Tuscany is undoubtedly one of the most coveted regions in all of Italy. Tourism is at an all time high, wine production comes from recognizable zones, i.e. Chianti, Brunello and the others. Quality is always available, but from the vantage point of a wine buyer, value is increasingly difficult to come across. Thankfully, Italy’s diverse landscape is home to many, many great regions that to this day, remain undiscovered.
One such region is Abruzzo and much like Tuscany, it benefits from a temperate climate, ocean influences and a long history of winemaking. Over the past 30 years there has been a silent movement in Abruzzo. An agenda born from a commitment to quality in the vineyard and winemaking rooms. Azienda Agricola Ilauri, or simply Ilauri for short, has been at the forefront of this movement. Tinkering with select vineyards to create mesmerizing Montepulciano that would throw conventional wisdom out the window.
Today’s wine is Ilauri Bajo, a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that is flat-out delicious for the money. For many of our loyal patrons, this name is no secret. For the better portion of a decade we’ve been featuring this great estate and this specific bottling. Just in is the 2016 vintage which by all accounts, may be their best harvest to date.
A rich, structured style of Montepulciano, softened by a supple core of fruit. With six months of barrel aging, there’s a profound length of flavor typically reserved for wines north of $20. At a mere $13.99/bottle or $11.89 in a mixed/solid case…it presents itself as the perfect Wednesday night house wine. Pair it with anything featuring a tomato and savor the blissful flavors of Italy!