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2014 Vitiano Rosso Umbria IGP

2014 Vitiano Rosso Umbria IGP

I recently reviewed an unoaked Chardonnay from Tuscany that I was at first excited about but then ultimately unimpressed with. Costco has been getting some interesting Italian red blends this year, mostly from Tuscany (Super Tuscans), and mostly good value wines. When I came across this 2014 blend from Umbria for $7.49, I knew I had to try one, and I didn’t expect much from it.

This blend is an IGP from Umbria. What does this mean? Well Umbria is just about smack dab in the middle of the calf of the Italian boot, quite close to Tuscany actually. There are only two DOCG wines that come from this area, and chances are you haven’t ever had either of them. Torgiano Rosso Riserva is a blend (shocker) of at least 50% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 10% Trebbiano, and 15% of select other red grapes. Sound familiar? This is a similar blend to a Tuscan Chianti, which makes sense because the regions are right next to each other.

Now, the other Umbrian DOCG, Montefalco Sagrantino, is a little more interesting. It requires the wine to be made from 100% Sagrantino, a special red grape that is indigenous to Umbria. These wines are bold and high in tannins, with a deep & dark purple color and palate of black fruits and cocoa. If you ever come across one, get it.

Enough about Umbrian DOCG wines though. The wine I’m reviewing today is an Umbrian Rosso IGP. IGP stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica and basically means “the grapes in this wine are grape varieties approved for the region of Umbria.” I suppose Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese are all approved varieties for Umbria because this wine is an equal blend of the three.

VitianoSince the IGP designation was, for the most part, created to classify Super Tuscans, you can essentially call Vitiano Rosso a Super Umbrian of sorts. If you want to.

The wine opens with a nose of dried cherries, vanilla, and parsley. Subtle and dusty tannins round out the tart, almost sweet mid-palate while the finish is simple and clean. The back of the bottle says this wine is “an ideal match for red meat and tomato-sauced dishes”. I would also pair this with a cheese board or BBQ pulled pork. The screw cap, deceivingly hidden under a foil, says “bring me to a picnic or on the boat” while the $7.49 price tag says “why not bring a few bottles?”

I really liked this wine. Like, really a lot. Enough so that I went back a few days later and purchased six more bottles. It will be my go-to Italian red table wine for the rest of this year. My significant other, who I am gradually turning into a wine snob, fully agreed with me. The price is super attractive, and the wine, while relatively simple with a clean finish, could fool me into thinking it costs twice as much. I will designate this wine a Great Value and give it an honest score of 89 points.

Purchased in Cumming, GA Score: 89 Points

ABV: 13%

Costco Item Number: 367267


Thursday 1st of June 2017

This is the best $7 red I've ever had. Bought a bottle, drank it and went back for two cases. Should cost 3X as much (at least).


Thursday 25th of May 2017

A comment that a reader in TX emailed me about another value buy:

The Costco in Cedar Park, TX has snagged this wine. Significance? The La Grange des Combes is rated by Wine Spectator as their #57 of the Top 100 Wines of 2016. And the wine maker, Alain Rogier was awarded IWC’s Best Red Wine Maker of the Year for 2015”. Yeah, mostly “trade” stuff. So how is the wine?

Sadly there are no more $4, or even $8 wine bargains. So, as it goes in today’s currency, this is fine, $13 well made red wine with a touch of elegance that is good with beef (and I’m inferring pork and chicken), European cheeses and (Cadbury’s) milk chocolate . My take is that it is a black/red fruit juicy red with hints of savory and plenty of food friendly acidity and a touch of iron. It’s much like Chapoutier's Cotes du Rhone as it is Syrah (Vs Grenache) driven. It has plenty of black raspberry and savory influence (instead of the hedonistic Grenache blackberry & cassis) but not as much black, or even white, pepper as I like in a Rhone. Still, this is a better than decent house meat wine. There is a neat back story here if you care to Google it - - single vineyard AOC in the Haut Languedoc Natural Regional Park in France’s largest winegrowing district a few miles from the Mediterranean near Béziers. Decant and give it one to two hours and enjoy.

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