Praesidium Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva A Marianna 2012


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“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)