Illuminati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG (Abruzzo, Italy) “Zanna” 2011

($38, Montcalm Wine Imports): The somewhat unwieldy name of Abruzzo’s sole DOCG and the reputation of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for producing only inexpensive wine might put some consumers off from ordering this one.  That would be a mistake.   The Colline Teramane area within Abruzzo is uniquely well suited for the Montepulciano grape because its exposure to the sea and the elevation of the vineyards act as cooling influences, which allows the grapes to maintain their acidity thus instilling liveliness to the wines.  Illuminati is one of the leading producers in the DOCG.  Mineraly and dense, but with surprising elegance, this is a great choice for hearty pasta dishes or grilled beef.  An attractive hint of bitterness in the finish reminds you it’s serious wine.
91 Michael Apstein Mar 28, 2017