Wine Advent-ure Calendar Day 11: Racer 68 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (DOC)

Winery location: Italy
Vintage: 2020

As someone who is a fan of auto racing and sports cars (I’ve been collecting model cars of various sizes for over 46 years) I love the name and label. Montepulciano is the second most grown grape in Italy and Abruzzo is its birthplace. Located east of the Apennine mountains, Abruzzo is a prime location for vineyards, with the mountains providing a shield from thunderstorms while cool winds from the nearby Adriatic sea helps moderate the temperature. Montepulciano thrives in this climate.

So what can I say about Racer 68? This Montepulciano, while medium-bodied has all the intensity of a fast-revving Italian sports car. Concentrated aromas of black cherry, blackberry and plum are on the nose almost right out of the bottle. The fruit doesn’t let up on the palate either, the dark fruit flavors abound with some spice. This is a pretty jammy wine, but the tannins are grippy and provide structure and balance before yielding to a long cherry finish. As you may have figured out, despite its intensity Racer 68 is pretty easy to drink. It’s very smooth and its dark fruit with a hint of spice is reminiscent of berry jam, albeit not nearly as sweet. I would pair it with Italian dishes like lasagna or spaghetti bolognese.

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