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Orlandi Contucci Ponno, La Regia Specula 2017 | Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG

Orlandi Contucci Ponno, La Regia Specula 2017 | Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG


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Geographical Indication







Still Dry Red Wine

New vintage of an award-winning Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Flavours of blueberry pie, white pepper and coconut

We loved the 2016 vintage of La Regia Specula, so we were excited to try this bottle from the dries summer of 2017. Due to the lack of water, the vines produced fewer grapes, but the ones that did develop had far more concentrated flavours. This wine tastes like blueberry pie, white pepper and coconut in the glass – it’s a very classy dry red.

What does “La Regia Specula” anyway? It’s the name of a naval fort observation post, designed to watch for pirates in the Adriatic sea. In the 17th century, the seas off the coast of Abruzzo were frequently raided by Uskok – Croatian pirates. Based in Senj in modern-day Croatia, the Uskok sailed their lightning-fast small boats and hunted down Venetian and Ottoman merchant vessels. Back then, protecting the sea trade in the Adriatic was an important mission. The name of this wine pays tribute to the men who once stood guard along the coast.


The Montepulciano grapes are harvested by hand in early October. First, they’re crushed, and the free-run juice is left to ferment in contact with its skins for twelve days. After gentle pressing, the wine is aged for twelve months in oak – partly in 500-litre Slavonian oak barrels, and partly in large 2000-litre oak barrels. This lends sophisticated aromas of smoke, chocolate and white pepper to the finished wine.

Tasting notes

In the glass, this premium Montepulciano is deep ruby. Pleasant aromas of blackberries, strawberries, underpinned by hints of white pepper, pine smoke, chocolate and coconut. In the mouth, this Montepulciano tastes like blueberry pie and chocolate brownie, with medium acidity, mouth-drying tannins, and a medium level of alcohol. While the wine has a long finish and can be enjoyed now, it will further evolve and improve in the cellar.

Wine Geek’s verdict

Tannins are still quite visible, showing the full character of Montepulciano. The wine has a really pleasant blueberry flavour, and it’s not overpowered by alcohol. It’s a really enjoyable everyday red, with so much complexity on the nose and in the glass.


Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 – Bronze Medal (2017 vintage) | Gambero Rosso 2021 – Two Glasses (2017 vintage) | James Suckling – 92 points (2017 vintage) | Luca Maroni – 93 points (2017 vintage)

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