75cl * Vegan * 15% ABV * Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy
A joint venture between wine makers Stefano Inama (the famed Soave producer) and Sabatino Di Properzio of Fattoria La Valentina, who in 2000 decided to purchase and restore a high-altitude vineyard at 1,200ft high in the Apennine Mountains.
The concept was simple – Inama (along with Pieropan) had previously transformed the reputation of Soave and Stefano felt he could repeat the process here and allow Montepulciano to reach its true potential. Their improvements were quickly noticed by the press – the 2001 vintage was named “The greatest Montepulciano ever made” by Wine Spectator magazine.
The unique feature of this vineyard is the highly unusual clone of Montepulciano that was planted in 1971. The grapes have two lobes, one half the size of the other, so it looks a bit like a map of Africa, hence being known as The African Clone.
The state-of-the-art winery allows the wine to be stainless-steel fermented before being matured in barriques in climate-controlled cellars. Smoky with appetising sour cherry aromas on the nose, the taste is powerful and elegant.
Serve it at around 16-17°C and decant for 1.5 hours before drinking.