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  • An Epic Fantasy Novel - from the Writer of Red Wine Please!


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    Extreme Value Wine from Codice Citra in Abruzzo, Italy

    logoWe love finding wines that we feel comfortable putting on our Value List (which you can see by clicking here).? These are wines we feel everyone will be happy with, as they over deliver quality at their respective price points.? Most wines don’t end up on this list, and even fewer end up in the lowest price tier in our rating system.? These wines, in the $10 and under category, are rare.? You can certainly get many very drinkable wines for $10, but you will be hard pressed to get one that delivers complexity, length, richness through the mid-palate and overall quality.? When you do find one it is a great thing.

    In this review we’ll tell you about three wines that all make our Value List.? All of the wines are estate grown and bottled, sourced from a collection of family owned vineyards in Abruzzo’s Chieti province.? Codice Citra focuses on the indigenous grapes of this region, as well as making wine from more well known Italian and international varietals. ? Lesser known, local grape varietals, include Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola.? Their wines encompass four different lines.? This is a cooperative, bringing together nine of the largest wine growing associations in the Chieti.? It was established in 1973, by over 9000 small, family owned growers.? Together, they have built the largest wine cellar in Abruzzo, filled with Slovenian oak barrels from small to very large, which together hold a prodigious amount of wine.

    We have three wines from the Citra line to review here.? They are, as we mentioned earlier, from the more familiar varietals.? In this case those are Trebbiano, Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo and Sangiovese.? They are all worth talking about, and all line priced at $10.

    2017 Citra Trebbiano d’Abruzzo –?100% Trebbiano, which sees a light crush and cold maceration stage.? All the grapes are hand IMG_0168harvested, and only stainless steel is used during processing.? The finished wine is lighter in alcohol, at 12.5%, but the wine seems richer and fuller than that would normally indicate.? Here’s what we thought:

    The wine has a very pale, straw color.? Right out of the fridge, and probably a bit too cold, this had a medium nose of citrus fruit, mostly grapefruit or pomelo.? As it warmed the fruit got riper and richer, as the nose expanded.? Now there was lychee and blackcurrant bud.? Floral notes were evident.? On the palate, it is clean and smooth.? There is bright citrus.? Overall the wine is very smooth throughout, and does not carry a lot of acid, but it works.? Very easy drinking juice.? At $10 this is a great value.

    2107 Citra Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo –?this red is finished completely in stainless steel, from the fermentation, long maceration IMG_0170stage and then two months of aging.? Fruit comes from the Terramare vineyard, a large vineyard of 7,400 acres at 490 feet of elevation.? It is 100% Montepulciano.? Our thoughts:

    A dark, ruby colored wine, this has a nose full of bright fruit, with herbal notes.? On the palate it is just full bodied, with a rich mid-palate.? It has a medium length, and fades just a bit into the finish. This is really nit-picking though, as overall this is a tremendously pleasing red wine with wonderful fruit, some richness and a smooth profile.? It is a steal at $10.

    2017 Citra Sangiovese Terre di Chiete –?while not an indigenous grape to Chieti, Sangiovese is certainly one of the best known Italian varietals.? This one is worth your attention.? Our impressions:

    This juice is deep, cherry red in color.? The nose is full of black cherry, with savory notesIMG_0167 and smoky, charred oak.? You get a distinct sense of roast beef.? This is rich, complex and medium+ in body, with good mouth feel and bright cherry fruit.? Overall this is an excellent Sangiovese, and another screaming value at $10.

    The story behind Codice Citra is a great one, bringing together all of those small farmers and growers into a cooperative that has a sense of place, and a value driven philosophy.? There is simply no arguing with the value offered by all of these wines.? They are simply wonderful wines for the money, and we recommend all of them without hesitation.

    It a wonderful thing when you find an excellent bottle of wine for $10.

    A votre santé!


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