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 through the landscape. 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. Vinous’ recent report on the region called the wines in Abruzzo, “not only improving, but have never been better.”
Certainly the same can be said about Umani Ronchi, a winery who for nearly 80 years has been dazzling the region with their Montelpulciano and Verdicchios, but lately has been making wines that most consider to be their finest work to date. Scattered throughout multiple municipalities throughout Abruzzo, are the vineyards that Umani Ronchi uses for their “Jorio” Montepulciano. The goal is to cut most of the fruit production, favoring the clusters that allow for ideal air circulation around the vine and cutting the rest off. This allows for maximum concentration and maturity in the clusters, which brings an energetic, lifted feel to the wines. This is a great one to buy by the case to have around the house.
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92 Points, James Suckling
Aromas of ripe plum, sour cherry, licorice, oregano and oyster shell. It’s medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Juicy, flavorful and fresh. Delicious now.
90 Points, Vinous
The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Jorio takes its time opening up in the glass. At first the wine is smoky with peppery florals and hints of camphor. Patience is rewarded, as this deepens with shades of violet, giving way to crushed blackberry and hints of spiced citrus. It’s silky yet lifted in feel, with juicy acids and soothingly ripe red and black fruits. This closes incredibly fresh with a flourish of pretty inner florals and hints of licorice. The 2018 Jorio really captures the energy of the vintage and is a pleasure to taste.