2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo

2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d AbruzzoPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by D’Aquino Italian Imports

What They Said:

Per The Wine Rack “While the 2006 vintage is a little rougher around the edges than the 2004 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano, I reviewed earlier, it still is an incredible bargain. Still only $5.00 at Trader Joe’s and made from hand picked organically grown grapes. Similarities with the 2004 are the nose of fresh cherry and violets, the cherry/blueberry flavors and the long finish. However this vintage carries a bit of heat on finish and a trace of alcohol/heat at the end of the aromas. Disregarding the comparison to 2004 this is still a nice wine and a sweet value.”

What I Think:

This odyssey started with a tip from oenanist and continued tonight with my second bottle. Amazingly I was able to track the winery down and find tasting notes (warning PDF) for what appeared to be the same wine though the pictures are vastly different.

About time for a review, no? On the nose this one is delicate and shows hints of flowers and tart cherries. On the palate this wine is simple and I mean so in a good way! Medium to light weight a ride of cherries (with the stems) along a light tannic backdrop. It is likely better served with some red sauced pasta. From end to end, this a clean journey balancing fruit with tannins and spice. The finish is a bit hot and dry bit overall this is one to buy. Next time I want to line this up side by side with the 2005 Epicuro Aglianico. Don’t see this as the #1 ranked wine, just wondering how far off it is…. BTW, did I mention this was organic? Also saw some notes saying it was hand-picked, hard to believe that can be accomplished at this price point.

Rating: Buy It

*photo by Rick Audet

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10 thoughts on “2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo

  1. Hi Jason,
    I really like your blog. It’s well written and the subject of hunting for value wines is always fun, relevant in these economic times too.
    It’s been a while since I tried the Epicuro but my tasting notes show I found it a real contrast to the Tommolo, I can’t imagine them in a side to side tasting. Keep up the good work.

  2. Your tasting notes ring well with my experience, though I don’t recall the heat on the finish. It’s a good, unassuming food wine for the price. I prefer it to the Epicuro (both the Aglianico and the Salice Salentino), which tastes a little fake-fruity to me, and thus doesn’t blend as well with food. That’s my taste buds though. Thanks for the shout-outs!

  3. The ’06 Chiusa Tommolo is a winner. Thank you Jason and oenanist for recommending it. I expected a dry wine. Instead, I found it pleasantly fruit forward, w/ dark cherry, blackberry, star anise and smokey , black licorice flavors.
    Pretty outstanding for a $5.00 wine. Plus, it holds up very well to the acid in tomato sauces at 1/4 to 1/10 of the price of a decent chianti/sangiovese.

    BTW, When I picked up the Tommolo, I think I must have counted at least 16 cases of the 2006 Chariot Gypsy in open display and many more closed at TJ’s. They were really pushing it. Also, I’ve noticed several people have picked up the 06 Chariot Gypsy to taste, but I haven’t seen any comments/review/pics or pans. Does anyone have input on this one? Thanks

  4. Recently tracked down the website for the Chiusa Grande. Here’s what they have to say about the Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo:

    “No blatant message will seduce. Seduction lingers in the space between what is on show and what’s left to the imagination. This wine, which takes its name from an archaic unit of measure used in Abruzzo rural life, is a Montepulciano redder than blood flowing in the veins, or blushes coloring a cheek. Fruit-rich Tommolo, with its aromas of spice and licorice, comes to the aid of the seducer, but casts its spell on those who believe they are seducing.”

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