The Monte Antico, an Italian red, combines value and quality in a way too many cheap wines don’t anymore
The wine of the week is always a recommendation, not a negative review. What’s the point of wasting my effort and your time to write about a wine neither of us will want to drink?
The catch with that approach, though, is that it’s getting more difficult to find wine, and especially red wine, to write about. The amount of overpriced plonk seems to be reproducing like mutant genes in a horror movie, and I’m going through as many as four bottles before I can find something worth reviewing.
That was the case with the Monte Antico ($11, purchased, 13%). I bought this Italian red blend, mostly sangiovese, on Saturday. I drank it on Sunday, hopeful that it would yield a wine of the week for today. The previous three bottles had not, and had done so in gruesome, pour them down the drain fashion.
But the Monte Antico did. It combines richer and riper cherry fruit, which is more a New World approach, with more traditional Italian earthiness. The latter gives the wine heft that too many Italian wines, desperate for focus group “smoothness” don’t have. And the fruit, which isn’t overdone, is a counterpoint for the earthiness. It’s one of those wines that not only offers more value than it costs, but that doesn’t insult the wine drinker’s intelligence.
Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame next month. Pair this with almost any red sauce, sausage, or braised beef dish.
Imported by Empson USA