2012 Pasetti Tenutarossa Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo – A Real Red Wine

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Once or twice a month, I showcase a non-California wine even while having the website, BLOG, etc., named California Wines and Wineries! I do believe diversity and exploration in wine are some of the key tenants of authentic wine enthusiasts.


Last evening, I opened one of my favorite Italian wine, Montepulicano D’ Abruzzo from Pasetti. First Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo and Montepulicano are two entire different wines. Montepulicano d’ Abruzzo is a totally unique and wonderful wine from the Abruzzo region in east-central Italy and not to be confused with the Montepulicano which is mainly Sangiovese grapes from Tuscany.

This is a family run vineyard and winery. Franco, of Pasetti Winery, along with his son Mimmo who was at the time studying oenology, helped in the naming of this now well recognized label. The name Testarossa means red hair or redhead. Mimmo’s first daughter had red hair as did many of the women in the family lineage. Thus the name of this wine was originally called Testarossa to pay homage to the women in the family. The name was later changed to Tenutarossa meaning “red seal” which is found on top of the bottle.

Domenico Pasetti has a great quote and now Mimmo adheres to this in the vineyard and making of the wines “the wine is a life experience, not an exact science”. Very refreshing thought process verses some of the “manufactured wines” here in the United States. They have won numerous awards for their wine on the international level. This being their flagship wine, it is stored for 18 months in steel tanks, then the wine is aged for between 18 and 22 months in oak barrels. After bottling, it is stored another 6 months before being released.

On the eyes, it is a deep colored inky red/purple with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, dark cherries, soft leather and violets are prominent. On the palate, the wine opens up to licorice, tobacco, black pepper and cocoa. The finish is medium lasting with an ongoing beckoning to entice you to take additional sips. The tannins are “mellow” and the structure is solid with an ability to last many years. After one or two sips, you are immediately drawn to the country hillside of Abruzzo.

Enjoy a glass of Montepulicano D’ Abruzzo and find yourself transported to a rustic village in central Italy.


This wine can be purchased at: 



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