An Impressive, Rich Red from Abruzzo

An Impressive, Rich Red from Abruzzo

'You get more than your money’s worth' with this Italian wine

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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.

92/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.