Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most important wine publication, has announced its latest Tre Bicchieri award winners and Valle Reale was awarded the highest honor. “Tre Bicchieri,” or Three Glasses, is the highest award that can be given to an Italian wine.


There’s an intricate patchwork of flavors in this succulent, medium full-bodied red. Taste cherry, then tobacco, then violet and plum with a thread of fine-grained tannins holding it all together. Then marvel at the attractive price-quality ratio. This wine opens with an intense nose that has very clear mineral notes of graphite and dark fruit like blackberry and cassis. The taste is very well-balanced and soft thanks to the sweetness of the tannins. The typical acid vein of the Montepulciano grapes gives the wine a pleasant sense of freshness and a dynamic taste. It has a long finish with mature nuances of fruit.


“The 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is impressive in the way it coats the palate with masses of dark fruit, flowers, tobacco, chocolate and cinnamon. This full-bodied, generous Montepulciano will drink beautifully for at least several years. Hints of chocolate linger on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2017.”


Price: about $20.