- Grapes - 70% Montepulciano, 30% Sangiovese.
- Facts - The Saladini Pilastri winery takes its name from Count Saladini Pilastri, a “nobleman” from the year 1000. When you’re thinking Rosso Piceno (which I’m sure this is the first time you’ve even seen that name), think Chianti. The two wines are very similar, since Rosso Piceno [Row-soe Pee-CHAY-noe] usually contains a majority of Sangiovese (the main grape used in Chianti) and the regions aren’t that far apart. If you ever see “Superiore” on a bottle of Italian vino it does actually have a definition…unlike all the garbage which is normally thrown onto the front label of New World wines (i.e. Reserve, Old Vines, Private Reserve etc.) The only problem is that each Italian region has its own definition on the term. In the case of Rosso Piceno, the term “Superiore” means that Montepulciano must make up between 35% and 70% of the blend, and Sangiovese between 30% and 50%. The region where the wines can be produced are also limited to 13 “municipalities.”
- Place Directly to the East of Tuscany, on the side of the Adriatic sea, lies the Marches region. Even though Marches is located so close to Tuscany, the region is surprisingly behind the times when it comes to “quality” wine production. There are very few producers in Marches who have managed to export their product and see commercial success outside of Italy.
- Taste - Chianti-esque on the nose and in a blind-tasting that’s probably what I would have guessed it was. Lots of red cherry, plum, toasted oak and dried herbs. Medium in body (which is no surprise, since Sangiovese and Montepulciano nearly always make medium-bodied wines), with vanilla, anise and some barnyardy aromas. One I’d buy again, and particularly important if you’re to venture out of your comfort zone. But hey, if you don’t like it, you can always rub down your horse with it! [If you skipped through this review straight to the tasting note, that last comment is going to absolutely make no sense at all…]
- Price $16