine. The winemaker has a part to play, too.I had quite the surprise recently when going through the cellar. I discovered a bottle of 2001 Colline Teramane Riserva (Orlandi Contucci Ponno winery) that I had the good fortune to pick up while I was visiting the winery in Teramo (Abruzzo) four years ago. Being very dubious of what to expect, I was completely blown away by the structure of this fine Italian red. On the nose, it was still pure summer fruit, emphasized by dark cherry and blackberry with a mellowness reminiscent of burnished leather. Taste-wise, it offered a mouthful of subtle tannins, flavourful Morello cherries and a hint of spice. The finish was subtle and velvety smooth. This was probably the best Montepulciano I’ve ever had.
I paired it with a steaming bowl of corn rotini pasta in tomato sauce and a warm breeze out on the patio. Unfortunately, as far as I have been able to tell, it’s not actually available in Canada. Check your own area to make sure. If not, a trip to Italy to pick up your own bottle at the winery is definitely in order. I’m definitely going to plan my return trip soon!