Rosso Conero is a small DOC on the east coast of Italy in the state of the Marche. Rosso Conero the DOC is the land surrounding the extinct volcano of Monte Conero right on the Adriatic. A lot of the Marche is kind of flat and then out of nowhere, right on the ocean, you have this extinct volcano with totally different soils!
I actually wrote about this wine a couple years back and this 2010 vintage is rather different from the 2007 I originally wrote about. Here's a link to the previous article if you'd like to check it out: 2007 Rosso Conero
Piantate Lunghe is a project created by three friends to try to revive their family's old vineyards. Amedeo Giutsini conceived the idea and then approached his two friends Roberto and Guido Mazzoni. Together they now have about 12 hectares of vineyards within 2000 meters of the Adriatic, but at an elevation of over a 1000 ft above sea level. The vineyard is a mix of dry clay and calcareous soil that slopes south away from the Monte Conero towards the water.
Varietal: 100% Montepulciano.
I don't know when this wine was released, but I just got the 2010 and it seems like the winery usually holds the wines for a long time. Considering how powerful and deep it is it would make sense that Piantate Lunghe would hold it a while to mellow.
Aroma: The 2010 Piantate Lunghe brings the funk. It's a dark, rich, funky smelling wine. This Rosso Conero's aroma is more rich loamy earth than dry sunny soil that Italian wines often have. The first impression of the Piantate Lunghe smells like freshly turned farm fields to me, but hiding behind that funk is some serious blackberry fruit as well as a whiff of smoke and grilled meat; maybe even some roasting coffee as well. There's a whiff of wood smoke that is so fitting for this time of year (Autumn).
Palate: The Piantate Lunghe is a fuller bodied red that's dark, deep, and expansive. Some how it tastes rustically volcanic and dark, but also lush and smooth in texture. Something about the earthy and volcanic flavors combine with the soft texture and fullness to make me think of really smooth and fine leather as a metaphor for this Rosso Conero. I've never had another Montepulciano like this. There's all kinds of serious dark fruit up front, but I really love the lively minerally mid palate that hints at having even more details to give up if this wine had a bit more age.
The Piantate Lunghe Rosso Conero is one of the best Montepulcianos I've had. It's reason for existing seems to be to as a companion to rich fatty braised meats and root vegetables. You can pick it up at either of the Portland Rosemont Markets, Vic and Whit's in Saco, 40 Paper, or Aurora Provisions. It retails for about $20