~ Pacentro, Abruzzo in L’Aquila ~

Abruzzo is one of the most diverse provinces in Italy and is divided, almost evenly down the middle, by an imaginary line that splits the region into two distinct climatic areas.  To the west, is the cooler higher altitudes influenced by the Apennine mountain range and to the east, a more coastal Mediterranean climate that is drier and hotter.  It can be a daunting area to farm, but that doesn’t appear to be hampering the Cerulli-Spinozzi family in the least.
~ Appetizers:  Pompodoro da il Orto con bocconcini ~
Within the large DOC for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo lies a tiny zone where the Italian government has recognized a superior climate, but more importantly superior soils, and has elevated that area to DOCG status.  Cerulli Spinozzi is one of the few producers making DOCG Montepulciano from this little slice of land in the Abruzzo mountains called Colline Teramane.  

Today, we continue our look at Cerulli Spinozzi after last week’s wonderful Cerasuolo.  In preparation for this piece,  I spoke to winemaker Enrico Cerulli about the wine and the story behind its name,  Torre Migliori. 
“Torre means Tower in Italian and Migliori is my maternal Grandmothers name.  My Nonna still has a house on the estate that overlooks some of the vineyards and stands like a Tower watching over the land. So, it’s just a little tribute to her.”   

~ The Pairing for the Torre Migliori:  Classic Abruzzese Pasta ~

The 2010 vintage was a broad success across Italy and Abruzzo was no exception.  Enrico Cerulli has created a masterpiece in this vintage that will reset the bar for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. 

The 2010 Cerulli Spinozzi Torre Migliori is a deep purple in the glass with a slight fade to violet at the rim of the bowl.  The aromas of the wine are compelling and complex. Crushed berry and black plum fruit dominate, but blue flowers, Alpine herbs, new leather and spices join the orchestration.  
The palate fits the motto of the Abruzzese perfectly:  “Forte e Gentile” – Strong and Gentle.  The round fruit flavors are full bodied with silky tannins that are perfectly integrated.  Wonderful structure that is joined by fresh herbs, minerals, and a slight cured meat note that excelled with the pasta dish.   The long, soft finish is wonderful to contemplate.  And contemplate I did.  This is the best Montepulciano d’Abruzzo I’ve ever tasted.  Bravo!  95 points.  Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample.
~ The Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG – Torre Migliori from Cerulli Spinozzi  ~

E vero!

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