Last container of 2010 Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo now in Oz….

For me, going to Vinitaly and Italy is very important every year as it is about opportunity. It opens the door to opportunity. The opportunity to meet new people, new wineries and new opportunities.

Four years ago I had the opportunity to meet Valentino Sciotti. Out of all the people I have met in the wine industry in Australia and Italy, Valentino is someone who sticks out for always being one step ahead. One step ahead when he decided to work in Basilicata. One step ahead with the quality of wine and pricing of such wines like Gran Sasso.

After only a small amount of discussion,  we decided to start small collaboration in Australia with a brand called Grand Sasso focusing on indigenous varities from their group. My first order was conservative. 350 dozen for the the 2008 Montepulciano: and I thought that was a good start.

From 350 dozen, my next order was for 700 dozen. Then it was a full container. Then it was two containers. Then it was planned ongoing production until the vintage finished…

One of the Gran Sasso vineyards in Abruzzo.

Then we didn’t know how the reaction would be when we changed vintage to 2009. Needless to say, nothing changed.

Demand for the 2010 has been unbelievable. So much so that we could have filled out warehouses a hundred times over and still not have enough stocks. And talking about stocks, we have now just received our last container of the 2010 vintage.

Our first container of the 2011 Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo will leave Italy once the country opens up again after the summer closure. The last remaining stocks of the 2010 should finish in the Australian market around the end of October.

Current Reviews on the 2010 Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo:

Since it was first shipped to Australia a few years ago this has been of the great bargains, but this latest vintage is extra good; gorgeous, black, glossy fruit but savoury and vinous. Yum. Max Allen in Gourmet Traveller June 2012.

It makes sense to eat Australian game. Besides, emi is delicous. Its fillets are richly flavoured and dark red even when chargrilled. The equally dark and full flavoured Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has enough tangy acidity to cut through the meat’s richness. This absolute bargain from Gran Sasso is smart fresh and vibrant, with blackberry, brambleberry fruit but very much a savoury wine with spice, sage, a hint of menthol and an appealing woodsy character. Jane Faulkner, The Saturday Age.

…Many of the local versions (of Montelpuciano) produced have been exciting, deep and savoury from First Drop in the Adelaide Hills; powerful and robust from Tscharke in the Barossa; rich and juicy from new biodynamic Riverland producer Whistling Kite – and all well over $20.

By comparison, the 2010 Gran Sasso Montelpulciano d’Abruzzo is a wine of similar quality for less than half the price: gorgeous, slink black purple fruit but grippy, serious vinosity, too, making it delicious with food. Max Allen, The Weekend Australian

This is a hot-selling wine around some of Melbourne’s better independent wine shops, and for good reason – you get a lot of wine for your money. There’s some complexity to the flavours of plum, blackberry, liquorice, spice, dried herbs and nuts, but it’s the fine, drying tannins and structure that make it stand out from the crowd. Acidity is fresh and food-friendly, it has a good mouthfeel and the rich finish has good length and some nice savoury notes.Ben Thomas, The Weekly Review 17th May 2012

Yes, that’s right, it’s now sealed with a screwcap. Importer: Mondo Imports

I put this under the nose of my wife, who, it has to be said, is one of the fussiest wine drinkers around, and she liked it immediately. That’s an achievement in itself, and then I told her the price. Amazement. Anyway, I gave it a quick run before dinner formally and with dinner informally (I took off my tasting bow tie) and it impressed me twice.

Blood plum, nuts, licorice and some chocolate on a middle weight palate that delivers plenty of flavour along with attractive chewiness and freshness. The length is particularly impressive and closes with a desirable Italianate bitterness, like chicory or similar. Is it the best release of Gran Sasso to date? I suspect so. I defy you to find a more interesting, savoury wine with modest alcohol and food friendliness at the price. If you do, please let me know. It’s ever so slightly better than a 90 point wine, so I’m rounding up. Drink : 2012 – 2016 $10.99 91 points Gary Walsh, The Wine Front


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