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  Wine Producers Issue 50, March 2007   
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Masciarelli

In a little more than twenty years Gianni Masciarelli has been successful in taking the wines of Abruzzo to the top of Italian enology, a worldwide success obtained together with his wife Marina Cvetić

 Montepulciano and Trebbiano: two grapes once unknown and not very appreciated, today two protagonists of the Italian enology stardom. The two grapes are in fact the protagonists of the success of Abruzzo's wines, a strong and significative bond, in particular with Montepulciano, the famous red berried grape which in this region reaches the best of its expression. A singular case, if we think Montepulciano was once defined as a “neutral” grape, of course not for its quality, indeed for the disputable use which was done in the production of wines. Distant times - luckily - and today Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is among the most important Italian wines, a success obtained thanks to the tenacity of those producers who believed in the resources and potentials of their region and in the grapes which have always been cultivated in their lands. Most of the time going against the tide, by introducing - in general skepticism - new wine making technologies, new modern techniques which allowed Montepulciano, and of course Trebbiano as well, to reach the highest levels all over the world.


Gianni Masciarelli
Gianni Masciarelli

 Among the absolute protagonists of this fundamental change there is Gianni Masciarelli, who inherits from his grandfather Giovanni the passion for vineyards and wine. It is right in the old winery of his grandfather Gianni Masciarelli begins to create his wines. In 1978 Gianni Masciarelli produced his first wines, in times when the wine was just a passion, and it will be in 1981 he will completely commit to wine and making of it a real business. The turning point happened after a journey in France and when he came back, Masciarelli decided to start the production of wines and to sell them. In that year he produced about 2000 bottles: 700 of Montepulciano and 1300 of Trebbiano. In the following years Gianni Masciarelli rents some estates and soon after he buys a hectare at San Martino sulla Marrucina - in the province of Chieti - and in 1983 his production reached 9000 bottles.

 In his land, Gianni Masciarelli applies the viticultural concepts learned in France, criticized by anything and anyone, as the cultivation technique, grafting of vines and production of wine, were in evident contrast with what was suggested by tradition and the wine making concept of those times in Abruzzo and in Italy. Everyone believed that young man - at those time in his twenties - was wasting his time and his money, indeed he was building the foundation of a high quality wine making in his region. In 1987, during a visit in a social winery in Croatia, Gianni Masciarelli meets Marina Cvetić, at those time being a student in food chemistry engineering at the university of Belgrade. From that meeting born a private and professional bond and the two got married in 1989. Dynamic, tenacious and with very clear ideas, Marina Cvetić soon impressed her personality in her husband's winery, therefore creating one of the most representative “brands” of Masciarelli and which is named after her.


A view of Masciarelli's vineyards
A view of Masciarelli's vineyards

 Another important moment was 1984, when Gianni Masciarelli created his most prestigious and ambitious wine: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma. For the occasion he introduced modern wine making techniques and enological practices at those time being not very common in Abruzzo, and allowed his wine to age for a long period in barrique. He chose the grapes of his best vineyard of San Martino sulla Marrucina - which according to Gianni Masciarelli is among the best 50 crus in the world - and the result was a wine which is still today considered among the best of Italy. It was a striking success. Another important moment arrived in 1991, when it was created the first wine named after Gianni Masciarelli's wife: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić. Also for the production of this wine have been used modern wine making techniques and he chose to age the wine in barrique: another striking success which still today distinguishes the excellent production of Gianni Masciarelli.

 Despite Gianni Masciarelli's winery is relatively “young”, in a little more than twenty years it has been capable of reaching the top wine making, not only in Italy, but also all over the world. The winery is located at San Martino sulla Marrucina, in the province of Chieti, at an altitude of 410 meters and at just 20 kilometers from the Adriatic sea and at 20 kilometers from the Maiella mountains. The environmental and climate conditions of San Martino sulla Marrucina are very suited for the production of quality wines, a characteristic which is widely proven by Masciarelli's wines. From the initial 2.5 hectares, the winery today owns about 220 hectares in every province of Abruzzo, of which 194 of them destined to vineyards. The grape which is mainly cultivated in Masciarelli's vineyards is Montepulciano - which represents about 70% of production - as well as Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, about 20%, and 10% of Chardonnay and Cococciola, an autochthonous white berried grape of Abruzzo.


