Montevetrano takes its names from a medieval castle that dates to the Roman empire. Formerly a property of French royalty, the blending of the two cultures was the original inspiration for the wine which marries Cabernet Sauvignon with Aglianico.
Montevetrano is a small zone in the hills near the commune of San Cipriano Picentino, not far from Salerno. Mountains surround the property, with the vineyards situated on gentle slopes facing south by southwest. The heart of the estate is a beautiful ancient villa. In the first years of production the basement of the villa also served as the cellar. Now the wine is made and stored in a new modern cellar that proprietor Silvia Imparato built in 2000. Today she uses the old cellar for tastings and storage of private vintages.
For this article, we dove into the cellar to retrieve a perfectly aged example of this wine. At 14 years of age, this is displaying stunning complexity, power and freshness.
The 2003 Montevetrano is 50% Cabernet, 30% Aglianico and 20% Merlot. It was vinified in stainless steel and then refined in new French barrique for 12-14 months before an additional 6 months in bottle prior to release. The color is a youthful deep purple with black hues at the center and lighter ruby toward the rim. We decanted the wine and quite a bit of sediment was removed.
Aromas of coffee, black plum, blue flowers, toast, and crushed stones were noted. It was amazing to smell. On the palate, notes of powdered black chocolate, espresso bean, black fruits, tobacco and herbs were harmonious. Tannins are fairly well resolved and there is plenty of acidity to keep the wine fresh. With the osso bucco, any shred of tannin left melted away completely. This is in a wonderful place right now, so if you’ve got some, it’s time top open. Magnifico! 97 points. About $55 retail.
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