When most people think of Montepulciano, they think of the Tuscan town famous for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a wine based on the regional Sangiovese grape (here called Prugnolo Gentile) and made in a style that falls somewhere between the lighter Chiantis and richer Brunellos. But there’s another Montepulciano worth knowing.
Over dinner, I recently opened a bottle of Il Feuduccio’s Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Ursonia 1999. As the name suggests, it’s made from the Montepulciano grape grown in the Abruzzo region located on Italy’s eastern coastline with the Adriatic. While some ampelographers believe this grape is a long-lost descendant of Sangiovese, the grape’s inherent inky color, light tannins and lower acidity make it more comparable to Barbera.
The Ursonia fell right in line, displaying dark layers of spicy plum pudding and blackberry compote woven with mature notes of bresaola, grilled herbs and dried flowers. Despite its softer acidity and age, the finish was lively with a long, mineral tang. All together, it was a perfect pairing partner for my plate of seared grassfed sirloin, garlic spinach and rosemary roasted sweet potatoes. I rated the wine 89 points, non-blind, and newer vintages of it retail for under $40.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Il Feuduccio Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Ursonia 1999 (88, $41).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.