Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is an Italian DOC located in the east central part of Italy, sandwiched between the regions of Lazio, Marche and the Adriatic Sea. With more than half of the region considered mountainous terrain, the hillside vineyards in Abruzzo benefit from a warm, sunny climate, which is moderated by cooling breezes from the sea. The results are ripe, mature grapes that produce an easy-drinking, food friendly red wine. The wine is made from the Montepulciano grape, with very small quantities of Sangiovese allowed in the blend (less than 15%). The wine is typically dark colored with a spicy, almost peppery note and is generally not meant for aging.

Castello di Salle is a well-known quality leader in the region and the Sallis Castrum is their less-expensive bottling. At an average retail price of $13.99 per bottle, the wine is quite a nice value, providing a quaffable potation with some very interesting character.

My tasting note:

Earthy, rustic nose with anise, black cherry and briarwood hints. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity and moderate tannin – good balance. Dark fruit core with sour cherry, floral and dried herb notes. Smooth, Moderate length with tar and allspice on the aftertaste. Drinking well and should hold for another 2 to 3 years in the bottle. Good value.