New Wine: Fiamme Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Riserva 2012

With over 3,500 different varieties of grapes it’s hardly surprising that there is so much good wine in Italy. Hardly surprising that there is so much bad wine too – but that tends to be in the bracket of what I call “plonk”. Bear in mind that Sicily produces more wine than any other region in Italy and possibly more wine than the entire rest of Italy (if you believe certain statistics). It contributes enormously to the plonk wine lake that enshrouds the less expensive wines of this country. In researching the wines of Abruzzi I was drawn to comments made by a select few critics that ranged from: ‘Despite such ample provision, an emphasis on quantity rendered it the most exported DOC wine—as well as one of the most lacking in distinction.’ And: ‘One may naturally assume that Abruzzo is inherently deficient, lacking the essential elements necessary to support quality wine production.’

Not a great start when being offered a sample of a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. But is became very evident that this was a wine that had slipped through the gaps of mediocrity and was well placed to win best in class. Fiamme Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Reserva 2012. It has all the hallmarks of what once can expect from Abruzzi wines – plenty of dark fruit, soft tannins, and fleshy roundness. But it was the balance of all elements that drew me to the wine. Lovely ripe berries, integrated tannin and acidity, deftness of cedar and oak and a full body that didn’t drown you in neutrality. This is a great every day wine, made even better when purchased by the case with a 15% discount!

Bottle price: $15.00
Case price (solid): $12.75/$153.
15% Offer ends: February 5, 2016