During a recent meal at Caffe Molise, I discovered a lovely Montepulciano wine that I hadn't tried before. It was a real eye-opener. ---
Now, I don't usually use words like "lovely" to describe Montepulciano, but this one is elegant and sophisticated: 2008 Fattoria La Valentina Spelt Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($20.99), a really nice vintage and a Montepulciano with floral notes that hint at sweetness. On the tongue, however, are ripe, dark, berry and mocha flavors with some spicy wood notes. It's remarkably suave on the palate -- a truly delicious and classy Montepulciano and one that you'd expect to pay much more than 21 bucks for.
I sipped it with Caffe Molise's wonderful housemade pappardelle al sugo and it was remarkable with the slow-cooked pork and beef in tomato sauce. 2008 Fattoria La Valentina Spelt Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a tremendous value.
One note: If you buy a bottle, you might want to decant it before drinking, or at least be careful pouring the last few sips. The bottle I had contained a considerable amount of sediment.