Locanda Scarpone

2008 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo D.O.C.

Montepulciano •Montepulciano d'Abruzzo D.O.C.

Italy: Abruzzo

Offer Expired:Aug 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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What We Say


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Mission Codename: Generations Old Dream

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Visit Italy’s Abruzzi and acquire an exclusive Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for our operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Locanda Scarpone

Wine Subject: 2008 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C.

Winemaker: Lorenzo Scarpone

Backgrounder: The Abruzzi, located along the east-central is home to the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C., perhaps the region’s finest wines. Generally made with the Montepulciano grape with the allowed addition of up to 15% Sangiovese the wines come in two styles, one, like this one, are deep rich and round, and the other tends to be more tannic and firm. The vineyards in the rolling hills above the coastal plain (where most of the mass-produced wines are made) offers a distinct soil and climate capable of top-shelf wine.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautifully dark purple with deep garnet hues that expand to the edges and barely shine through in its very dark and nearly black but clear core. When swirled, evenly spaced color stained thin legs ring the glass.

Smell – Bold and rich with ripe aromas or black cherry, red plum and other ripe dark fruit blend with soft green herbs and sweet spice. Add in earthy undertones, floral violets and mocha coffee as this wine invites a sip.

Feel – This full-bodied dry wine has smooth but textured firm tannins that soften as it opens. Lively acidity and finely etched minerality contributes to a well structured and almost chewy feel on the palate.

Taste – Plenty of dark red fruit, and definitely more restrained/old-world than the nose would otherwise indicate, with black cherry, red plum and blackberry blend with soft toasted oak, spice and the earthy and herbal tones found on the nose.

Finish – Very long with lingering earthy and rich fruit softly fading as the tannins, acidity and minerality linger on the palate begging for another sip.

Conclusion – The 2008 Scarpone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C. is unique among the other Montepulcianos that we have featured given its slightly more firm structure whereas others tend to be round. Classic and characteristic fruit along with soft earthy notes and other complex aromas and flavors makes this both approachable and food friendly. A very nice wine to pair with grilled meats. Give this wine some time to open up to fully reveal its depth of flavors. Enjoy this wine tonight or for the next five to seven years.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Scarpone, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008

WINE EDUCATION: Cultivating the family vineyard and making wine; formally educated at the Hotel & Culinary School in Giulianova, Abruzzo

WINE JOB BRIEF: Restaurant sommelier; importer of Italian wines to the U.S. since 1989.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: The has to express a particular area of origin, and every vintage should be different, reflecting the seasonal changes in nature.



AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Lorenzo. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

LORENZO: Thank you for featuring my delicious wine!

WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

LORENZO: When I was 21 years old, my father passed away and I was given the responsibility to harvest and produce that year’s harvest. That particular year impacted me greatly, because it was the best vintage my family had ever had.

WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

LORENZO: Attilio Pagli from Tuscany

WHITE: Who do you make wine for?

LORENZO: I make wine for people to enjoy among friends and family.

WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

LORENZO: It is 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from our family vineyard, fermented in stainless steel, and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 6 to 8 months.

WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

LORENZO: Grilled lamb & spaghetti with a meat sauce.

WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Abruzzo region so special?

LORENZO: It’s an area with many small farmers, and is geographically located between the Gran Sasso and the Adriatic sea. The Appenine mountain chain protects the region from the cold temperatures from the west, and the Adriatic sea brings in the warm temperature from the east.

WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

LORENZO: To be prepared for the ideal harvest, by closely monitoring to the grapes and ensuring ripeness.

WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

LORENZO: To not judge a wine by its label, and not be intimidated by the wine…but to savor and enjoy it.

WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

LORENZO: Hopefully, while you’re drinking this wine with your friends and family it will transport you to our beautiful Abruzzo region, even if you have never been there.

WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of Locanda Scarpone can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

The first small-scale vintages of Monepulciano were made in 2003-4. In 2005, the first Scarpone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG was made, with the assistance of highly-respected local enologist Loriano di Sabatino. It was custom-crushed at the nearby state-of-the-art winery of Centorame, where young Lamberto Vanucci himself makes spectacular Colline Terramane wines.

This wine represents the culmination of a generations-old dream for Lorenzo and the Scarpone family. It is a special tribute to Lorenzo’s father Vincenzo, who taught him to love and respect the land, and to enjoy the fruits of their very special “terrior” with family and friends around the world.

About The Winery:

The first small-scale vintages of Monepulciano were made in 2003-4. In 2005, the first Scarpone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG was made, with the assistance of highly-respected local enologist Loriano di Sabatino. It was custom-crushed at the nearby state-of-the-art winery of Centorame, where young Lamberto Vanucci himself makes spectacular Colline Terramane wines.

About Lorenzo Scarpone:

Lorenzo Scarpone is a native of the Abruzzi region in central Italy. Raised on a farm where his family produced their own food and grew their own grapes to make wine, Lorenzo was introduced to the importance of culinary and wine-making traditions at a very young age.

This environment nurtured his passion for food and wine and inspired a career path that would eventually lead to the creation of Villa Italia. Lorenzo attended the highly-regarded Hotel and Restaurant school in Giulianova and had his own restaurant on the Adriatic Coast at a young age.

Anxious to see the world, he served as a wine steward for Sea Goddess Cruises, then arrived in San Francisco and became sommelier at the noted Donatello Restaurant.
Lorenzo currently resides in San Francisco with his wife Susy and their three children Fabio, Sofia and Nicolò.

Exposed to all the great wines of the world, Lorenzo was convinced that the regional treasures of Italian viticulture were woefully underrepresented in the world market and set out to remedy the situation. Villa Italia, founded in 1989, began by importing great value wines of Lorenzo’s native Abruzzi region – Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo. In addition, he searched out small up-and-coming producers from other regions of Italy, assembling a portfolio of wines distinguished by their price/quality ration at all levels. Villa Italia’s wines have received outstanding reviews from Gambero Rosso (Italy’s leading wine journal), Wine Spectator, Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer. Lorenzo, an active member of the Slow Food Organization, founded the first convivium in the United States. Today, he still continues to be the San Francisco convivium leader of Slow Food, an organization based in Italy which seeks to preserve local artisanal, culinary and viticultural traditions throughout the world.

Lorenzo says that Villa Italia’s goal is to introduce Americans to Italian wines, to complement the food that we eat. He has succeeded, and his wines are true discoveries that complement life as well.

Technical Analysis:

Appelation: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG

Varietals: 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Vineyard: 600 feet above sea level

Aging: Fermentation in stainless steel, then aging in large Slovenian oak barrels.

Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 450 cases

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