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Wine52 showcases Italy’s Abruzzo region

Abruzzo lies in the centre of Italy along the Adriatic Sea. Depending on where you plant your grapes, you can experience two very different climates. On the slopes by the Apennines you can experience warm but short summers and frequent snow in Winter whilst on the coast the weather is generally very warm and Mediterranean most of the year.

Wine52 Chile 1

It is a region best known for Montepulciano which dominates the vineyards. It is also known for fairly high-volume production, particularly on the warmer, fertile coastal plains. Besides Montepulciano, there are two main types of Trebbiano (Toscana and Abruzzese) grapes, which are often not distinguished between, as well as Sangiovese and Pecorino. However, international grape varieties are growing in planting and popularity in the region and that is what Wine52 mainly sought to showcase in my case: A Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio and a Trebbiano.

How were the wines?

Amarena Merlot

It was an enticing red berry colour which more or less screamed soft, fruity merlot from the off. On the nose this was quickly confirmed as all that really came to mind was a light fruit bomb, exuding flavour. Once the initial hit had slowed, you can pick out fruits like morello cherry, red plum, blackcurrant, cranberry.

A fruit forward palate then leads the charge with cherry and plum the front runners. There's actually a rather good touch of dried cranberries too. A nice spice underlies the fruit, but the fruit still remains as the leader by the finish, with a good length. The lightness and intensity of the fruit flavours make this immensely enjoyable. On top of that, the very soft mouthfeel due to the lower tannin make this one easy sipper.

Angizia Cabernet Sauvignon

My immediate thoughts on the nose were, quite the change from the Merlot. This is much more savoury in nature, more mellowed. Little hints of violet and dried fruits speak of a complex wine. The fruits are red and ripe in nature giving blackcurrant, cherry and plum.

Although the wine is not sweet, some sweet tasting flavours came through due to the ripe nature of the fruit. It’s important to note that this was not in a synthetic way but a very natural, good wine sort of way. Tannins are fine and dusty, with a good level of grip which adds to the medium body and plush mouthfeel. On top of the mellow, savoury fruit feel, additional herbaceous characters such as tomato leaf follow on the end in a way that only Cab can do it.

Wine52 Chile

Delizia Pinot Grigio

The whites were equally enjoyable and will likely appeal to many people. So, with that in mind, let’s start with an ever popular grape, Pinot Grigio.

Pinot is known and loved for a reason. It's inoffensive, fresh, floral, and fruity and sometimes you can't complain about that. This wine hits that nail on the head. Although Abruzzo isn't the common region you'll find Pinot Grigio from, it certainly puts a nice upgrade on the typical wines of Venezie. Yes, it is fairly simple in PG fashion, but the flavours are bolder, brighter and more intense than your average drop. The initial sip pops with fresh apple, pear and lemon which is then underscored by minerality bringing a harmonious balance to the wine. White blossom, peach, tangerine and a hint of honeysuckle hold the body together and mingle well with the citrus. Whilst the finish isn't super long, it doesn't necessarily need to be for such a fresh wine. You'll just keep going back for more anyway!

Lu Ferre Trebbiano

The final white, the Lu Ferre Trebbiano is the most Italian of the bunch, mainly thanks to the uniquely Italian grape.

Trebbiano is better known for its role in Soave wines but that doesn’t mean it performs badly elsewhere. Quite the opposite in fact!

It came off as delicious from the off on the very first sniff. In many ways it wasn't too dissimilar to the Pinot Grigio, except I'd argue the flavours were better softened and integrated together whilst the body was fuller. The fruits were riper, with red apple, lemon zest and yellow peach. The mineral element was much higher here too giving a nice chalky backbone. The finish also lingered ending in a green apple, citrus twist. Soave fans will certainly like this one, albeit with less acidity than the usual Soave style.

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Updated 19th February 2024

David Andrews, DipWSET

David Andrews, DipWSET

David brings great enthusiasm to the wine industry, starting with Majestic Wine in 2019 and now joining us at Winesdirect in 2023. He has completed his WSET Diploma qualification and looking forward to share his expert knowledge and tidbits of the wine world.

As an industry enthusiast and expert, David also writes a regular blog on instagram. Check it out here @oinosattheoikos

Read more articles by: David Andrews

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