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2020 Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino

2020 Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino

93 VM


Sokolin Notes:
Don't Miss This Terrific Italian Red - Only $24.99!

From the critics:

90 VM

Critic Reviews

The 2020 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Malandrino gets an official “wow” from the first tilt of the glass as violets and lavender give way to crushed blackberries, blueberries and hints of sweet spice. This is elegance personified, with a juicy core of acidity that enlivens its near-velvety textures and wild berry fruits. It finishes lightly structured, concentrated and long yet perfumed, making the 2020 a pleasure today, but also capable of medium-term cellaring. This is another outstanding vintage of Montepulciano Malandrino which, for all of its depth, has been refined completely in stainless steel tank since the 2012 vintage.

Vinous Media | 93 VM

Wine Details for 2020 Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino

Type of Wine Italy Red
Varietal Montepulciano : Italian culture is heavily rooted in winemaking; a tradition that has been taking place in the “boot” since the time of the Etruscans in 6th Century BC.  The Italian landscape is renowned for its breathtaking beauty as much for its sprawling vineyards.  Vineyards that have as much history as the land itself.  Along the picturesque Adriatic coast of central Italy, surrounded by the Le Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and Molise to the southeast, lies the historical, charming region of Abruzzo.  This is birthplace and home of the highly regarded and beloved Montepulciano grape variety (not to be confused with Vino Nobile de Montepulciano.  The aforementioned wine does not contain the Montepulciano grape, nor does the Montepulciano grape variety inhabit the town of Montepulciano – which is confusing and often mistaken)

Montepulciano is the 2nd most planted red grape in Italy (after Sangiovese) and has long endured the reputation of being a low-priced, juicy “pizza-friendly” red wine.  Fortunately, for the varietal and the region, there are several producers in Abruzzo that have shown the amazing potential of this grape by producing inky, black-fruit driven, chocolatey wines that demand patience, and attention.  Montepulciano winemaking is being revolutionized, and the potential for this mighty grape is just being unlocked.

When looking at Montepulciano wine profiles, they can take on several different personas depending on vinification process and vintner preference.  Oak-aged Montepulciano wines have, by far, garnered the most enthusiastic following abroad due to their richness.  These wines exhibit deep black-fruit flavors such as boysenberry, blackberry and prune, licorice and oaky flavors of cocoa, vanilla and mocha.  The wines are inky and sometimes have grippy tannin and require 4 or more years of aging in order to be approachable.

The second most common styling is neutral-aged Montepulciano; because Montepulciano has a lot of Anthocyanin (color) in the skins, some producers make a lighter style by having less contact with the skins during fermentation.  The wines come out bursting with red fruit flavors of sour cherry, red plum, cranberry and raspberry jam and are supported with subtle notes of violet, dried herbs and often an ash-like earthiness.  These bottlings are known to be inexpensive and approachable in their youth.  This is also a common method for producing Rosato (Rose) wines.

If Barolo is known for being the “iron fist in a velvet glove”, Montepulciano could be considered the opposite; incredibly bold coloration, with intense floral aromas, but soft, approachable and palate-friendly – it is a near enigma.  Globally known for indulgent flavors and strong color pigments, Montepulciano responds well to blending with other varieties, especially Sangiovese (its traditional blending partner).  However, there are limitations on the percentage that is permitted in the various growing locations of Abruzzo, Le Marche, Lazio and even Puglia.  For example, the Abruzzo DOC (Designation of Controlled Origin) permits a minimum of 85% of the Montepulciano, while the Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG (Designation of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) enforces a strict 90% minimum of the varietal, allowing only a maximum of 10% Sangiovese.  Riserva wines are produced in the greatest vintages and are required to age for two years, with at least one year in oak barrels and at least six months in bottle before release.

Due to its geographical location and conditions, it’s central, coastal location, it is evident that Abruzzo provides the quintessential terroir for growing grapes.  It also possesses a very unique meso-climate.  The diversity of terrain, elevations, distances from the sea and its many types of terroirs all contribute to its conducive growing environment.  Warm daytime temperatures combine with cool evening winds to provide the perfect environment for grapes to thrive.  Cool mountain currents combined with high altitudes help to control diurnal temperature variations on the slopes.  Along the coastline the sea absorbs the heat during the day and releases it at night which strongly influences Abruzzo’s viticulture.  The mountains keep rainstorms and inclement weather from the west at bay, which has an immensely positive effect on the grapes grown in the area.  Storms roll in from the east, bringing large amounts of rainfall to the vineyards at times.

The late-ripening, deep-purple, thick-skinned Montepulciano grape is perfectly suited to the terroir which is generally comprised of marly-clay, sandy-rich flysch, limestone soils and alluvium deposits.  The varietal is quite vigorous, needing deep soil in order to flourish.  Its vigorous nature, does however, need to be kept in check in order for yields to be kept low.  Montepulciano needs a long and warm growing season in order to successfully ripen, which it enjoys in Abruzzo and the outlying regions of Le Marche and Lazio.

Montepulciano is stepping out of the shadows of its past personality as an easy-drinking, “pizza-wine” and into a new age of sophistication, endearing consumers with its charm and rewarding vintners with global recognition.  Local winegrowers of Abruzzo demonstrate passion, professionalism and respect for the Abruzzo terroir, as well as treating the Montepulciano grape gently by cropping it at reasonably low levels so the vines can bear fruit-class fruit – first class fruit which produces first-class wines.

Country Italy : Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.

Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.

The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.

The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.

With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.

Region Abruzzo
Subregion Montepulciano d'Abruzzo


Producer Cataldi Madonna

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