Fantini Farnese Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1.5 L Magnums
I hate to say it, but I think Robert Parker got this wine exactly right. Truly, this sultry, rich and easy-drinking Montepulciano is not just a crowd-pleaser, but it will also warm your heart and your soul.
Robert Parker not your guy? How about the International Wine Challenge to add a bit of geographic diversity to your wine crique? Their comment about Fantini Farnese’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: “one of the smoothest, most flavoursome reds we’ve tasted. Gold medal.”
So what exactly is this Adonis of a wine?
The region is Abruzzo, a warmer-climate region down near the heel of the Italian boot, on the Adriatic side. Farnese is the family name, which dates back to when Prince Farnese married Princess Margaret of Austria and these powerful wines became the toast of feasts across Europe. As you can imagine, that was quite a while ago.
The “Fantini” line of wines is the creation of three men, Filippo Baccalaro, Valentino Sciotti and Camillo De Iulis. In 1993 they were working at Farnese and came up with the idea of using the Abruzzo region and its muscular Montepulciano grape to make a wine that was both boldly flavored but also could command an everyday price. A leader of a wine that could introduce the world to Abruzzo in general and to the Farnese family in particular.
And boy, did they succeed. At the time few had heard of this region or grape, but a mere decade later their creation had won “Best Italian Red” at the aforementioned International Wine Challenge. And with this, the current 2016 vintage, the pedigree certainly shows:
The wine opens with profound aromas of Marasca cherries, ripe Moyer plums, and touches of vanilla. It is full-bodied on the palate, but not sloppy – it delivers its richness while still maintaining an elegant Italian core – a freshness that makes it perfect as a cocktail or as a partner for a meal served with an Italian sunset. It’s solidly a crowd-pleaser, everyone can find something to love about this wine, and hey, magnums are the perfect size bottle for a couple to enjoy over a long romantic meal.
That’s right – I said magnums, a double-sized bottle. Not to get too technical but I’m not that good at math, so I will spell it out. The 750ml, regular sized botttle’s Suggested Retail Price is $15. We’ve got the magnum, or double -ized bottle, for far less than that. Maybe saving some money is not the most romantic thing to do on Valentine’s Day. But hey, we’re not gonna tell! Let’s get to some good drinking.