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Cataldi Madonna

In Abruzzo, region of ancient and renowned enological traditions, Luigi Cataldi Madonna winery produces excellent wines with typical grapes, between tradition and innovation

 Cultivation of vine and production of wine have very ancient origins in Abruzzo and it is likely that were Etruscans to introduce vine in the lands of this region. The wine produced in Abruzzo has always been praised in the course of history, Greeks were probably the first ones to praise its qualities and soon after they were followed by Romans. Abruzzo is a region whose territory is mainly composed by mountains, to the west there are Apennines, of which Gran Sasso and Maiella are the most important mountain systems, and from which take origin a vast highland that spreads for most of the region's territory, whereas to the east the region meets the Adriatic sea. It is just in the inner part of Abruzzo, in the province of L'Aquila, to the feet of the southern side of Gran Sasso, there is Ofena where Luigi Cataldi Madonna winery is located.


A view from Luigi Cataldi Madonna winery
A view from Luigi Cataldi Madonna winery

 The winery was established in 1920 and in 1968 began an important renewal process started by Antonio Cataldi Madonna, who worked in order to plant new vineyards and to renew winery's structures and resources. Currently the winery is run by his son, Luigi Cataldi Madonna, who continues the important process of qualifying winery's products by means of a working philosophy whose goal is to safeguarding and enhancing the specific characteristics of the territory. Ofena, the city where the winery is located, is in a mountain's valley at 380 meters of altitude (1246 feet), to the feet of Gran Sasso, and which is traditionally called “oven of Abruzzo”. Thanks to the exceptional exposition to sun rays and to the sensible thermal variations, this area has remarkable possibilities in wine making, also thanks to the composition of the soil.

 It is more likely this territory represents one of the most ancient sites of Montepulciano, the renowned grape used for the production of the generous red wines of Abruzzo as well as the interesting Cerasuolo, whose fame seems to be emerged at the end of the sixteenth century thanks to the enhancement of its culture done by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Francesco de' Medici. However it must be remembered Montepulciano is an autochthonous grape of this region, as well as being the most common grape in Abruzzo, and researches about vine's DNA have proved there is no connection with Sangiovese grape, as opposed to a hypothesis supporting the ides of it being introduced from Tuscany, in particular from the city of Montepulciano. It seems that the grape was named like that because some wine merchants confused the wine produced with this grape with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.


Cataldi Madonna winery produces three
different styles of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Cataldi Madonna winery produces three different styles of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

 According to some historical documents dated back to the half of 1900's about the agricultural activity of the region, it is clear the importance of the viticulture done in the province of L'Aquila in regard to quality, and in particular in the area of Ofena, not much productive in terms of quantities, but interesting for its possibilities in wine production. Winery's philosophy is oriented towards the full emphasizing of the viticultural possibilities of the territory as well as the optimal agricultural management and the work done in vineyards. Luigi Cataldi Madonna's vineyards have a surface of 24 hectares (59 acres), 7 of which were planted in 1968, whereas the rest is characterized by recent plantings. Winery's vineyards are all planted in the highland to the feet of Gran Sasso, at an altitude of 380 meters (1246 feet). Macerone, Cona, Pie' delle Vigne are the names of the places where the vineyards are located and, sometimes, as in the specific case of Pie' delle Vigne, they are specific crus that also name the wine. The microclimate of the highland is characterized by sensible thermal variations.

 The soil is calcareous-clayey, with slightly differences between the many locations and that also affect the productive strategies of the winery as well as the wines produced. For example, the soil of Pie' delle Vigne, has the same physical-chemical constitution, and it is less fertile, therefore vines have less vigor and a higher fruit concentration. The density of plantings ranges from 2000 and 5000 vines per hectare, yields are generally low and limited, in particular 30-34 quintals/hectare for Pecorino grape, 50-60 quintals/hectare for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Tonì, 60-70 quintals/hectare for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne. The grapes varieties cultivated by the winery are Montepulciano, whose proportion is planned to increase according to winery's plans, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, the autochthonous Pecorino and Cabernet Sauvignon.


