The Winery By The Sea
Actually, the winery is called Vignafranca Barba. But, it’s situated in the most amazing place. It’s about 2 kilometres from the Adriatic in a seaside city called Roseto degli Abruzzi. Can you imagine stopping in at the winery on your way to the beach, sipping on wine that was made from grapes grown a stone’s thrown away from where you’re lounging in the hot sand, feeling the salty spray of the sea touch your skin? Now, that’s what I call la dolce vita.
Last night, on a whim, I picked up a bottle of Vignafranca Barba Montepulciano D’Abruzzo ($17.95) to accompany risotto with basil and just a pinch of smoked paprika — very nice.
The Vignafranca opened with a lovely bouquet of sour cherry with a hint of espresso. Those aromas were played out again on the tongue with just enough peppery spice to make it lively. The tannins were present but soft enough that the whole felt balanced and well-rounded. What a find!
I’ve since learned that the Fratelli Barba (trans. the Barba brothers) who own the winery consulted with Stephano Chiocciolo (who’s had a hand in making many of the top Italian wines) when making this wine. It has been rated among the top 2% of all wine produced in Italy. It’s ready to drink now or by 2014.