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Amorotti = Beauty and Nature in Abruzzo

Amorotti = Beauty and Nature in Abruzzo

Valentini-like, for a Fraction of the Price!

I’m always a bit skeptical when importers talk about new producers with lavish comparisons to the greats that are nearby. “This is the next Conterno” or “it tastes just like Raveneau” are the kinds of hyperbole I hear all the time. But sometimes, every once in a while, they are right on. This was the case when I was introduced to the beautiful wines of Amorotti.

Amorotti is a new label created by Gaetano Carboni since he began making wines from his family’s ancient estate. The farm dates back to the early 1500’s and is a large swath of land in the Gran Sasso mountains that has forests and wildlands interspersed with plantings of grains, olives, nuts and of course wine grapes. But as is the tradition in the region the fruit was historically sold off in bulk, with maybe a bit made into wine for personal consumption. But a few years ago Gaetano decided it was time to do things a bit differently.

The Valentini comparison isn’t a simple parallel of making high quality wines in the rugged hills of Abruzzo, it turns out that they are next door neighbors in the town of Loreto Aprutino. So, when Gaetano decided it was time to use the resources of his farm to make and bottle his own wine it was Valentini who helped with clonal selections in the vineyards, barrel selections for the cellar and so on.

Yet I think it is important to highlight the quality of the raw material that Gaetano is working with as well. The entire property is certified “biologique” or the EU version of organic, and as mentioned the biodiversity is stunning. As far as I can tell there has never been any chemical farming done here, so there is a true sense of ancient, biological richness. All that is to say that the quality of the fruit Gaetano has to work with should be the envy of any great winemaker.

That quality allows him to work in a purposefully “hands off” style. Those who know me well know that I don’t think calling a wine “natural” automatically makes it better, but the wines of Amorotti are pristine, elegant and definitely natural.

They are easily among the very best in Abruzzo, and Gaetano is just getting started!

Oh, and did we mention that they are less than a third of the price of Valentine or the other standard bearer, Emidio Pepe? You should definitely try these wines.

Amorotti, Cerasuelo d’Abruzzo, 2017

Amorotti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2016