Robust Italian red – 2018 Cantina Zaccagnini

Robust Italian red. 

Chianti, right?

Made from the Sangiovese grape, right?

In the heartland of Italy…Tuscany…right? 

Not necessarily.

Basic RGB

It’s Wine Thursday!, our weekly good-wine-at-a-good-price-

that-you-can-find recommendation,

just in time for your weekend. 

We’re checking out an Italian red

that is a Montepulciano…

but it is not from Montepulciano.




Montepulciano is a charming, hilltop town located in

the center of Italy in the region known as Tuscany.


It’s surrounded by Sangiovese vineyards,  

the grape varietal used to make the eponymous wine, 

Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. 


Here’s where things get really confusing.


vino e paesaggio


Montepulciano is also a type of grape. 

It is grown most notably in Abruzzo,

a region that is in southeastern Italy. 


There are no Montepulciano grapes

in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. 


But this week’s featured wine,

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is made of

100% Montepulciano grapes.   

They just aren’t grown anywhere near the town

of Montepulciano.


That is waaaay more information than you need. 

Let’s simplify.   


Cantina Zaccagnini 2018 Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo

is a solid value red wine. 



And when you’re staring at the dreaded wall of wine,

it’s quite easy to find.




Just look for the twig tied around the neck of the bottle. 

This is a Zaccagnini tradition… attaching a remnant

from the previous winter’s vine pruning to every bottle. 

Another tradition: this Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 

consistently delivers quality/value at a reasonable price. 


This is not a pop-and-pour wine. 


You need to give it at least 1/2 hour of exposure to air

before you try it.  Your patience will be rewarded. 

As it gets used to its new surroundings…your glass…

this wine will show plum flavors, mild tannins and,

compared to most Italian reds, relatively low acidity. 

It’s tailor-made for meat dishes and/or pasta with meat sauce. 

A match with pizza?  No question.   


We found Cantina Zaccagnini 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

at Total Wine for $12.97.   

It’s $13.99 at Fred Meyer, QFC and on line at The Wine Buyer 

The price at PJ Wine is $14.97

It’s $14.99 at Safeway and Gary’s Wine