Donini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In northeast Italy, the Veneto stretches southward from the Alps and the Austrian border, westward to Lake Garda and southeast to the fabled city of Venice. It is Italy’s single largest winegrowing region and home to many prestigious wine estates. It is a region where both indigenous and international grape varieties thrive, from Pinot Grigio and Montepulciano to Merlot to Chardonnay.
The story of Donini begins at the turn of the 20th century, in a trattoria located in Milano. Many of the regulars would stay after closing to chat with the owner, Signore Donini, while indulging in a good glass of wine. It was not long before he was appointed by his customers to select the best wines for their private cellars, and he began sourcing attractive ones to bear his own name. Later, his heirs decided to honor their father by trademarking Donini, and thus a commercial enterprise was born. They chose a butterfly as the brand logo, in honor of their father’s passion for his butterfly collection.
Today, Donini offers a collection of important and popular varieties and denominations that are distinctly Italian—sourced principally from the Veneto—and offer extreme quality for price. Born on premise, Donini remains a favorite of restaurants and their patrons.
A warm, Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, in Abruzzo, the distance from mountains to seaside is relatively short. The Apenniness, which run through the center of Italy, rise up on its western side while the Adriatic Sea defines its eastern border.
Wine composition tends to two varieties: Abruzzo’s red grape, Montepulciano and its white, Trebbiano. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can come in a quaffable, rustic and fruity style that generally drinks best young. It is also capable of making a more serious style, where oak aging tames its purely wild fruit.
Trebbiano in Abruzzo also comes in a couple of varieties. Trebbiano Toscana makes a simple and fruity white. However when meticulously tended, the specific Trebbiano d’Abruzzo-based white wines can be complex and long-lived.
In the region’s efforts to focus on better sites and lower yields, vine acreage has decreased in recent years while quality has increased.
Montepulciano is the second most planted red variety in Italy after Sangiovese, though it is achieves its highest potential in the region of Abruzzo. Consistently enticing and enjoyable, Montepulciano enjoys great popularity throughout central and southern Italy as well. A tiny bit grows with success in California, Argentina and Australia. Somm Secret—Montepulciano is also the name of a village in Tuscany where, confusingly, they don’t grow the Montepulciano grape at all! Sangiovese shines in yet another Tuscan village, here making the reputable wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.