Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Easy Drinking Italian Bargain Red

Citra Vini, an association of wineries in Abruzzo established in 1973, covers a lot of ground in Chieti.  The winegrowing group is located near the Majella, a limestone massif in the Apennine mountain range, Gran Sasso, the highest peak around and the Adriatic Sea. 

Their website explains a bit of the storied history of the Montepulciano grape.  Hannibal reportedly gave the wine to his soldiers for its supposed restorative powers, and Ovid praised it in a poem.   The Citra umbrella shades a lot of labels, and this would appear to their bargain brand, as it sells for less than ten bucks.

There was scant information available about the wine, but a winemaking team of 19 worked on it, so at least they had a lot of experience in the cellar.  Alcohol hits a reasonable 13% abv.

Citra Vini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017

The nose on this 2017 Italian wine is a bit fuzzy at first, but the cherries and blackberries are there, along with a strong initial whiff of chocolate.  It's medium-ruby in color and offers cherry, black cherry and a hint of raspberry on the palate.  Tannins are reasonable, if not very firm, and the acidity is quite refreshing.  I snacked it with a hard Italian cheese, the name of which escapes me.  Pair it with meat or tomato sauce dishes and you'll be fine.