This one snuck up on me. My first thought was, this is a wine reaching for the bleachers without the goods to back it up. A Chris Christie trying to be a Giancarlo Stanton. But with aeration, this turned out be a superior Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, one loaded with texture, sinew and passion. Made by Citra, a co-operative of 3,000 small growers, my previous experience with this company was that of easy, commercial wines with lowball prices to match. But they also collect their finest produce, utilizing carefully controlled, long skin contact, and then maturation for a full two years in French and Slavonian oak. You get more than your money’s worth in this splendidly crafted red.
2010 Caroso, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Citra $27 srp
Dark, almost violet in color. A full, smoky, saturated nose; almost liqueur-like, but lithe and “high-toned,” so it doesn’t feel clumsy. Dense, layered flavors include cherry, licorice, dark fruit compote and vanilla elements on its lengthy finish. Somewhat reminiscent of the best Frappato bottlings of Sicily, this is a great take on Montepulciano d’Abruzzo’s potential. Decant well ahead of consuming. Drink now-2020.