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The Gran Sasso vineyards are situated among the hills in the provinces of Chieti and Teramo in the region of Abruzzo while the beautiful modern winery is located in the town of Ortona. Abruzzo is located in the central eastern part of Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The unique position of the vineyards allows them to benefit from the sea and mountain breezes, producing wines that are full in body and truly represent the characteristics of the region. Valentino Sciotti is involved with a number of wineries in Puglia, Campania (he is the man behind Vesevo) and his native Abruzzi.
The Gran Sasso wines are made by young winemaker Marco Flacco and display a freshness and directness of fruit that is seldom found in this region. Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Valentino and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
This wine is deep ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. It is clean, fresh and plummy on the nose, rich, supple and accessible on the palate. It is balanced and full-bodied with good tannins. The fresh, primary fruit characters are maximised by the fact that it does not age in oak, making it approachable and ready to drink.
It's hard to find a sub-$10 wine with character but this is loaded with it, which makes this one of the bargains of the year. It smells of blood plums (pips and all), cherries, leather and tobacco. It's medium bodied, with nice flavours of cherries, plum, hazelnuts and dried herbs. In the mouth there's a fine tannic grip and juicy acid that lead to a nice herbal finish. Love a bargain? Ben Thomas, The Weekly Review
Yes, that’s right, it’s now sealed with a screwcap. I put this under the nose of my wife, who, it has to be said, is one of the fussiest wine drinkers around, and she liked it immediately. That’s an achievement in itself, and then I told her the price. Amazement. Anyway, I gave it a quick run before dinner formally and with dinner informally (I took off my tasting bow tie) and it impressed me twice.
Blood plum, nuts, licorice and some chocolate on a middle weight palate that delivers plenty of flavour along with attractive chewiness and freshness. The length is particularly impressive and closes with a desirable Italianate bitterness, like chicory or similar. Is it the best release of Gran Sasso to date? I suspect so. I defy you to find a more interesting, savoury wine with modest alcohol and food friendliness at the price. If you do, please let me know. It’s ever so slightly better than a 90 point wine, so I’m rounding up. Rated : 91 Points Winefront
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