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Montepulciano d’Abruzzo satisfies a red lover’s desire for a fruity, dry, balanced, tannic wine as well as the desire to not spend a fortune. Abruzzo’s famous winemaker Vittorio Festa has made a red for Bove that fulfills both these desires. As one wine critic puts it “drinks like the Majors but is priced in the Little League”. Clearly, this one hits it out of the park. This new-world style Italian drinks like a Napa Cab from the next big boutique winery at a fraction of the price. Bove Montepulciano delivers a hefty dose of new oak and tannins - minus the hefty price tag.
About the wine
The wine has a deep, dense intense ruby red color, with a purple rim and obvious viscosity. It is intense on the nose with ripe black berry, cassis, wild strawberry and spices. This dry wine has balanced alcohol, acidity and ripe tannins, pronounced fruit and great length. Perfect with grilled red meats and game, particularly kid, hare and venison and also with aged, dry cheese. Harvested in late October, it’s aged partly in barrique and partly in concrete vats. Only 300 cases imported.
About the winery
In 1930, current-owner Dario Bove’s grandfather bought a winery in the Palentini Plains with 75 acres. A family-affair, Dario’s father took the winery over from his father, and in 1960 he constructed a new wine cellar and continued to improve the wines both in quantity and quality. Bove wines now reach around the world through Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, South America, North Africa, and proudly, The Vatican. Today, Dario continues the passion and innovation in the Bove cellar passed down from his grandfather and father.
About the vineyard
Seated the Adriatic coast of central Italy, Abruzzo is situated halfway up the “boot.” Its immediate neighbors are Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west and Molise to the south-east. Winemaking in the region dates back to the 6th century BC when the Etruscans played a major role in introducing viniculture to the area. Abruzzo is ideally situated between the Adriatic sea to the east, and the Apennines and Maiella mountain ranges to the west – including Gran Sasso, one of Italy’s highest peaks at more than 9500ft. The 35-year-old Marso vineyards are the oldest of the winery. Planted in the Teramane hills, the vineyard soil is made of medium density clay, outstanding growing conditions that make Montepulciano shine.
About the winemaker
Born in 1963, Vittorio Festa is one of the most influential winemakers in the Abruzzo Region. Since 1987 he has had his own wine lab where he directs quality control for many of the region’s wineries. He was a member of the ONAV (Organizzazione nazionale assaggiatori vino) assembly till 2001, and now he is on the commission in charge of designating appellations for wines. He is a tasting member of both the D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. wines of the Chamber of Commerce of Pescara and the Chamber of Commerce of Chieti. Festa is highly esteemed in the region, and his name graces only wines of the highest quality like this Bove Marso.
Winemaker: Vittoria Festa
Appellation: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
- 96 pts, Melanie Kaman, WSET Advanced
- 94 pts, Ryan Zeman, Wine Director Civico San Diego
Grapes: 100% Montepulciano
96 pts, Melanie Kaman, WSET Advanced
"Outstanding, heavy gauge bottle and expensive package, for a wine that over-delivers in quality and style. Excellent value wine from an up-and-coming producer in hot region. Luscious and velvety in the mouth, the wine is bold with ripe red and blue fruits. It lingers in the mouth and is balanced and spicy on the finish. Perfect with arrabbiata pasta, charred steak or gnocchi with duck ragout."