La Valentina Spelt Montepulciano 2016

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Tasting Notes


This wine comes from Abruzzo, located in the middle of Italy’s eastern coast between the Apennines and the Adriatic. It can trace its winegrowing to the Etruscans, and some of their practices are still in use today. Montepulciano is the name of the grape (as well as the name of a town in Tuscany producing Vino Nobile from Sangiovese; the two are not related.)

The Montepulciano grape is at home on the east coast, with production centered on Abruzzo, extending north into Romagna and south as far as Puglia. It ripens fairly late, with harvest taking place from the end of September till the end of October. Its skins are rich in polyphenols, especially anthocynanins, so the wine is able to achieve deep opaque color with relatively brief maceration, thus avoiding harsh tannins. It has moderate acidity.

La Valentina was founded in 1990 by the Di Properzio family and has holding in several communes in the province of Pescara. Grapes for this wine grow at 150-300 meters with S/SW exposure. Soils are medium clay, both calcareous and loamy. Grapes were planted 1976-2008, and both vine-training systems are used. Vineyards have been organic for eight years. Although “up to 15% of nonaromatic red wine varieties” may be used, this is all Montepulciano.

Grapes were fermented with selected yeasts in tank, followed by 6-8 days of post-fermentation maceration. The wine aged in wood, 40% in barriques or larger barrels, 60% in 2500-liter Slavonian oak casks. Riservas must age a minimum of two years from 1 January following the harvest. This saw 16 months in oak, was blended, and aged another two months in cask. It was filtered, and aged one year in bottle.


This wine is far more aromatic than common co-op produced examples of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo often available, as well as being both denser and weightier. Spicy black berries are complemented by wood spice and toast notes. Toasty wood leads the attack, and sweet wood on the finish is striking. Fruit and tannins are well balanced and become integrated as the wine breathes. Flavors are complex and intense, with each sip offering a new development. Medium bodied with a longer finish, and definitely a wine for food.


Try this with arrosticini, a local dish of grilled lamb skewers, or other local favorites like roast lamb or kid. Pair with toothy pasta and ragú. Rich fatty foods work well, such as spicy sausages. Pizza is yet another partner.


Food Pairing Suggestions

Charcuterie, Duck, Pizza, Roasted Root Vegetables, Tomato Sauce

Italy , Abruzzo
Grape Varietal:
100% Montepulciano
$22.00 each