Founded by Abruzzo native Gianni Masciarelli in 1981, the wines of Masciarelli have become the standard for the Abruzzo region in Italy and an inspiration to all emerging Italian wine regions. Producing some of the greatest value wines in the world, Masciarelli offers approachable wines that over-deliver with rich and ripe fruit. Since Gianni’s passing in 2008, his wife (Marina Cvetic) and daughter (Miriam Masciarelli), have become the region’s pioneering winemaking duo. Together, Marina and Miriam continue Gianni’s legacy with each and every bottle. These lovely family-produced wines are a perfect addition to your holiday table this year.
It’s frankly no surprise that Trebbiano is the second most widely planted grape in the entire world after Chardonnay. With balanced fruit-forward flavors, delicate tannins, and crisp acidity, it’s just as well-suited to lighter salads as it is to buttery pasta and seafood classics. The Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC Riserva 2019 is one of Italy’s greatest achievements — thanks to the work of Gianni Masciarelli who put Abruzzo’s indigenous Trebbiano grape on the map in the 1980s. This full-bodied white wine is complex, with ripe peach and apple flavors and hints of praline and vanilla. It’s incredibly balanced, and certainly a step above your average indigenous white variety. In a word: divine. ($50)
The Villa Gemma Colline Teatine Bianco 2020 is a taste of Abruzzo for a super affordable price! A blend of Coccociol, Pecorino, Trebbiano — three of the region’s popular grapes — the white wine offers an intense floral nose and palate balanced between green fruit and zesty minerality. It’s the type of wine you want to open to set the mood for the evening while nibbling on cheese and charcuterie. ($20)
And if you’re anything like me, you want to pop open rosé any time of the year. The Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2020 is a fleshy and full-bodied rosé, one that can stand up to hearty fall and winter dishes like duck and lamb. It’s produced in one of the few appellations in Italy dedicated to rose, Cerasuolo, where Montepulciano is macerated with the skins for 24 hours before fermentation in stainless steel. The result is a powerful expression of Montepulciano as a rosé that offers dark cherry flavors accented with smoke and spice. ($20).
Lastly, we cannot forget the red: Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2018. Bestseller of the line, this wine is one of the most recognizable and original expressions of Abruzzo’s main grape variety. The 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes from 8 of the estate’s top parcels and represents the summit of what Montepulciano can achieve. A wine of great complexity, freshness, and balance with a fine and velvety tannic structure. The aromatic texture ranges from mint, fresh thyme, hints of underbrush, red fruits, olive tapenade, grilled herbs, aniseed, and dark chocolate. Deep and harmonious, closed with rare cleanliness. Full-bodied and extremely versatile with food. A fabulous house wine for all your friends and family! ($32)
Gianni Masciarelli put Abruzzo wine on the map 30 years ago, and today, his namesake winery maintains the region’s high-quality bottlings, including Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo and Montalpulciano d’Abruzzo. The family-run team is not only a huge proponent of Abruzzo wines but the region in general. It simply has so much to offer. Be sure to add Mascarielli wines to the table this holiday season.
**Photos Courtesy Masciarelli Wines**