Tried and Tasted – Our New House Wines

Yes, it was exhausting, but after putting life, limb and liver selflessly on the line, the 2013 Villasfor2 house red and house white wines have emerged triumphant from tastings.

All that remains now is for you to turn up and try them.

Let me introduce the winners…

Red. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC. ‘Donna Mira’ 2010. Cantina Ortona

Our 2013 house red

As with all our previous house reds, Donna Mira – named after the sister of the first President of Cantina Ortona back in the 1960’s – is made from 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo grapes. The red wine grape of Abruzzo.

But the similarity ends there.

For the past three years, we’ve chosen lighter, first-release Montepulciano reds to take advantage of the freshness and fruit of young wine.

Our new red is different. In comparison to 2012, when we were drinking wine from the 2011 vintage, our new Montepulciano is from the 2010 vintage and owes its extra age to time spent maturing in oak barrels before bottling.

The result is a rounder, smoother, classier wine – still packed with delicious bramble fruit, but with a subtle hint of cinnamon spiciness too and a long finish.

It’s a wine that’ll drink well with most pasta and meat dishes – and for reflective sipping and setting the world to rights as you sit outside your villa watching the shadows lengthen on a warm evening.

Our supplier, Cantina Ortona, is the largest co-op in the town of Ortona, about thirty miles north of us on the coast.

Their vineyards are some of the best in southern Abruzzo, on slopes overlooking the Adriatic.

White. Trebbiano D’Abruzzo DOC 2011. Cantina San Zefferino

Our 2013 house white

Our new house white is a radical change from our house whites of the past three years. Those have all been made from the Pecorino grape, an ancient Abruzzo heritage variety rescued from the brink of extinction in the mid-1990’s.

Now we’ve gone for a wine made 100% from the Trebbiano grape which, in contrast to Pecorino, is Abruzzo’s most widely-grown white wine variety.

We came across this bottle by chance, as we’d visited Cantina San Zefferino to audition their Montepulciano D’Abruzzo – but it was the tasting of their Trebbiano that completely won us over.

The Trebbiano grape is a bit of a conundrum. It’s a grape from which it’s easy to produce good everyday wine. But it’s a lot harder to produce a wine that’s outstanding – and Cantina San Zefferino have achieved this.

Here’s about as perfect a summer white as you’re ever going to find. Fermented in stainless steel vats after pressing to capture the maximum fruit and freshness of the Trebbiano grape, this wine is a pale straw colour; fresh and dry; with the lightest fragrance of elderflowers and just a little refreshing green apple acidity.

It’s by far and away the best Trebbiano we’ve tasted during our time in Abruzzo – a white wine of real character that’s succeeded in prising us away from our much-loved Pecorino.

Good enough too to enjoy on its own – and in keeping with summer drinking, this’ll be a great accompaniment to cold foods and salads as well as lighter pasta dishes.

And I can’t think of a nicer wine to go with a lazy afternoon under a sun-umbrella by our pool !

San Zefferino is another Ortonese cantina; these Trebbiano grapes come from vineyards that are a little more inland and slightly higher than those producing our Montepulciano, benefitting from cooler growing conditions.

The best news of all is that you’ll find one of these wines waiting for you with our compliments when you arrive for your Villasfor2 holiday.

The bad news is you have to choose between them !

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