Novaripa, Agronika Montepulciano, 2020
Abruzzo is an Italian wine region on the Adriatic coast of eastern Italy. A historic area for production and of great significance to Italian wine, some of the country's most celebrated and influential producers hail from this region. Abruzzo also enjoys full autonomy from the rest of Italy's wine regions, with little influence from the Tuscans to the west or the Venetians to the north impacting winemaking here. Actually, Abruzzo stands out for its notable co-operative method of producing wine, where over two-thirds of the region's wine is produced with multiple families farming small parcels of land and selling grapes into the larger co-op for production.
Novaripa uses their extensive co-op of 200+ organic and sustainable grape growers to assemble this delicious offering where Montepulciano is the star of the show. A red grape variety grown widely in central Italy, the most famous and highly regarded examples come from Abruzzo, and, more specifically, Chieti.
Produced without any oak influence, hand-harvested Montepulciano undergoes a long and slow fermentation in stainless steel before spending a full year resting ahead of bottling. This winemaking technique preserves the primary fruit flavours and freshness of the wine, lending to some extra juicy aromatics of blackberry, cherry and liquorice. The palate is ripe and round with black plum, blackberry and red currant notes hitting alongside some subtle tannins.
Definitely a wine to enjoy in its youth, this ultra food-friendly wine plays well with everything from pizzas and burgers to spicy pastas like amatriciana or more familiar meals like lasagna and roasted meats.