I am writing a series of posts about wineries from Abruzzo to keep attention focused on that region which is recovering from a devastating earthquake which took place on April 6.
Everyone who has ever had a wine from Abruzzo in the United States has likely come across the name Gianni Masciarelli. Masciarelli is a very well known winery that produces signature grapes from Abruzzo, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and exports much of its production.
Located in the town of San Martino Sulla Marrucina in the province of Chieti, between the Adriatic sea and Mount Maiella, the winery has been credited with bringing Abruzzo’s wine making techniques to a new level. The charismatic namesake of this winery died suddenly last year at 53. Vinowire, an Italian wine news wire service reported on his death as did one of its editors, Franco Ziliani on his well loved blog, Vino al Vino. While the owner has sadly left us, his wines continue his legacy.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Masciarelli but his wines have been on my radar for many years. I had the occasion to taste them again both at Vinitaly and at the Tre Bicchieri tasting in New York. These wines never disappoint. Whether it is the Trebbiano, the Cersasuolo or the two Montepulciano cru wines, Marina Cvetic 2002 and Villa Gemma 2005. These last are both deeply colored, full bodied wines that are a beautiful expression of this grape with nuanced notes of black fruit, vanilla, tobacco, spice, nuts and fig. The wines were long lived and had a velvety mouth feel. Hard pressed if asked to choose which one I prefer, I find them slightly different but each very rewarding on the palate. Always a pleasure, I was glad to see the Masciarelli stand at Vinitaly was packed. Masciarelli’s wines are imported by Martin Scott Wines.