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‘Marso’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Producer: Bove

Region: Abruzzo

Winemaker: Dario Bove

Available Sizes: 750ml, 1500ml, 3000ml

Appellation: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOP

Grape Variety: 100% Montepulciano d’Abrruzzo


First things first, inevitably there is some confusion between the wines made with the Montepulciano grape and the wines made around the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany. These are two different things entirely. The wines from the town of Montepulciano are made from a specific clone of Sangiovese, and the grape, Montepulciano, is typically grown throughout the Adriatic coastline, although you do see it grown in Tuscany and Umbria.

Generally, the Montepulciano grape is thought to be more of a workhorse grape; a simple wine made for pizza. But there are several examples showcasing its true potential, and this wine from Bove is one of them. An elevated style of Montepulciano, Marso is a complex and robust wine coming from the best vineyards and grapes the Bove family estate has to offer. Full ripeness is achieved with a late October harvest and the use of small barrels helps impart some added depth and structure. The wine shows classic Abruzzese character with a deep ruby color and a mouth-filling richness of fruits, like blackberry, currant, and Medjool dates. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with round tannins and the finish expresses lingering cooking spices, a touch of vanilla, and dark chocolate.

Food Pairing

The robust character and dark fruit flavors of the ‘Marso’ Montepulciano calls for rich, savory foods; Roasted meats, wild game, BBQ, and steaks all come to mind. My mother’s Sunday pot-roast with root vegetables would also work nicely with this powerful red wine. Aged hard cheeses or just a cold winter’s night will also do the trick.

Varietal Notes

Montepulciano ranks second only to Sangiovese in terms of red wine grapes planted in Italy. But unlike Sangiovese, its full potential has yet to be fully realized and appreciated. The first historical mention of the grape is in 1792 by Michele Torcia, an archivist for King Ferdinand IV, and the origins of the Montepulciano grape are greatly disputed. One thing is certain, to make a truly great wine from Montepulciano takes a great understanding of the land and the grape itself.

For example, délestage is often necessary in making wine from Montepulciano –délestage is a fancy French term for racking the wine during fermentation (decanting, more or less). Racking the wine during the fermentation process allows the wine to breathe and helps redistribute the heat that develops from the chemical reaction happening in fermentation. Great winemakers of this region, like Bove, have evolved with modern techniques to change this workhorse grape into a race horse.

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