Podere Castorani, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Casauria Riserva 2015 (about $32)

Italian Wine for april, 2023

Montepulciano is by a wide margin the major red grape variety in the Abruzzo region and is included in the vast majority of red wines produced in Abruzzo. The Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC covers a lot of ground and includes almost all of eastern Abruzzo.

While Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines have suffered some harsh appraisals in the past, recent growth in number of talented winemakers with an enlightened approach to viticultural practices has super-charged the local wine scene to the extent that Abruzzo today is considered one of Italy’s most exciting wine regions.

The Castorani winery is located in Alanno, a small town about 20 miles inland from the Adriatic coast in central Abruzzo. Castorani’s vineyards enjoy the advantages of ideal sun exposure and cooling night-time winds from the Adriatic which enhance the quality, structure and balance of wines produced here.

Castorani’s principal grape varieties are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for reds and Trebbiano for whites. The average age of the estate’s vineyards is over 30 years and all vineyards are cultivated in accordance with strict organic protocols.

The winery is located in the Casauria sub-zone of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo appellation, one of nine different viticultural areas that have been identified as producing wines of significant quality. Each sub-zone has its own wine-making and ageing protocols and consequently their names can be included on the wine labels as a defined viticultural zone within the overall Montepulciano d’Abruzzo appellation.

Castorani’s 2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Casauria Riserva consists entirely of Montepulciano grapes 2015 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Casauria Riserva from the Castorani winery in Abruzzoharvested from the estate’s best and oldest vineyard sites.

Fermentation and maceration take place in concrete tanks over a 40-day period that helps soften the wine. The wine is then aged for 30 months, first, for 12 months on the lees in large-format oak barrels followed by 6 months in concrete tanks and then an additional 12 months in the bottle prior to release for sale. The wine is bottled unfiltered and has 14 percent alcohol.

This full-bodied, expansive wine opens with enticing blackberry jam, cassis and vanilla aromas alongside some earthy, rustic notes followed by a deep core of ripe black cherry and raisiny dried-fruit flavors. The abundant tannins are velvety and soft-edged and the dense texture is supported by a subtle wave of acidity and freshness.

Even though it has a weighty structure with a full, rich mouthfeel it still maintains a confident style and structure. And the finish is a real treat - long, grippy and persistent with ripe, black fruit notes.

This Riserva is best enjoyed with rich, hearty dishes such as game or lamb and also goes well alongside roasted vegetables, mushroom risotto and aged cheeses.


©Richard Marcis
April 10, 2023

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