Talamonti Kudos

Super Tuscan Fans Take Note

In the world of wine and vineyards, the globe is planted to thousands of different grape varietals, yet it seems as though many of us seek out favorite varietals from different countries.  For instance, Chardonnay thrives in Sonoma yet is also praised in Burgundy…or Cabernet’s relative success from Napa versus the other dozen or so places in the world where it’s produced well.  Only one country in the world has made it’s mark using exclusive varietals.  Italy’s vineyards from north to south are planted to amazing grape types that one will not find anywhere else, which adds to the charming story of Europe’s viticultural epicenter.

Today’s wine hails from central Italy, and while conventional wisdom would bring us west into Tuscany, we’re going to head east.  Abruzzo is a thriving region that boasts of unique micro-climates of varying elevations, soil types and exposition.  And unlike Tuscany, there are a few number of deliberate, quality minded producers that have dedicated their mission to understanding the terroir here.  Cantine Talamonti is a household name to our customers, our stores feature stacks of their delicious Montepulciano…yet this is only an introduction to the estate’s identity.  Over the past 16 years, the Di Tonno family has mastered their 50 acre estate and identified a select number of parcels that produce world class Montepulciano.  In the best of the best vintages, these parcels are held back from their typical production and reserved for the estate’s flagship red, dubbed “Kudos”.

Kudos is on a level all it’s own, nothing like it exists in the world of Abruzzo wine.  We liken it to the Super-Tuscan movement that has swept the hearts of so many Italian wine enthusiasts.  Composed of 70% Montepulciano and 30% Merlot from the estates best vineyard blocks, the wine is aged for over 24 months in the best French Barrqiues, after bottling the wine rests in cellars of the property to allow cohesion for this massively complex wine.  The resulting wine is nothing short of astonishing.

Considering the amount of dedication to producing Kudos, if this wine was produced in any of Tuscany’s famous zones, there is no doubt the suggested retail for Kudos would be $50+.  Given it comes from a lesser known region with nowhere near the tourism and fanfare, we, the Italian wine loving people of America get an opportunity to enjoy this wine at a substantial savings.  At just $29.99 or 25.49 in a mixed/solid case, Kudos is a bargain buy that should be atop your priority list.  The 2011 was limited to just 1,200 cases for the entire world…the United States received just 300 or so of those.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate praised the 2011 with a 90 Point review and called the wine “…a gorgeous expression that offers both intensity and balance.”  Going on to boast about the estate, saying…“Talamonti is one of my favorite produces in Abruzzo in terms of value and price. The style of winemaking is very consistent and readily offers great bang for your buck.”