Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Cantina Zaccagnini il vino "dal tralcetto" Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (2014) is the complete name for this exemplary bottle of fine red dinner wine.  "Tralcetto" is important as an identifier since it means grapevine and opportunely Zaccagnini ties a two inch piece of vine around the neck of each bottle.  If you wanted to make your product stand out when comingled with other shelf stock in your local store, why not visually connect it with its origins.

Cantina Zaccagnini is a family-owned and operated business (est. 1978) that has successfully grown its production through modernization of wine making methods.  Grape crushing, maceration, and filtration is all done in a vacuum and fermentation is thermally-controlled using advanced equipment.  Sterile stainless steel conditions are maintained everywhere before the wine finally sees four to six months in oak.

We have blogged before about Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.  Montepulciano is the grape; Abuzzo is the farming country halfway down the back side of the boot of Italy.  Neither grape nor place were considered remarkable historically since the mountains there tended to isolate them from surrounding Italy.  Only through the efforts of the natives were they able to cultivate the now heralded cuisine of Abbruzzo.  That cuisine includes pork, mutton, and goat meat along with Pecarino, Ricotta, and other cheeses that accompany the vegetables and spices of the region.  A disproportionate number of Italy's great chefs also seem to grow there!  We mention all of this to get to what should be obvious - if the foods are this rich and diverse and Montepulciano is the sole red wine of the region then it must be one incredible dinner wine!

Characteristics for this wine include "intense ruby color and a similarly intense characteristic bouquet, a robust full body, and firm acidity with fine tannins".  Flavors include "integrated mocha and tar accents, dark plum, black licorice, olive paste, and oak".  Our retail for this fine example of type is $15 making it a clear step up from entry level Montepulciano.

One more thing - that piece of grapevine tied around the neck of the bottle is far from incidental.  The Zaccagninis subsidize a nearby home for disabled individuals who earn that stipend by tying the twig onto the bottle necks.

Please join us here at the store on Thursday the 17th at 5pm as we entertain Scott and Michelle Carey, the proprietors of Emerald Hare Winery of California.  The Careys will be presenting their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Red Blend and Rose for our consideration that evening.

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