The Conero region in Marche has winemaking roots tracing back to the 10th Century B.C. and the Etruscan period. Though Abruzzo gets much of the credit for Montepulciano, it is this staple in Northern Italy known for its chalky, limestone soils as well as birthing the famous winemaker, Cesare Mondavi that make the most expressive and interesting versions of the native Italian grape.
For the past 500 years, one of the only continuous family-owned wineries in the region has been run by the Malacari family. The family has always been heavily focused on Montepulciano, with production of the grape dating back to the 1600’s. In recent years, the family enlisted the help of winemaking expert, Sergio Paolucci. With the help of Paolucci, Alessandro Strarrabba, the current head of the Malacari family’s wine operations, has taken his family’s winery to new heights.
The newly released Malacari’s Rocca Rosso is a testament to that. It’s an old-school rustic gem with dark fruit, baking spice and better structure than any other wine I’ve seen for this kind of price. They make it in giant cement tanks so as not to interfere with the wine’s expression in any way. It’s a perfect every day Red for the Italian wine drinkers – it won’t break the bank and you won’t find a better compliment to food.
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89 Points, Vinous
“A beautiful mix of violets, roses, lavender and wild strawberries wafts up from the 2018 Rosso Rocca. This varietal Montepulciano impresses further with its inner floral perfumes and balanced sweetness, as vivid notes of cherry and blueberry settle upon the senses. This is such a remarkably pretty and balanced red, tapering off with nuanced tannins that mingle with mouthwatering acidity. It’s a pleasure to taste and a good value as well.”