Italian wine: The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Terramane DOCG with Cerelli Spinozzi

Sep 19, 2015 631

WTI Magazine #68    2015 September, 18
Author : Jennifer Gentile Martin for      Translation by:


The top grapes of this region including the white grape, trebbiano d'abruzzo, also know as ugni blanc in France. It's a high acid wine, without much flavor extracted and is usually light and crisp with apple flavors. The rose' produced in the region is known as cerasuolo d'abruzzo made of the montepulciano grape that is a hearty rose' with notes of dried fruits and strawberries. Above all dominating the region's well known wines are montepulciano d'abruzzo.

A late-ripening variety it's deep colored, plump, low acid and an accessible wine in its youth. About two thirds of the production comes out of the Chieti province.

There is plenty of everyday montepulciano produced under the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC that can be simple and juicy depending upon the producer, but if you're looking for some of the top quality montepulciano of this region seek out the 1 DOCG known as Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane in the north. It was granted this status to differentiate itself from the rest in 2002.

The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from the Colline Teramane DOCG requires 90% montepulciano and 10% sangiovese. The regular Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from this DOCG is required to be aged 2 years where the riserva has an extra year at 3 years.To learn more about the wines from this DOCG check out the Consorzio di Tutela Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane site.

I'm sharing with you a wine from the producer, Cerulli Spinozzi, whom is located close to the Gran Sasso mountains. It's their 2009 Tenuta Cerulli Spinozzi Torre Migliori Montepucliano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG. According to Banfi Wines, "Cerulli owns 10% of the DOCG's 100 hectacres" and the Torre Migliori comes from this specific area. This wine is made 100% from the montepulciano grape.

2009 Tenuta Cerulli Spinozzi Torre Migliori Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG
Color: ruby red
Nose: Earthy, dark fruit, black cherry, spices
Palate: Medium body, dry, warm (14% alcohol), smooth, good acidity and tannin
Aging: 2 years in oak and an additional 6 months in the bottle.
Retails $17 (wine searcher)

Tenuta Cerulli Spinozzi is a joint venture of two families, Cerulli Irelli and Spinozzi. The winery was started by the two Cerulli Irelli brothers, Francesco and Vincenzo, in 2003 and is today run by Enrico, the son of Vicenzo. His approach to winemaking and running the winery today consists of replanting the vines, while tending to some of the 30 year old vines at low yields to produce higher quality grapes. He has enabled the consulting wine expertise of famous consultant, Franco Bernabei.

Organic in their winemaking, Tenute Cerulli Spinozzi produces wines made from the montepulciano, pecorino, trebbiano and chardonnay grapes. Their two vineyard sites are located in Canzano and Mosciano with about 50 acres in total situated near the Gran Sasso mountains. The Abruzzo region is mostly dominated by co-ops by about 85% and Enrico's grandfather is known for being the founder of Casal Thaulero, one of the large cooperatives in Abruzzo.

I hope you get to experience the quality montepulciano grape from the Teramane area so you can decipher the major difference between your everyday montepulciano and those of the DOCG.

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