Tenuta Coppadoro San Severo Radicosa (2003)

Montepulciano D’Abruzzo makes me think of Rome. And, unlike most things that make me thing of Rome, that’s not a good thing. Despite the Roman passion for food, sub-par bottles of wine made from this grape were ubiquitous.

We were staying at an apartment in the old section just down the road from Campo de Fiori, with a toddler. I remember running out at night to get some wine to enjoy on the terrace. The “super” market was closed, but every corner pizza joint or bakery sold bottles of poorly stored Montepulciano for €5-8. (Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but I was a tourist after all.)

These are not good wines. They are drinkable, but have no complexity whatsoever. Truth be told, every once in a while I will buy an on-sale bottle of Farnese or Cantina Zaccagnini, just for the nostalgia value, or if I’m looking for something that isn’t going to make me think, but otherwise that vacation ended with a very poor impression of this wine (especially considering the fact that I had also visited the town of Montepulciano during that same trip (and left with such an impression of wine named for the town not the grape that I named a blog after it).

That said, when I purchased my first bottle of Radicosa, I didn’t realize it was made from 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. Had I noticed this, I surely wouldn’t have bought the wine. But I did. And I loved it. I loved it so much that I ran out and bought a bunch more the day after my first bottle. Now, though I remain wary of wines made with this grape, I am certainly open to its excellence.

Tasting Notes:

Pours a deep purple color. Rich, dark fruit, big body. Moderate acidity. Tannin is certainly there, but is balanced. A great sense of old world dirt. Silky smooth finish. I loved this wine. Incredible QPR $16. Seems like it has the body to age for at least a few more years, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to restrain myself.