2015 Ciavolich Divus Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, Italy

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The Ciavolich family emigrated from Bulgaria around 500 years ago and built their winery in the mid-19th century. In the years following World War II, the abandoned winery was reclaimed and today is run by Chiara Ciavolich, her husband Gianluca, and their young apprentice, Beatrice, the couple’s two-year-old daughter. The family has a strong focus on history, tradition, and quality winemaking. When discussing Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, it is par for the course to draw the distinction between wine made from the Montepulciano grape grown in Abruzzo and Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, which refers to a wine made from Sangiovese around the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo offers full-bodied, food-friendly wines, often at a great price. Ciavolich Divus is no exception. The Divus label pays homage to Emperor Diocletian, who prized Montepulciano d’Abruzzo above all other wines of the era. The grapes are sourced from the oldest vineyards of the winery, where the vines are trained high using the tendone system. All grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed before crushing. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is matured in a blend of small and large older oak barrels. This blend helps provide a source for oxygenation but does not impart the same level of aroma compounds and tannins as newer oak does. Red currant, bramble, and prunes are complemented by a dusty, earthy aroma on the nose. Divus has a strong tannin structure and we recommend pairing this wine with food. Often known as a wine to pair with pizza, this excellent expression of Montepulciano will work well with everything from a lovely cheese and charcuterie platter to the Beef Bolognese below.

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