Today for me the last day of Vinitaly 2022 and, among the many beautiful tastings, I participated in a vertical of wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Riserva Casauria “San Clemente” from the Zaccagnini winery. I did not know this company except by name and I was pleasantly surprised by this red wine which, especially in some vintages, has exceeded all expectations.
The vine montepulciano - with a medium-late harvest period - it is raised both in awning and espalier in medium-textured clayey soils in the province of Pescara. After the soft pressing of the grapes, maceration takes place in oak vats with manual fulling and alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature. It then ages in wood for at least 9 months and then rests for a few months before being marketed both in steel tanks and in bottles.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC: the vertical
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Zaccagnini: Vintage 2017
The 2017 harvest was characterized by a winter with a heavy snowfall that postponed the vegetative awakening for about two weeks. In mid-April there was a terrible frost (you can read HERE the testimonies of many winemakers from all over Italy) which affected many of the early varieties that were found in the valley floor. From the end of May until the harvest, there was little rainfall and rather high temperatures that brought all the vineyards to their knees that did not benefit from emergency irrigation. The grape harvest montepulciano it lasted about a month from mid-September to mid-October.
My tasting. It has an intense ruby red, almost impenetrable and consistent. The nose is delicate and complex, with notes of chocolate, black pepper, blueberry jam, French gentian and a toasted accent. In the mouth it is soft, warm, coherent, fairly balanced, but still has a youthful and perhaps a little green tannin. Long finish.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Zaccagnini: Vintage 2015
The 2015 harvest was characterized by a mild winter followed by a very rainy spring which slowed budding. June and July were very hot, so much so that the harvest was brought forward by about a week.
My tasting. It has an intense and impenetrable ruby red, consistent. The nose is intense and more than complex with notes of plum, sweet licorice, rhubarb, ink, milk chocolate, coffee powder. In the mouth it is soft, warm enough, coherent, balanced thanks to a large acidic shoulder and a tannin which, however, still has to refine.
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Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC: Vintage 2012 **
The 2012 harvest was characterized by a winter with heavy rains and snowfalls that gave good water reserves. The not very hot spring caused a delay in budding. From April onwards there were mainly beautiful days, a medium-hot summer and the harvest normally began in mid-September, but lasted until the end of October.
My tasting. It has an intense ruby red with garnet reflections, impenetrable and consistent. The nose is intense, complex, with notes of mint, tobacco, cocoa, violet flowers, a haematic note, cherries in syrup. In the mouth it is soft, structured, balanced, softer tannins, acidity. It has a rounder and particularly pleasant tannin. Long finish. For me it was the best vintage for tasting.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Zaccagnini: 2010 vintage
The 2010 harvest was characterized by normal rainfall which, however, became abundant in the spring until June. Low temperatures led to a delay in bud break. Then came a summer with medium-high temperatures that allowed the Montepulciano to mature normally. The harvest was regular, from mid-September to mid-October.
My tasting. It has an intense and concentrated garnet red, impenetrable and consistent. Intense notes of coffee, licorice, cola, black pepper, brown sugar, blackberry on the nose. In the mouth it is very elegant and coherent. The tannin hides a perhaps slightly postponed harvest, but it is very round. Long finish.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC: Vintage 2008 *
The 2008 harvest was characterized by a winter with regular rains and copious snowfalls that replenished the water reserves and the low temperatures caused a delay in bud break. From the end of April the beautiful days, except for some sporadic rain, and the high temperatures, favored the development of good vegetation.
My tasting. It has an intense and concentrated garnet red, very consistent. The nose is very delicate compared to the previous ones, complex and fine. Very balsamic and mentholated notes, with a fruit still present, lavender, Mediterranean herbs, undergrowth. In the mouth it is elegant. Structure, a round tannin, still a beautiful freshness and a nice length in the mouth. Red orange finish.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Zaccagnini: Vintage 2005 *
The 2005 harvest was characterized by a regular but rather cold winter. This caused a delay in budding. The spring was rainy, but fortunately it did not create phytopathological problems. Summer started late too, but it was dry and very hot. The harvest began and ended a few days late: from the last week of September to the last week of October.
My tasting. It has an intense and concentrated garnet red, very consistent. The nose is delicate and intriguing, with notes of cinchona, French gentian, cola, blackberries, blood, beeswax. In the mouth it is soft, but still has a very present tannin, which is perhaps the best tannin of all. Elegantly structured, fresh and with a long cinchona finish.
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The wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC is a real gem for lovers of structured red wines. It enters the market about 30 months after the harvest, but its tannin makes it suitable for later consumption: from 5 to 10 years after being put on the market. And do you know any wines from the Zaccagnini winery? You have some red wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Riserva to recommend? Write it to me in a comment here on the blog!