2014 La Quercia Montonico Abruzzo Italy
I love it when I stumble upon something I have never heard of and there is very little written on—the joy of discovery. And actually the winery that produces it has the most complete information about it (see below). I chose it for club selection as I thought it was a great refreshing appetizer style wine or great with salads. Balanced acid, crisp but yet a little expansive on the palate won me over—well punctuated conversation.
History per winemaker: Dating back to the days of ancient Rome, the word “Montonico” has elusive origin and is native of Bisenti and Cermignano, two very small villages in the province of Teramo. In the 1615 cadastre, the cultivation of Montonico vineyards appears to be very prosperous. In the following century enthusiastic comments are quoted about the construction of huge oak casks. In 1798-99 French invasion, the conquerors found Montonico wine so fresh, pleasing and fragrant to dare calling it le petit champagne (little champagne), asking for massive supplies for all their detachments in Abruzzo. As a matter of fact, after the Second World War Phylloxera almost wiped this vine variety off the face of the Earth, and it has been only thank to lots of efforts, dedication and patience that local farmers have succeeded in preventing this piece of oenological local history from disappearing. As a tribute to this rare vine variety, La Quercia chose to undertake a long path to recovery and enhance it. Since a few years, La Quercia has planted a new Montonico vineyard in its original place of birth, Bisenti, a suggestive pedo-mountain landscape. In order to accomplish their objective, an in-depth research has been taken up to identify the oldest plants; then their scions have been selected for an engraftation specifically studied for the peculiar soil and climate of the place.