This blend of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (60%), Sangiovese (20%) and Merlot (20%) is initially dried on the vines, with extended ageing on the skins after fermentation to further increase flavour and colour. Heavy, concentrated and intensely sweet-fruited, raspberry coulis combines with dark chocolate and velvety tannins to create an experience akin to liquid raspberry ruffle. We went weak at the knees for it.
Despite the sweetness it's technically dry so pairs beautifully with meat dishes with fruit sauces, or tomato-based dishes. (It also goes surprisingly well with Tiramisu although we're not supposed to admit we tried it.)
Appassimento is the Italian process of drying harvested grapes, traditionally on wooden racks or straw, to concentrate sugars and flavours before pressing and fermenting the dried grapes to make wine. It's central to the winemaking of Amarone and Recioto, and a precursor to Ripasso.
Organically-farmed Collefrisio, the project of third-generation winemakers Amedeo De Luca and Antonio Patricelli, is located in the hills of Frisa, Chieti province. The charming azienda vinicola (wine farm) features a huge loft nestled among the vineyards that contains a magnificent wine tasting and dining room for the many epicurean events that Collefrisio runs over the year, while its quiet, peaceful cellars lie underneath the vines.
Abruzzo is Italy's fifth-leading wine region, after Sicily, Puglia, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. A beautiful, hilly place, with an extensive Adriatic coastline, its lush landscape is patched liberally with parks and forests. Abruzzo's winelands are ideally situated between the sea and the Apennines mountains (including 2,895m-high Gran Sasso). Montepulciano and Trebbiano are the most important grapes.