"It’s always a special pleasure to see our own livery staring back at us once the bottle bags are removed at our Wine Champions tastings, and this ripe, fragrant montepulciano – the first of six Champions from Italy’s outstanding 2015 vintage – was a popular performer. Vibrant and versatile everyday red.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the seldom overpriced but frequently variable wine made from the eponymous red grape variety on Italy’s Adriatic coast. At its best it is flavoursome, deeply coloured and delightfully fruity. Most of the wine here is produced at winemaking co-operatives.
The Society’s version is made by the Roxan co-operative, known for their special relationships with 700 individual growers who, unusually in a co-operative set-up, are given a significant amount of input into the final wines. While up to 1,000 hectares of land is farmed, less than 10% of the grape yield in each vintage is actually bottled by the co- operative which keeps quality control reassuringly strict. These are smooth, stylish wines at the price. The winery itself is located in the town of Rosciano, near Pescara, and each bottling tends to be drawn from vineyard-specific sites.
Buyer Sebastian Payne MW recalls that The Society first looked to buy wines from the Roxan co-operative after Edoardo Valentini, the brilliant but eccentric local winemaker and one of the most influential figures of his generation, sold his surplus grapes to it. Valentini was fiercely secretive, shunning wine critics and the wine establishment in general, yet this particular co-operative was the only one he trusted to turn his grapes into good wine. He died in 2012, but his son continues his estate, and upholds his father’s trust in the Roxan co-operative."
What we say:
One of the first bottles I bought from the Wine Society and it's one of their most popular wines apparently. We had this as a family and I very much enjoyed it. We drank it with bolognese and it went down a treat; not a sweet wine but what I think of as a classic red.