By Kori ~ April 16th, 2008.

20080416_montonico.jpgSince we began our Wine Century Club adventure, we have all been more aware of unusual grape varieties. Strolling through a local wine shop the other day, Mom (LaGayle) stumbled across a bottle of 2006 La Quercia Montonico. The shelf-talker got her attention when it referred to Montonico as a rare white varietal and said that this wine is not made in wood. Mom is a huge white wine fan but does not particularly care for oaky, buttery wines that have been aged in oak barrels. She pulled Dad and me aside to show us her find and despite its $30 price tag, we decided to give it a whirl.

We enjoyed this wine with dinner; however, unlike our typical private tastings, this one was not a blind tasting since Montonico was a new varietal for us. I am happy to report that it received a thumbs up from all four Wine Peeps. This wine was the perfect complement to our lobster tail, asparagus, and wild rice meal.

From the back of the bottle:

“Incredibly, this wine is made from vines that are over 200 years old. Two hundred! The quality of the fruit is almost indescribable. The minerals are rich and confident; the fruits alive and appealing; and the body lush without any use of oak. Made from the nearly extinct grape Montonico, there are just a couple hundred cases produced in the world. Enjoy.”

This wine is labeled as a “Small Vineyards Discovery.” It is imported by Small Vineyards in Seattle, who specialize in small vineyard wines from Italy. They aim to be your personal wine detectives in Italy, “Discovering the best hand-harvested, family-owned, earth-friendly Italian wine.”

If you can find this wine, it’s worth a shot to try something different. However, given that there were only 200 cases of this wine made and only 50 cases made their way to the United States, you may have trouble locating a bottle. In that case, I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled for other “Small Vineyards Discovery” bottles. You might stumble upon something new and exciting just like we did.

2006 Vini La Quercia Riflessi Colli Aprutini IGT Montonico (Abruzzo, Italy): Grape: Montonico. Soft gold with slight green tinges. Fresh and crisp with aromas of citrus fruits, primarily lemon, lime, and grapefruit. Very refreshing with pronounced lime and grapefruit flavors on the palate along with some minerality. Smooth, well-balanced, lively but not overpowering acidity, and a pleasant finish. Similar to Sauvignon Blanc but with a bit less acidity which might make it more food-friendly for some.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Esquin (Seattle), $29.99 [Imported by Small Vineyards, Seattle]

Filed under: Italian Wine, Montonico, White Wine, Wine Century Club, Wines Over $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Seth Rapkin | April 16th, 2008 at 10:14 am


    I love the site & the updates from you & the crew. Funny story… I was reading one of your blogs last week. You referenced good friends of your’s (Ross & Allison) who used to run a wine blog as well… My first thougt was “No way that is Ross & Allison Heater… Ross, my little bro from the house?… The same Ross that left frozen pizza’s in people’s beds & was the house prankster?… Can’t be.

    So last week we have our Fraternity’s annual dinner @ the WAC. Ross is there & sure enough, it is him!!! Talk about maturing over the past 10 years 🙂

    Give my best to the family…