Central Italian Wine Review: 2009 Fratelli Barba and 2008 Saladini Pilastri
First, a note on Montepulciano, which is both a region (where Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is mode) and a grape. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from (mostly) Sangiovese.
Second, a bit of geography. Abruzzo is a region in central Italy, east of Rome. Le Marche is right next door, directly north of Abruzzo. The wines from these regions are nice: Softer than the more intense and tannic Sangiovese wines that predominate from the regions west of here. We tried two; one a 100% Montepulciano wine, one a blend.
2009 Fratelli Barba Pregio Del Colle Morino Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC – 100% Montepulciano from Abruzzo (of course). This is a soft wine, deliciously fruity and loaded with cherry notes. Lots of fruit, simple body, clean finish. Summery and light. A- / $12
2008 Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno DOC – This La Marche wine, a blend of 50% Montepulciano and 50% Aglianico, is sold in the U.S. with four different labels. Regardless of the picture on the front, this is a bolder, jammier experience than the Barba, lush with blueberries and strawberries, plus touches of chocolate and green tea. A- / $18