Amorotti = Beauty and Nature in Abruzzo Valentini-like, for a Fraction of the Price!
We are 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 we hear all the time. But sometimes, every once in a while, they are right on. This was the case when we were introduced to the beautiful wines of Amorotti.
Amorotti is a newish label created by Gaetano Carboni once 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 we 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 we 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. The wines of Amorotti arepristine, 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? Even more reason to try these exceptional wines.
Amorotti, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, 2020 $49.99
Gaetano Carboni’s fifth vintage of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo island just like in vintages past, it is stunning. This is a wine of minerality and power with ripe orchard fruit balanced against a citrusy cut. Made from the noble Trebbiano Abruzzese variety rather than the far more common and often innocuous Trebbiano Toscano, the wine is deeply pitched with a smack of flinty minerality. It was fermented and aged in untoasted Tonneaux for one year, yielding a wine loaded with textural appeal that remains unmarred by new oak flavors. If you adore Tiberio 'Fonte Canale' and Valentini’s Trebbiano, then you are sure to enjoy this wine especially considering the modest price tag.
Amorotti, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, 2020 $49.99
This irresistibly charming wine lives in the land between Rosé and light chillable red which is the perfect place to be if you want to showcase Montelpuciano. The wine is loaded with dark sour-cherry and citrus fruit accented by loads of spice and plenty of lift. Vibrant and bone-dry with crackling acidity, a year in used botti gives the wine textural complexity. If you love the dark rosé of Chateau Simon or Clos Cibonne this is the wine for you!
Amorotti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2019 $53.99
Fine-grained tannins and lifted acidity give the wine elegance more often seen in Sangiovese and Nebbiolo than Montepulciano. It is impeccably balanced expressed.
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