Italo Pietrantonj ‘Cerano’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore DOC 2016

Estate: The Pietrantonj estate has a winemaking history of more than 200 years, documents dated to 1791 chronicle the family’s commitment to viticulture and agriculture. The 100 hectare [60 of which are vineyards] estate is located in Vittorito and Corfinio, in the heart of the Valle Peligna, the birthplace of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape. Today the 8th generation passionately preserve the “commitment, traditions, and innovation” of the family’s winegrowing history.

Winemaking: Grapes came from the Cerano Estate vineyard [340 meters in elevation], in Valle Peligna, Vittorito. The soil is medium textured and predominately clay. Matured in steel, then aged in the bottle for 2-3 months.

Tasting Notes: Gem-like, transparent ruby red in colour with aromas of summer ripe strawberry, rose and brambly earth. A fruity explosion of wild strawberry, raspberry and a hint of texture adding, sour cherry seamlessly meld into the silky, clean fruit finish. Fantastic on its own, just brilliant with any dish.

Enjoy between 12 -14°C [54-57°F]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Its impressive structure and full character perfectly suit it for accompanying first courses, lighter meats, mixed boiled meats, and medium-aged cheeses. It is delicious with fish, particularly grilled and fish broth. The adventuresome will enjoy it with pizza.

100% Montepulciano
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore DOC
Bottled in the production zone by Italo Pietrantonj sas
14% Alcohol
€14 [Average price, currently not available in the US, I was lucky to enjoy this in Dublin, Ireland]
Enjoy now

La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2015


Estate: The Botter family has been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices since 1928. Today, the company is managed by the family’s third generation and specializes in wines of the Veneto region of northern Italy. With its association with fairs, the carousel has been the symbol of the Botter family for centuries. The name La Fiera, translates to “The Fair” and refers to the medieval riding fairs in northern Italy. Fairs took place in royal courts and featured lavishly decorated horses and highly skilled riders performing synchronized formations. The carousal with its wooden horses on a rotating platform was developed to replicate the riders at these fairs.

Winemaking: Due to the higher than normal diurnal temperatures of the 2015 growing season, the wine shows a delicate aromatic profile.

Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour with floral aromas laced with cherry, plum, strawberry and summer woods. Morello cherry, cranberry and crushed white peppercorn are accented by floral notes in the medium to full body. Baked cherry and pink pepper infuse the lengthy finish. Dry tannins and good acidity make this a fantastic paring with a wide variety of dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Best with tomato-based pastas, pizza and roasted poultry.

Enjoy at 65-68°F [18-20°C]

100% Montepulciano
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo & C.S.P.A
13% Alcohol
$8 [average price]
Enjoy now

Rated 84 points by Wine Enthusiast, and a “Best Buy”


Sample submitted for review purpose.

Summer in a Can: Tiamo Organic Canned Wines

I consider myself a very savvy bevvie-on-the-go person. I’m renowned for being able to carry an always cool Rosé wherever I go. When I heard about the new Tiamo organic wine [made with off the beaten path grapes, Montepulciano and Grillo] in a can, I was onboard. I paired them with the beach, popcorn and long walks on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Not only wonderfully incognito and convenient, they taste really good!

Brand: Tiamo wines are one of the many labels of the pioneering, British husband and wife team of Mel and Janie Master, their son Charlie along with the Sager family. Renowned for bringing great value wines to the US, Mel was responsible for introducing and promoting the wines of Georges Duboeuf in the US. Through the years, the duo has consistently brought fantastic value wines to the US, along with setting up their own wineries [Jordan Winery, Les Jamelles, Tortoise Creek].

In addition to the cans, Tiamo Wines also produces bottled, organic Barbera, Chianti, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco from Italy. All the grapes are sourced from small growers and cooperatives.

Tiamo Organic Rosé Terre di Chieti IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with chalky soils in the coastal region of Abruzzo, in and around the village of Chieti, central Italy.

Tasting Notes: Pink with coral highlights in colour, with aromas of candied cherry, strawberry and wildflowers. Fresh cherry and strawberry flavours are accented by a streak of light minerality. Citrus zest lingers on the crisp, dry finish. Refreshing, easy drinking perfect with all summer activities.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Picnics, BBQ, boating, the perfect all-purpose wine, great as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta and cheese.

100% Montepulciano
Terre di Chieti IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Tiamo Organic White Terre Siciliane IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with limestone and sandy soils in Sicily.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle and fresh summer herbs. Light apricot and pear flavours are given tiny drop of honey and complimented by grapefruit and citrus zest on the zippy finish. A friendly, sunny sip.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect with sunsets, sitting on docks, ball games and as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta or cheese.

100% Grillo
Terre Siciliane IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013

masciarelli copy

Estate: The Masciarelli estate was founded in 1978 by pioneer winemaker Gianni Masciarelli. Located in central Italy on the Adriatic Coast, Gianni was passionate about raising the quality and potential of Abruzzo’s indigenous varietals, including Montepulciano. Established with only 2.5 hectares, the estate now includes about 320 hectares of vineyards that spread throughout 14 different towns within the 4 Abruzzo regions. With Gianni’s love of and respect for land and grapes, all vineyards are farmed organically, making it one of the largest organically farmed estates in Italy. Gianni passed away at the early age of 52, his wife Marina Cvetić, who was always by his side, now heads the estate.

Philosophy: Passionate about the Abruzzo region “with intense flavours, tastes and scents”, the estate focuses on native varietals, “great importance is given to the land and to its wine culture and tradition”.

Winemaking: The organically farmed vineyards are spread across 4 Abruzzo provinces and have their own individual characteristics, from different mineral/soil compositions to varying altitudes. The ‘Linea Classica’ is the first line created by Gianni Masciarelli has become over the years “a landmark for the company”. It makes up one of the 5 wine labels of the estate and is “the most consistent and known, in Italy and abroad”. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with clay soils, fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, black currant and traces of candied violet. Fruit forward with cherry, black cherry and black currant accented by peppery spice and earthy tree bark. Wrapping up nicely with a fruity finish. Consistently a good value, and gluggable companion to simple dishes. [Notice the redesigned label and new screwtop.]

100% Montepulciano
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC
Estate Bottled by Masciarelli Tenute Agricole
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Di Majo Norante ‘Ramitello’ Molise Rosso DOC 2011


Estate: The Di Majo Norante winery is a family run estate in operation since 1800, and in its currant form since 1968. Located in the southeastern region of Molise along the Adriatic Sea, vineyards in the area date back to 500 BC. With 213 acres of vineyards, the estate has a focus on “the quest for and recovery of grape species on the verge of extinction”. With research, experimentation and traditional farming techniques, they are making “new wines from old vines”, preserving and showcasing native grapes.

Philosophy: A “traditional approach to grape growing and wine production, centered on preserving all the characteristics of Mediterranean wine-making”.

Winemaking: Organic and sustainable methods are practiced, using techniques such as moths for parasite control, and utilizing only organic and mineral based fertilizers. Grapes were sourced “from from a selection of the best Montepulciano and Aglianico grapes grown in the Ramitello vineyard. After fermentation in stainless steel, the wine is aged in a combination of stainless steel tanks and barriques for eighteen months”.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with inviting aromas of chocolate, cherry, black pepper and licorice. Tasting quite similar to the aromas, with cherry, dark chocolate, woodsy spice and leather elements brightened by a food friendly acidity. Licorice and black cherry notes linger between each sip. Poised and friendly, this is a versatile glass at the table.

85% Montepulciano, 15% Aglianico
Molise Rosso DOC
Estate Bottled by Di Majo Norante Campomarino
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator