Wine 1 from Panzano: Valle Reale, Vigne Nuove, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

This is Winedog2 reporting on her first challenge from buying a case at Panzano. I tried the 2009 Valle Reale, Vigne Nuove, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, for $14 first. I drank it with a dinner of mahogany clams, haddock and bay scallops in marina sauce with fetticine, spinach and garlic. Delicious!



A lot of the good values are found in new world vines. So it is nice to find some good value in old world wines. Interestingly, this may be old world but these are new vines. Go figure!

First a little about the region, copied pretty much from Panzano’s website:


A region with a newly developed popularity thanks to the often friendly appealing & complex bottlings of a fantastic red known as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, this area has become a new discovery for many wine enthusiasts. Other important wines of Abruzzo are Cerasuolo, and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. These wines tend to reflect tradition and often drink in above most people’s expectations. Typical dishes of this region are hardy and simple: Roasted Lamb, Bucatini all’Amatriciana, and Pecorino (sheeps’s milk) cheeses.

Check out the map to see where Abruzzo is. It is pretty close to Rome.


Grape Varietals:
Red: Montepulciano, Barbera, Sangiovese
White: Trebbiano

Producers we work with:

  • Cerulli Spinozzi
  • Dario D’Angelo
  • Edoardo Vallentini
  • Marina Cvetic
  • Valle Reale

Valle Reale

This is a photo of Valle Reale from the Panzano website

Valle Reale seems pre-destined to produce world class wine. Located in the green heart of Abruzzo, its vineyards are situated inside one of Italy’s most beautiful national parks. Valle Reale is one of the few wine-producing estates in the area. The topography and climate of this part of Abruzzo is completely different from the rest of the region and unique within central Italy. The vineyards have thin soils, very rich in limestone with a light base of clay and sand. The grapes that are grown here take advantage of constant cool breezes which ensure good ventilation and minimize humidity, ideal for the development of fine aromas. This specific terrain and climate of this area are reflected in the wines, which are characterized by the trademarks of fully mature fruit and aromatic complexities.

A description from follows. Note the devotion to quality and reasonably pricing. I enjoyed this wine very much and felt $14 was a winedog victory!

This is as good a place to start the year as any, seeing as you have so many positive factors here, like a well-run, innovative winery, a luscious versatile red, an outstanding and very user friendly vintage, and, best of all, a great price. The winery makes three wines including one that was a three-glass choice from Gambero Rosso. This is their value play, the name stemming from the fact that this is a relatively new site (‘vigne nuove’ means new vines). It is a pure Montepulciano, hand-harvested in the month of October and fermented in stainless steel tanks to maintain freshness and fragrance of the fruit that is so indicative of the Montepulciano from this area. Dark color, cherry, mineral and herb on the nose, hard to believe this is from five year old vines cropped at almost 6 tons to the acre! The usually rough and tumble tannins are quite suave and that generous cherry fruit really engages the palate from front to back, with a deceptively long finish.


About winedog2

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