Vail Finds from the Vine: High quality, low price
VAIL, Colorado -Talk about a bad rep. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is known as cheap (in the bad sense), over-ripe, kinda sweet-tasting, red wine. Yes, many are just this, but there are also some big boys that can stand up to a steak or sit in your cellar for years to impress your friends when the time arrives. Don’t pay $50 for this opportunity – try the 2007 Caldora Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a strong, dark red brute at a reasonable $14.The regionally characteristic plum and ripe berry flavors are here, but the fine tannins and structure are a pleasant surprise. Typical Italian acidity is present on the finish, and the earth, graphite and black pepper tones set this wine above the rest from the region. Go with a New York strip, or at least hamburgers, to naturally soften this wine. Your basic salami or elk jerky will also pair nicely. A few minutes in your glass will help the situation, letting the violet and plum aromas sally forth. Abruzzo lies about halfway down the Italian boot, on the east coast, by the Adriatic Sea. The 2007 Caldora is 100 percent Montepulciano grape. Caldora is a co-op, with about 3,000 acres of vineyards. Only about 500 acres are used for the Caldora label, with the rest of the grapes sold. This selection process keeps the Caldora quality high, and the prices of their wines low. Hmmm, high quality, low price. Someone ought to write that formula down. Jarrett Osborn is the wine buyer at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.