Some Montepulciano

The wine was a 2004 La Valentina Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (Sheesh, these Italian varietals are often a mouthful!). It clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost around $13 at MV Wine and Spirit in Madison, CT.

An unforgiving nose on this one. Some barnyard funk (not in a good way) when I opened the bottle that eventually blew off, but underneath that, there was not much there. Maybe some spice, oak, and currants. In the mouth, the wine was flat, I’m wondering if it was past its prime. I got some indistinguishable dark fruit, spice, but overall it seemed hollow. After a few hours, I found some dark cherry and raspberries, and the wine had finally started to open up. I found it to be terribly bitter and tannic at the beginning, but that gave way a bit as the hours passed (my mom and I drank this bottle and it literally took over 4 hours for us to get through it).

I’m not sure if the wine was too young or too old, but something wasn’t quite right here.

6 Responses

  1. Sounds to me like something was wrong with this bottle. Next time, you can just cork it and bring it back to the retailer the next time you’re there (or call them if it was an internet purchase). They should be able to provide you with a replacement bottle at no charge — since they can just get a credit from their distributor. This is assuming the bottle is not over 10 years old (then it’s buy at your own risk).

    Guessing that the folks at Valentina won’t be pulling quotes from this review for their website!

  2. I’m betting this wine was past its prime, since most Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – including any I’ve tried – are meant to be drunk within two years. Like many Nebbiolo-based wines, some longer-than-average decanting time is sensible.

  3. I love that stove in the background!
    My grandmother had one just like it.

  4. Well I have completely the opposite comment from winehiker. No offense! 🙂 What do I know?
    I would say that in just 3 years it wouldn’t be dead yet. Dissappointed to hear the funk was not good, I love some good barnyard funk.

  5. Oh my, not a good sign. Barn-yard funk is not what I’ve experienced with Montepliciano or Montepliciano ‘Abruzzo. Like any grape, there are variations from vintage and producer. But barn-yard funk that blows off, bless your heart for sticking with it to find something positive. Terrible bitter? And you finished the bottle? Please try another Montepulciano. (i.e. get back on the horse!)

  6. Jill-It was bought in CT…far away from here!

    That could definitely be it Russ.

    Velvet Fog-that’s the house original! My parents bought the place 30 years ago and it came with the house! Still going strong.

    John, I love me some barnyard funk too, but this was not that!

    Taster a-definitely not a good sign.

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