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 makes the most expressive versions of the grape.
For the past 500 years, one of the only continuous family owned wineries in the region is 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 and began more selectively picking the fruit and the blends for their signature Rosso Conero DOC “Villa Malacari”.
Their 2016 Rosso Conero (100% old-vine Montepulciano) might be one of their best iterations of all time. It’s a WOW wine- once you take the first sip you’ll know what I mean. Eric Guido of Antonio Galloni’s Vinous Media raved, giving it 92 points and calling it “long and structured, yet still quite fresh” and “a mouthful of gorgeous Montepulciano fruit and a real value score as well”.
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92 Points, Vinous Media
The 2016 Malacari Rosso Conero explodes from the glass with a mix of ripe cherries and blueberries, complemented by hints of cinnamon and clove and a grounding note of fresh bay leaves. It floods the palate with silky richness, ushering in dark ripe fruits and spice in a round and deeply satisfying expression, as fine tannins slowly settle in. The finish is long and structured, yet still quite fresh, balanced by residual acids with a purple floral air, and hints of wild berry lingering on. Wow, this is a mouthful of gorgeous Montepulciano fruit, and it’s a real value score as well.