Abruzzo


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  • Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Iskra 2019

    £34.95

    “Dark and brooding, the 2019 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva Iskra slowly evolves. Clove and mocha hints further complicate the dried black cherry and sage aromas. It’s elegant and refined with polished red and blue fruits carried across a mineral core as sweet wood spice sensations form toward the close. The 2019 is structured with fine-grained tannins that saturate as cocoa and balsamic spice slowly taper off. This strapping Iskra is built for the cellar. Drinking window: 2025-2035. 92+ points

    Eric Guido, Vinous (08/23)

    In Stock

  • Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2019

    £27.25

    “Exotic spice and medicinal cherries gain lift through a refreshing wave of mint as the 2019 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva opens in the glass. This is still quite primary with an inky concentration of dark red fruits that saturate, leaving a mineral staining but also a twang of sour citrus to balance. While structured and potent, the 2019 is full of lively energy. This early preview of the recently-bottled 2019 shows tremendous potential. Drinking window: 2024-2030. 92-94 points

    Masciarelli, in San Martino sulla Marrucina, is located in the mountains with Mount Maiella, not the Gran Sasso massif, looming in the distance. A 40-minute drive west would allow you to go skiing, while a 40-minute drive east would land you on the Adriatic beaches. The wines here provide an interesting peek into the diversity of terroir throughout Abruzzo. Masciarelli oversees 365 hectares through sustainable practices, spread out between 60 different sites. Masciarelli is the only Abruzzo producer to source all-estate fruit from all four provinces (Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and l’Aquila). When asked if they wanted to grow any larger, Marina Cvetic Masciarelli, the current head of the winery, responded with a flat-out “no”, and to quote her, “Climate change is a disaster.” The continuing heat and dry conditions are changing the way producers are looking to the future. In San Martino during the summer of 2022, everything was a vibrant green due to built-up water supplies from winter snow and spring rain. But, this is only one small part of the property, each area within Abruzzo has its own dynamic. Marina Cvetic Masciarelli admitted that she doesn’t know yet what the future will hold, but a rethinking of locations, exposures and possibly even varieties is necessary. As for the wines of today, this continues to be one of the most dependable producers throughout the entire region. Their portfolio provides a little something for everyone, the “classic” and fresher “Masciarelli’” lineup, the more international and stylish “Masciarelli – Marina Cvetic” bottlings and the more powerful and age-worthy “Masciarelli – Villa Gemma” label. This house also tailors one of the top Cerasuolos being produced throughout all of Abruzzo, made in a hearty fashion, and a small production of international varieties, including a Syrah that I found to be quite impressive.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (10/22)

    In Stock

  • Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2021

    £36.95

    “Masciarelli, in San Martino sulla Marrucina, is located in the mountains with Mount Maiella, not the Gran Sasso massif, looming in the distance. A 40-minute drive west would allow you to go skiing, while a 40-minute drive east would land you on the Adriatic beaches. The wines here provide an interesting peek into the diversity of terroir throughout Abruzzo. Masciarelli oversees 365 hectares through sustainable practices, spread out between 60 different sites. Masciarelli is the only Abruzzo producer to source all-estate fruit from all four provinces (Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and l’Aquila). When asked if they wanted to grow any larger, Marina Cvetic Masciarelli, the current head of the winery, responded with a flat-out “no”, and to quote her, “Climate change is a disaster.” The continuing heat and dry conditions are changing the way producers are looking to the future. In San Martino during the summer of 2022, everything was a vibrant green due to built-up water supplies from winter snow and spring rain. But, this is only one small part of the property, each area within Abruzzo has its own dynamic. Marina Cvetic Masciarelli admitted that she doesn’t know yet what the future will hold, but a rethinking of locations, exposures and possibly even varieties is necessary. As for the wines of today, this continues to be one of the most dependable producers throughout the entire region. Their portfolio provides a little something for everyone, the “classic” and fresher “Masciarelli’” lineup, the more international and stylish “Masciarelli – Marina Cvetic” bottlings and the more powerful and age-worthy “Masciarelli – Villa Gemma” label. This house also tailors one of the top Cerasuolos being produced throughout all of Abruzzo, made in a hearty fashion, and a small production of international varieties, including a Syrah that I found to be quite impressive.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (10/22)

