I tried the 2007 Quattro Mani Montepulciano d'Abruzzo tonight. I'm still trying to expand my palate when it comes to Italian wines and this is my first Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I found this wine in Massachusetts for about $14. The color was nice, with a dark purple, red hue that you could just see your fingers through. When I popped and poured the wine, it was not a pretty nose: dirty laundry, garrigue, and a slight hint of berries. The mouthfeel was rather austere and harsh, although there were hints of a more fruity wine.
I decided to let it breathe in the bottle for two hours while I cooked my empanadas. This was a great idea. The Quattro Mani changed completely. The nose had extreme amounts of cherries and cassis, with a minty freshness. It started off with fruity, sweet tannins (cherry Jell-O, clear as day) and a spicy finish, including vanilla and cinnamon. This bottle was definitely redeemed in my eyes.
It's certainly a serviceable bottle (after two hours breathing), but certainly not complex or noteworthy. It reminds me of a semi-talented, but ultimately forgettable pop star. She might have a good voice, but someone else writes all of her song lyrics and another writes the music. Like Diana DeGarmo. It's fun while it lasts, but don't expect it to age well. In ten years, you'll pull out her CD and wonder why you bought it.
As for the empanadas, I got the recipe from here, but I substituted the olives for peas. Quite delicious!
Currently a Masters student getting a degree in the Professional French Masters Program. I was recently featured in an article for Wisconsin Week, regarding the PFMP. In November 2008, I finished a three month stint with a winemaker in Bordeaux. After Bordeaux, I was a guest on Wine Library TV. Now I am finishing my thesis on Bordeaux wines, Robert Parker's influence, the rise of New World vineyards, and how these French vineyards can keep up. All the while, I'm trying to delve deeper into the wine world.