The town of Abruzzo in Central Italy is nicknamed the green region of Europe thanks to its three national parks, 38 protected areas (more than ⅓ of the whole town) and the numerous lakes and mountains scattered throughout town. It’s often an overlooked area, less travelled than the big name regions, though for many wine lovers, Abruzzo is like El Dorado– the holy grail of big red wines, all available at Tuesday Night prices.
Within Abruzzo, the winery Barba is tucked away on the hill ridges above the Vomano river, where a mild daytime climate with long sunny dates gives way to cool nights influenced by the nearby Adriatic Sea. The soil is heavily influenced by Plio-Pleistocene deposits, serving as the essential building blocks for deep, full-bodied red wines with tremendous character.
At Barba and throughout Abruzzo, Montelpulciano is king. Nothing can top the inky dark wines with wonderful black fruit aromas and tremendous natural structure and firm, chewy tannins.
In the 2015 vintage, Abruzzo, much like the rest of the Italian wine regions flourished. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate in their vintage review of Abruzzo, called it “a happy vintage that was easy to farm, and generous from all points of view.” That’s been true of every 2015 that I’ve tasted, but especially true with the samples I got from Barba.
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