Valori Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Doc 2018
1 or more bottles$29.99
Mark Faber94 points
Alistair Cooper90 points
James Suckling93 points
Masciarelli Tenute Agricole was established in 1981 from the entrepreneurial intuition of Gianni Masciarelli. Gianni was a believer in the high quality of wines that could come from the diverse regions of Abruzzo, often overlooked by drinkers on the west coast and north of Italy. Valori is a small, family owned winery represented and distributed by the Masciarelli family. They have close family ties to each other.
Valori wines come from the western coastal section of Abruzzo, based around the town of Pescara, where the mountains meet the sea. This region is a popular tourist destination due to the abundant sunshine, sand and seafood from the Adriatic sea. The wines reflect this in their light, mineral body, warm but balanced flavours and exceptional acidity to match a diverse range of dishes. Wines are made by the ever-energetic Luigi Valori (former professional footballer for Ascoli Calcio). He has been producing wine on his family estate since 1996. His vineyards in the commune of Teramo in northern Abruzzo near the Marche border are certified 100 percent organic. He has been producing wine on the estate since 1996. His yield is around 1.5-2 kilograms of grapes per vine. In keeping with organic regulations, he treats the vines only with copper and sulphur. But he notes that grapevines find the copper mildly toxic. They react to it by forming slightly smaller berries with much thicker walls. By growing organic grapes with skins packed with tannins and polyphenols, Valori gives himself a leg up in the quest to make a great wine from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
This Montepulciano has a pretty nose of red cherry, truffle and black earth, as well as hints of cedar spices. A fine, light body follows with a clean, pure line of acidity underneath. Tannins are food-worthy and chalky with balanced alcohol on the savoury finish.
Zero added sulfites or additives (Natural) and certified Organic.
Light (Light)Full (Full)
Low Tannin (Low Tannin)Tannic (Tannic)
Sweet (Sweet)Dry (Dry)
Low Acidity (Low Acidity)High Acidity (High Acidity)
- Red Cherry
- Red Cherry
- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"Bright, vibrant nose bursts from the glass with redcurrant and bramble notes, which translate well on the palate, supported by a chalky mineral line of acidity and a lacy frame of tannin. Ready to drink now but will age for a further 2-4 years."
Alistair Cooper MW90
"A serious and organic version of this fun and juicy grape . Wild berries, chcolate and a sweet cassis scent on the nose. Very tight and taut tannins and a sweet wild berry fruit led mid poalate. Savoury and spicy with a long layered finish. Perfect with beef ragu."
"(2017 Vintage) Blackberries, cloves, smoked meat and some dried seaweed, too. It’s full-bodied and flavorful with wonderful depth of ripe black and blue fruit, as well as mineral and umami notes. Firm yet velvety tannins. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold."
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Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.
The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.
Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Located in the east coast of central Italy, Abruzzo is a wine region which dates back to the sixth century B.C., when the Etruscans first introduced viticulture to the region, but went into decline for many centuries until about 50 years ago. Since then, there has been ample attempt to revive the viticulture of the beautiful region of Abruzzo, which is surrounded by mountains and is home to many national parks and forests.
Although the most favorable grape growing conditions can be found in the low hills of Teramo, the whole region boasts of perfect conditions for viticulture. As a result of various minerals found in the soil structure, bountiful sunshine, moderate rainfall and cool temperatures at night, the region produces grapes which are bursting with full flavour. The three DOC produced in Abruzzo are the Contro Guerra, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and the one DOCG is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane. The main grapes used here are red montepulciano and white Trebbiano.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is one of the most widely exported DOC wines in Italy with much of the drinking world enamoured with the dry, soft, rustic reds that originate from there.
As the name suggests, the predominant variety is Montepulciano, though up to 15% Sangiovese is allowed to be added to the blend. If your Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine is labelled as "Riserva" it means the winemaker has aged the wine for a minimum of 2 years before release.
The area itself is in the south of Italy from the Apennines foothills down to a few miles inland from the Adriatic coast. It's one of Italy's most mountainous regions with more than 60% of all Abruzzo being considered mountainous terrain. Some peaks reach as high as 9000 feet above sea level!
Within Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC region there is the smaller Colline Teramane (Teramo hills) DOCG. It covers vineyards planted in Teramo and 30 surrounding communes and was only established as a DOC in 1995 and promoted to DOCG in 2003. Colline Teramane wines have similar rules to the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines, however the wines need to made from a minimum of 90% Montepulciano (maximum of 10% Sangiovese is permitted)
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About the brand Valori
“When you grow completely organically,” says Luigi Valori of Azienda Valori in Abruzzo, “an interesting thing happens to the grapes. The skins become very thick.” That’s more than an obscure botanical fact. It completely changes the potential of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape.
Colour, tannin, and polyphenols all dwell in the skins of red wine grapes. More of those things make up for the shortcomings of mass-produced wine. Like many Italian wines, the reputation of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo suffers from a tradition of overproduction. Wines can still meet DOC standards while being grown at weights up to 10 kilograms per vine. Since the grape has naturally sweet and soft tannins, overproduction creates wines that are soft, flabby and don’t age well. But properly grown with a limited yield and vinted with care for its peculiarities, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can be an elegant, structured, and noble.
A former professional footballer for Ascoli Calcio, Valori is a botanist by training. His vineyards in the commune of Teramo in northern Abruzzo near the Marche border are certified 100 percent organic. He has been producing wine on the estate since 1996. His yield is aaround 1.5-2 kilograms of grapes per vine/ In keeping with organic regulations, he treats the vines only with copper and sulphur. But he notes that grapevines find the copper mildly toxic. They react to it by forming slightly smaller berries with much thicker walls. By growing organic grapes with skins packed with tannins and polyphenols, Valori gives himself a leg up in the quest to make a great wine from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.