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.
Ginesia Passerina 2018
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 2018
Aromas include wildflower honey, citrus blossoms, camellia, honeysuckle, and white flowers. Flavors include honeydew melon, mild grapefruit, and nectarines along with hints of almonds, green apples, and mango. There is medium body, perfect balance, and a really refreshing progression across the palate along with perfect acidity.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, clams, sole, seafood bisque, seafood salads and pasta dishes, veal, chicken, light pasta dishes, Asian vegetable salads and noodle dishes, green salads, and medium cheeses.
Alzavola Bianco 2018
This is a blend of 60% Pecorino and 40% Malvasia. Aromas include honey, gardenia, white flowers, and a hint of spice. Flavors include honeydew melon, nectarine, and white peaches. There is a medium to full body, perfect balance along with a sense of elegance, and a refreshing full finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, sole, halibut, branzino, seafood salads and pasta dishes, veal, chicken, pork, light pasta dishes, Asian pork, chicken, and vegetable stir frys, creamy Mexican food, pork and chicken verde, green salads, and soft and creamy cheeses.
Ginesia Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2018
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.