Citra Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2010

I recently posted a wine experience I had while on travel.  If you read that one, you’ll know that by some miracle there was a BevMo! on the same block as a Total Wine store near my hotel.  Seriously?  How lucky for folks who live in that neighborhood!  And how lucky for me to be there for a short while, too.  Of course I went to both stores.  Like there was ever any doubt.  Ha!  Anyway, this little Italian red was what I nabbed at the BevMo!

Winemaker:  Citra
Wine:  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Vintage : 2010
Appellation:  Abruzzo, Italy DOP
Price:  $7.99 at BevMo!

Notes:  This was only my second Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, so I was very gung-ho to give this Citra selection a try.  When I poured it, I found it to be a very deep, inky purple.  The scents that wafted up from the glass included earth, dark berries and oak.  It was on the cusp between light- and medium-bodied with light tannins and 13% alcohol.  The acidity was what I would describe as moderate.  Drinking this Abruzzo wine was quite interesting – which was a good thing in this case.  I found that the fruit flavors – blackberry and dark cherry – were in the back seat.  In my opinion, it was cola and oak flavors up front.  There were also notes of green leafy herbs.  On the finish, the tannins brought me a nifty zing of bitter quinine.  Another pretty good experience with this varietal!  Even though the tannins were fairly light, I still think I might pair this with a cut of beef – like maybe a flat iron steak.  Or I bet it would be good with a hearty chicken dish as well.

Villa Cerrina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011

And the TJ tastings continue!  This time it’s an inexpensive little red from south central Italy.

Winemaker:  Villa Cerrina
Wine:  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Vintage : 2011
Appellation:  Abruzzo, Italy DOC
Price:  $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  I found this to be a nice, plush yet sedate, light-bodied red wine.  The wine is a nice dark plum in the glass with black raspberry and spice in the nose.  Primary flavors were cherry and black raspberry with hints of spice.   Tannins are modest-to-moderate.  Alcohol is 13%, and acidity is good but less than in many reds which probably gives it the plushness previously mentioned.  When the bottle first opened, the cherry flavor seemed a bit tart, but it settled.  This was a pleasant first experience with the Montepulciano varietal.  I could see this being paired with chicken, turkey or pork (but nothing too spicy or with heavy sauces, I’d think).

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.