Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the seldom overpriced but frequently variable wine made from the eponymous red grape variety on Italy’s Adriatic coast. At its best it is flavoursome, deeply coloured and delightfully fruity. Most of the wine here is produced at winemaking co-operatives.
The Society’s version is made by the Roxan co-operative, known for their special relationships with 700 individual growers who, unusually in a co-operative set-up, are given a significant amount of input into the final wines. While up to 1,000 hectares of land is farmed, less than 10% of the grape yield in each vintage is actually bottled by the co-operative which keeps quality control reassuringly strict. These are smooth, stylish wines at the price. The winery itself is located in the town of Rosciano, near Pescara, and each bottling tends to be drawn from vineyard-specific sites.
Sebastian Payne recalls that The Society first looked to buy wines from the Roxan co-operative after Edoardo Valentini, the enigmatic local winemaker and one of the most influential figures of his generation, sold his grapes to it. Valentini was fiercely secretive, shunning wine critics and the wine establishment in general, yet trusted this particular co-operative to make his wines.