Wine Advocate 91 points - The cask-aged 2009 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo San Calisto is the biggest and most structured of these wines. Earthiness, scorched earth, tobacco and red cherries fill out the wine’s big, broad-shouldered frame nicely. The San Calisto comes across as intense after the Vigneto di Popoli, but it makes up for that with its considerable complexity. Hints of tobacco, scorched earth and licorice linger on the dark, brooding finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019. (Feb 2013)
San Calisto is Valle Reale’s flagship wine. This muscular, yet refined, red is made from 100% Montepulciano grown in the San Calisto parcel, the oldest plot in the Valle Reale estate. This special vineyard is located in one of Italy’s most beautiful national parks, surrounded by the majestic Gran Sasso mountain range. Here, the vines benefit from the high elevation, a wide diurnal temperature range, lots of cool breezes, and limestone-rich soils.
|Pair this wine with barbecued ribs, fresh berry coulis, mint-roasted lamb shank, or steak au poivre.
|Valle Reale was founded in 2000 with the goal of producing world-class wines. The Pizzolo family, in close consultation with Professor Leonardo Valenti and the agronomic faculty of the University of Milan, are working to develop a model for central Italian wines and winemaking. Working primarily with the Montepulciano varietal, they aim to create wines that highlight the grape’s intrinsic qualities: strength, exuberance, vitality, color, elegance, balance and depth. The process begins with the careful selection of clones that are best suited to Valle Reale’s soil and climate, and therefore best express the distinct characteristics of the varietal. Their success is evident in the young, vibrant DOC base wine, and even more so in the cru, a new benchmark for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.