In 1970, Antonio Menicucci planted his first grapes in Ortona, Italy. Three generations later the Menicucci legacy continues. Menicucci produces a variety of organic hand-crafted wines that are striking for their expressiveness, fresh fruit flavors, good balance, and being very food friendly. Located in the region of Abruzzo, which is far better known for its robust red wines made from the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo varietal, I was particularly impressed by the impressive freshness of their white wines. There is also a fun and interesting dark Rose made in the region from Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes which is called Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo.
My initial selections from this very interesting winery are two white varietals, a white blend, and the aforementioned Rose. The winery uses the "Ginesia" label for its single varietals and the "Alzavola" label for its blends. Another fun part of the Menicucci tradition is to commission local artists to create themed labels for the wines and you will see the current label images below.
Very sunny Abruzzo vineyards!
Pergola vine training for cluster protection
Hand harvesting for maximum quality
Abruzzo is spectacular with 8,000 foot mountains 15 miles from the Adriatic
Ginesia Passerina 2018 (OC, NF)
There are rich aromas of clover honey, yellow roses, gardenia, camellia, and honeysuckle. The flavor profile is both interesting and somewhat exotic with nectarines, tangerines, kumquats, kiwi, honeydew melon, along with hints of green apple. There is refreshing acidity across the palate which accentuates the flavors, medium body, perfect balance, and a full finish.
Food pairings would include scallops, swordfish, sole, mussels, clams, seafood salads and pasta, pork, chicken, both light and creamy pasty dishes, Asian chicken, pork, and noodle dishes, Asian vegetable salads, green salads, and mild and creamy cheeses.
Ginesia Pecorino 2020 (OC, NF)
Aromas include white flowers, honeysuckle, citrus blossoms, narcissus, forest floor, pink grapefruit, tangerine, cherries, white peaches, and kiwi. Flavors include green apple, honeydew melon, white peaches, and kiwi. There is a medium body but which is fully saturated across the palate, good balance and acidity, and a full refreshing minerally finish with an interesting hint of bitterness.
Food pairings would include crab, scallops, clams, mussels, sea bass, swordfish, tuna, seafood pasta, salads, and soups, veal, pork, chicken, paella, Asian pork, chicken, seafood, and noodle dishes, spring rolls and imperial rolls, creamy yellow curries, Mexican pork, chicken, and seafood dishes, enchiladas, pork verde, vegetable casseroles, quiche, green salads, charcuterie, and medium, rich, and blue cheeses.
Alzavola Bianco 2020 (OC, NF)
This is a blend of 60% Pecorino and 40% Malvasia. Aromas include citrus blossoms, honeysuckle, white flowers, gardenia, rich yellow fruits, and hints of jasmine and lime zest. Flavors include pear, yellow applies, starfruit, passionfruit, Mirabelle plums, and hints of apricot. There is an elegant medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a full refreshing finish.
Food pairings would include crab, scallops, sole, red snapper, seafood soups, pasta, and salads, paella, veal, pork, chicken, Asian pork, chicken, seafood, vegetable, and noodle dishes, light Asian appetizers such as spring rolls or vegetable salads, Mexican pork, chicken, and seafood dishes, green salads, medium and creamy cheeses.
Ginesia Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2018 (OC, NF)
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a cherry red dark rose made from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes. Aromas include strawberries, ripe raspberries, and dark plums along with interesting hints of leather and tobacco. Flavors include cantaloupe, strawberries, Macintosh apples, and ripe watermelon. There is a medium body, perfect balance, mild acidity, and a fully saturated and memorable finish.
Food pairings would include salmon, tuna, mussels, fried anchovies, red seafood soups and chowders, grilled pork and chicken, pasta with light tomato sauces and oil and garlic, sausages and charcuterie, Indian Tandoori, mild red curries, Asian beef stir frys, and medium to hard cheeses.