 

 The current yearly production of Gianni Masciarelli winery is of more than one million and a half of bottles, commercialized in three ranges: Masciarelli Classico, Villa Gemma and Marina Cvetić. In recent times, Masciarelli winery has released a new wine, produced by the Marina Cvetić winery and belonging to the Masciarelli group. The name of this new wine is Iskra, a Slav terms meaning “sparkle”, available at its release with 2003 vintage. Iskra represents the further witness of Masciarelli's productive philosophy. Just like the other wines, the goal is to vinify 100% Montepulciano while trying to give each of them a proper character, derived by the specific qualities of the territory. In Masciarelli's productive philosophy great importance is given to territory, which determines about 50% of the final result. Also the varieties of grape certainly represent a remarkable importance, however what gives the wine its personality is the result obtained from many factors, such as the intervention of man, the specific qualities of territory, varieties of grapes and, last but not the least, wine culture and tradition of the place.

 




Score legend

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




Villa Gemma Bianco 2006, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Villa Gemma Bianco 2006
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo (80%), Cococciola (15%), Chardonnay (5%)
Price: € 6.00 Score:
Villa Gemma Bianco shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of apple, pear and peach followed by aromas of pineapple, hawthorn and broom. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, peach and pineapple. Villa Gemma Bianco ages for 5 months in steel tanks.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with fish and crustaceans, Broiled fish, Fried fish



Chardonnay Marina Cveti\'c 2004, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Chardonnay Marina Cvetić 2004
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay
Price: € 25.20 Score:
This Chardonnay shows a brilliant golden yellow color and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of apple, plum and toasted wood followed by aromas of banana, hawthorn, vanilla, pear, hazelnut, grapefruit and nougat. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, plum and grapefruit. Chardonnay Marina Cvetić ages for 23 months in barrique.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Mushrooms soups, Roasted white meat



Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cveti\'c 2004, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić 2004
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
Price: € 25.20 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić shows a brilliant golden yellow color and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of apple, plum and hawthorn followed by aromas of toasted wood, broom, pineapple, lavender, honey, hazelnut, ripe peach, pear and vanilla. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, plum and pear. Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić ages for 22 months in barrique.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Roasted white meat, Stuffed pasta, Mushrooms soups



Iskra 2003, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Iskra 2003
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano
Price: € 28.80 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Iskra shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, impenetrable to light. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and black currant followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, cinnamon, eucalyptus, cocoa, pink pepper and mace. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and black currant. A well made wine. Iskra ages for 12 months in barrique followed by 24 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cveti\'c 2003, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić 2003
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano
Price: € 16.80 Score:
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and black berry followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, vanilla, tobacco, pink pepper, licorice, cinnamon, cocoa, mace, leather and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable roundness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. A very well made wine. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić ages for 18 months in steel tanks followed by 14 months of aging in barrique.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma 2001, Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma 2001
Masciarelli (Abruzzo, Italy)
Grapes: Montepulciano
Price: € 45.00 Score:
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of violet, black currant, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, cinnamon, leather, cocoa, pink pepper, mace and menthol. The mouth has an excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing roundness, however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, very agreeable. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. A magnificent wine. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma ages for 36 months, of which 18-24 in barrique.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Masciarelli - Via Gamberale, 1 - 66010 San Martino sulla Marrucina, Chieti (italy) - Tel. +39 871 85241 Fax: +39 871 85330 - Winemaker: Romeo Taraborrelli - Established: 1981 - Production: 1.600.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@masciarelli.it - WEB: www.masciarelli.it



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