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Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, 2018. Col Del Mondo Sunnae

Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, 2018. Col Del Mondo Sunnae

Item #: L0120R2II
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Sunnae
Vineyard/Appellation: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo D.O.C., Italy
Color: Bright Crimson
Nose: Cherry, Cocoa, Cranberry
Palate: Dense Berry, Plum
Finish: Lasting Berry, Light Tannin
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2025/Red Meat, Fowl, Game/13.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Col del Mondo translates to "Hill of the World." The winery, Tenuta del Priore, is owned by the Mazzocchetti Family and was founded in 1973, a relatively recent winery in Italian terms.

At the time, Abruzzo was known for easy, quaffable wines of great value. But in the emerging world of world-class Italian wines taking all the headlines, Abruzzo had to up the ante and that's just what the Mazzocchetti did.

They doubled the density in the vineyard, which allowed them to make more wine from each acre, but because of the number of vines, each vine could produce less, and obviously better, grapes. The soil is composed of mostly rocks, granite and sea matter, which conveniently lowers the yields naturally.

All but one state in Italy, Abruzzo has a coast. This one is on the Adriatic side. The cool temperatures of the sea tempers the warmer inland vineyards and presents a perfect environment for the grapes. Best of all, it is best suited to the Montepulciano grape.

This grape was misunderstood for decades until a few enlightened farmers isolated different clones and saw a tremendous improvement in the wine when using one clone over another. The Mazzocchetti's began right at the beginning of this renaissance and benefited greatly from it.

If you had tasted Montepulciano back then you wouldn't recognize it today. It is now a serious wine to be reckoned with offering bright, ample fruit flavors of cranberry and pomegranate along with the long, lingering finish of cherry, cranberry and chocolate.