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2011 Farnese Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 

Abruzzi, Italy

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$10-$12 Retail

The distinctive montepulciano grape is grown primarily in southeastern Italy's Abruzzi region along the Adriatic coast, but it is often confused with wines designated Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, named for and produced (with sangiovese grapes) in a town in Tuscany. More than four centuries ago, the Farnese family planted vineyards throughout their extensive estate. Located 19 miles inland, the Farnese range encompasses diverse microclimates and terroirs producing rich, complex wines. This unoaked wine offers aromas of red berries, plum and mocha. On the palate, taste black cherry, blackberry, spice notes and supple tannins. Open for 30 minutes before serving to aerate. Drink it with roast veal or chicken, eggplant parmigiana, pasta with tomato sauce, lasagna, stuffed peppers, cured meats and cheeses. Buy it at: Fresh Market in Uptown, Cork & Bottle, Elio's Wine Warehouse, Schiro's Cafe and the Wine Market in Slidell. Drink it at: Pelican Club, MiLa, Domenica, Pizza Delicious and Assunta's Italian Cuisine.

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