    In Stock

  • Masciarelli Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2018

    £52.49

    “The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva Villa Gemma is a glass-staining purple in color. It lifts with an intense array of blackberry preserves, rum-soaked raisins, dusty sage and cacao. This is silky and supple with textural depths of ripe wild berry fruit and saturating spice guided by zesty acidity. There’s simply so much youthful concentration here, yet energy as well, as this finishes long with a staining of tart cranberry framed by gently grippy tannins. The 2018 really packs a punch, which says a lot from this challenging vintage. Enjoy this racy Villa Gemma Riserva over the next five to eight years. Drinking window: 2025-2032. 93 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (09/23)

    In Stock

  • Praesidium Luci 2020

    £46.75

    “Dusty and floral in the glass, the 2020 Bianco Luci wafts up with a pretty blend of white flowers, incense, raw almond and crushed yellow apples. This opens with an inner sweetness as a perfumed blend of ripe stone fruits and candied citrus soothe the senses. It finishes honeyed and incredibly long with a residual bump of acidity that maintains a lovely freshness. This is a total pleasure. Even with its sweet fruit, the wine finishes at just .02 grams of residual sugar. Drinking window: 2023-2026. 92 points

    Praesidium must be part of the conversation when speaking of traditional Abruzzo producers. The winery is located in the Peligna Valley, a secluded and unique part of the region that is defined by clay soils mixed with calcareous rock at around 400 meters, all surrounded by mountains and cut off from the influences of the Adriatic Sea. This landscape results in a more continental climate, which, together with the calcareous soils, produces wines of power and depths of minerality. The Pasquale family follows strict organic principles in the vineyards, using spontaneous fermentations, long macerations and extended barrel aging. They then release the wines later than most producers, preferring to use only the Riserva classification, and placing the wines on the market only when they feel they are ready. There are two Montepulcianos. One is the Riserva (current vintage 2019), and the other is the A Marianna (current vintage 2015), produced from their oldest vineyards, averaging 50 to 60 years of age. It’s hard to classify the Praesidium wines within the context of Abruzzo. To me, they are dark and rich yet tannic and built for the long haul, showing a pleasant rusticity while remaining wonderfully refined.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (08/23)

    In Stock

  • Praesidium Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2018

    £39.95

    “The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva has a spicy and exotic bouquet, blending Indian curries with grilled sage, tomato leaf, ash and hints of smoked meat. It’s surprisingly juicy and lifted in feel with bright acids propelling mineral-tinged red berries and hints of tart citrus across the palate. The tannins are crunchy, yet they don’t get in the way; the 2018 finishes with a bitter twang of cocoa and sour cherry. The rustic touch that Praesidium usually manages so well is a bit too noticeable in the 2018. Drinking window: 2023-2028. 88 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (10/22)

    In Stock

  • Praesidium Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva A Marianna 2012

    £62.95

    “The 2012 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva A Marianna is an impenetrable purplish red color with a seductively dark and rich bouquet, as crushed ashen stone, graphite and sage give way to black currants, sous bois and a lifting hint of cedar. It’s like pure velvet on the palate, seeming pliant and round at first, yet with a core of salty minerals that adds an edgy savoriness, as they mix with tart woodland berries and nervous acidity to create a push and pull of tension. For all of its power and intensity, the 2012 maintains an incredibly fresh character, even as a coating of gripping tannin firms the expression through the finale. That said, this well-muscled stallion needs time to mellow before revealing all of its charms. The A Marianna is only produced in vintages that the winery deems as special. It hails from a one-hectare parcel of old vines planted in 1962. The wine refines for a total of sixty-six months, with the first two years in stainless steel, followed by another three and a half years in Slavonian oak. Drinking window: 2024-2032. 94 points

    Praesidium is located in the Peligna Valley, where the family tends to seven hectares of organically farmed Montepulciano and Trebbiano Abruzzese (that’s right, the true Trebbiano Abruzzese). Here, the climate is continental, and the terrain is certainly mountainous, which packs the wines full of character. Spontaneous fermentations, long macerations, extended aging, and late releases are all part of what makes these wines so special, but also that they are clean and precise, something that is too often lost in the “natural” and “traditional” winemaking category. When I taste through the portfolio of Praesidium, the producers that come to mind are the likes of Emidio Pepe, Paolo Bea and Arianna Occhipinti, which is some pretty good company to keep. Praesidium falls in the category of those producers that make more serious wines of depth, coupled with long-term aging potential, but without the overuse of oak. The style is old-school and traditional, yet far from rustic.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (11/21)

    In Stock