Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Abruzzo’s Codice Citra and Ferzo Wines

"For wine lovers on a budget, try Montepulciano d'Abruzzo -- the lively, juicy red wine that comes from the rugged Abruzzi hills above the Adriatic coast of central Italy", Eric Asimov
This region (known as Abruzzo or Abruzzi) is situated east of Rome and is bordered by the Molise wine region to the south, the Marche to the north, the Lazio to the west, and the Adriatic to its east.  Abruzzo is sub-divided into these wine-producing provinces: Controguerra, Teramo, Chieti, Pescara, and L’Aquila (L’Aquilano) -- with Chieti being the prime wine region.  Most of Abruzzo is rugged with  65% mountainous which helps the wine growing climate by blocking most storms from the west. And to the east, the "Adriatic Sea provides a moderating Mediterranean climate for the vineyards that run along a west-east orientation in calcareous clay river valleys that flow from the mountains to the sea".

Nearly 80% of all the wine in the Abruzzo region is produced by large co-operative wineries with one of the four largest being Codice Citra. The winery was founded in 1973 and their wines are "estate grown and bottled from a collection of 3,000 family-owned vineyards in the lush and various microclimates of Abruzzo’s Chieti province".

Most of these vineyards are small multi-generational plots sometimes less than a couple acres. Citra focuses on the regions primary indigenous grapes Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo as well as the lesser-known Pecorino, Passerina, and Cococciola grapes. Asimov makes clear the "distinction between montepulciano, the grape, which is grown in the Abruzzi region and northward into Le Marche, and Montepulciano, a town in Tuscany and the source of a very different wine known as vino nobile di Montepulciano, made from the Sangiovese grape". I recently received samples of four Citra wines representing two of their portfolios. Cheers.

CITRA – it’s the most historical line available in the U.S., these wines offer clean varietal expressions that provide the perfect introduction to Abruzzo.

CITRA Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2017 ($10)
A clean and fresh wine showcasing green apples and light citrus.

CITRA Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 ($10)
There's great value in this medium bodied wine solid fruit and enough backbone, tannins, and acids to create an enjoyable encounter.

FERZO – a new introduction to the U.S., whose name refers to patches of fabric stitched together to create a sail, is a union of the finest viticultural ‘patches’ of southern Abruzzo, hand harvested from 20-year-old vines.

FERZO Pecorino Terre di Chieti 2017 ($26)
A complete delight, fresh and velvety with tropical flavors and minerals - thinking wet stone. The finish is lively and lingering.

FERZO Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016 ($26)
Aged 14 months in French oak, this wine is delicious. The red fruit sinks into a velvety texture surrounded by spices and approachable tannins. Once again the acids provide a lasting tail.

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