Gianni Masciarelli was an icon in Italy’s Abruzzo region, and after his passing, his wife Marina Cvetic and their daughter Miriam Lee have continued to work to ensure this southern Italian region is a source of high-quality wines spanning the spectrum of styles. From fruit-forward roses to inky, dense reds, here’s a look at the latest from the operation, including wines from both the Villa Gemma and Marina Cvetic labels.
2022 Villa Gemma Bianco Colline Teatine IGT – This affordable white blend (trebbiano, pecorino, cococciola) is big with notes of fresh apples, lemon curd, and plenty of white flowers, making it floral without being overly perfumed. Ample minerality gives the wine a cleansing quality, its gentle citrus fruit clinging to the tongue. A lovely little journey and a versatile wine that works beautifully alone or with dinner. A- / $24
2022 Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore Rose DOC – A Montepulciano-based rose surprisingly dark in color, but surprisingly light in flavor. Strawberries and citrus peel mingle nicely on the palate here, with a brighter Meyer lemon note building toward the finish. Bracing for a rose, at 14% abv, there’s a mildly tannic finish that gives the wine some gravitas that makes it feel more appropriate as a fine dining companion than on its own. I paired it with a salt and pepper tofu stir fry and it worked remarkably well. A great rose for a more “serious” occasion. A- / $24
2020 Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva DOC – A brisk white wine, light saline notes melding well with elements of guava, gooseberry, and a light almond note. While the fruit is immersive, the wine’s moderated acidity keeps things hopping toward a silky, lingering finish that perks up with notes of lemon curd. Versatile — and while it drinks well alone, it’s a more natural companion for seafood note. A- / $60
2019 Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva DOC – A gorgeously lush and rich wine, laden with currants and bittersweet chocolate up top. Layers of fig soon reveal themselves to add a chewy, slightly austere quality to the experience, evoking a holiday table while leading the way to a modestly tannic, woody finish. The fade-out brings forth both umami-rich mushroom notes and a reprise of dark chocolate, threading the needle between fruit and the barrel. An outstanding value for this price point. A / $38
2018 Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva DOC – Well-rounded and agreeable, this raspberry- and cherry-laden wine weaves a delicate but pointed balance between more austere, tannic qualities and exuberant fruitiness, meandering its way toward notes of tea leaf, black raspberry, and a layer of dark chocolate that gives it a wintry, fireside quality. Hearty but approachable, I think a few more years in bottle would be warranted, but paired with a thick cut of roast beef, this might be able to still hit the spot today. A- / $98