 

 Wines produced by Cataldi Madonna include many types, according to a productive differentiation of modern conception in respect of tradition while meeting the choices and tastes of consumers. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Tonì, white Pecorino IGT Alto Tirino and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne are the main crus which fully represent the winery's philosophy. The first wine is the result of an accurate selection of grapes and a proper aging, obtaining a Montepulciano having full body and elegance. Pecorino, name of the homonymous and ancient grape, is particularly resistant in the mountain areas of central Apennines, is a sort of challenge, the one of keeping tradition alive while giving the wine a modern interpretation. The same conception, and certainly proud of the winery, is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne, an ancient and truly typical wine of the mountain areas of the region. Cataldi Madonna's production is completed by base products such as Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo DOC and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC. Moreover the winery also produces two interesting and particular red wines, Occhiorosso, an Alto Tirino IGT mainly produced with Cabernet Sauvignon and a small quantity of Montepulciano, and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino, produced, according to the DOC disciplinary, with Montepulciano grape as well as a small quantity of other grapes, in this specific case, Cabernet Sauvignon. Luigi Cataldi Madonna's wines are commercialized in every region of Italy, whereas the commercialization in foreign countries include United States of America, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Netherlands.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2002, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2002
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
Price: € 4,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, pleasing, clean and elegant aromas of acacia, hawthorn, kiwi, lemon, almond, apple, coconut and pear. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an agreeable crisp attack however well balanced, intense flavors, very agreeable. The finish is persistent with good flavors of lemon, pear and apple.
Food Match: Dairy products, Soft cheese, Pasta and risotto with vegetables, Sauteed white meat



Pecorino 2001, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Pecorino 2001
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Pecorino
Price: € 12,00 Score:
This wine shows an intense gold yellow color and nuances of gold yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals an evident hint of wood as well as intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas of peach jam, banana, broom, apple, hazelnut and plum followed by a pleasing hint of vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly round attack however balanced, agreeable crispness, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with good flavors of apple, banana and plum. This wine is produced with late harvested grapes and ages in barrique.
Food Match: Crustaceans, Pasta and risotto with fish, Soft cheese, Roasted cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo\\Pie' delle Vigne 2002, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo
Pie' delle Vigne 2002
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano
Price: € 7,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a light ruby red color and nuances of deep pink, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, almond, blackberry, peach, plum and rose. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a pleasing crisp attack however well balanced by alcohol, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of raspberry, strawberry and peach.
Food Match: Mushroom soups, Sauteed white meat with mushrooms, Cold cuts, Fish soups, Pasta



Occhiorosso 2000, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Occhiorosso 2000
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Montepulciano (10%)
Price: € 10,20 Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, pleasing, clean and elegant aromas of black cherry, blueberry, plum, black currant, violet and carob followed by pleasing and good aromas of licorice, bell pepper and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however balanced by alcohol, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry. A well made wine. Occhiorosso ages in cask.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino 2001, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Malandrino 2001
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano (88%), Cabernet Sauvignon (12%)
Price: € 10,50 Score:
The wine shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, pleasing, clean and elegant aromas of black cherry, carob, blueberry, blackberry, plum and black currant as well as pleasing and good aromas of ink, menthol, nutmeg and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, very balanced, with agreeable tannins, intense flavors and full body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of plum, black cherry and black currant. A well made wine. Malandrino is produced with grapes from the Cona vineyard and ages in cask.
Food Match: Game, Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Toně 2000, Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Tonì 2000
Cataldi Madonna (Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano
Price: € 16,20 Score:
The wine shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose has good personality and intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, carob, plum, violet and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack however balanced by alcohol, intense flavors and full body. The finish is persistent with clean and good flavors of blueberry, plum and black cherry. A well made wine. Tonì is produced with grapes from Cona vineyard and ages in cask.
Food Match: Game, Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Azienda Agraria Luigi Cataldi Madonna - Loc. Piano - 67025 Ofena, L'Aquila (Italy) Tel. ++39 0862 954252 Fax ++39 0862 816166 - Winemaker: Lorenzo Landi - Established: 1920 - Production: 230.000 bottles - E-Mail: cataldimadonna@virgilio.it


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  Wine Producers Issue 12, October 2003   
Cataldi MadonnaCataldi Madonna Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 11, September 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 13, November 2003

Cellar Journal


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