Epiphany: Or how I became a Wine Lover

This post is my entry in the 17th edition of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWCC17). The theme, epiphany, was set by the previous winner John of The Wine Raconteur. This marks also my first ever entry in this monthly competition. 

So the “theme” that I have decided on is “Epiphany” and I do not mean in the classic religious concept, though if one can make it work, all the better. I am using the theme “Epiphany” for that one wine that really changed your attitude towards wine and created your appreciation for wine and what it offered you, and started your new journey of appreciation.

Monthly Wine Writing ChallengeWhat you read above is John’s definition of the word epiphany. Come and join me on a journey to find that one wine that changed my attitude towards wine.

Being half-Italien and coming from a family who appreciates wine, wine has always been a part of my life. Over the years I have tasted hundreds of wines. Many were excellent, some were awful but only a few have changed my way of appreciating wine. One of them is Plateo.

I had my first glass of Plateo, vintage 1995, at a Christmas Eve dinner with my family many years ago. Back then I was not really into wine and I only drank wine occasionally. It is fair to say that wine did not interest me that much but even with my basic knowledge of wine, I understood that Plateo was different than the other wines I tasted before. I still remember this day quite well. The wine was fascinating and I liked it a lot. I could not describe the aromas in detail as I can today but something told me that this wine was it.

Was my first Plateo my Wine Epiphany? Probably not because I was too young and too unexperienced but my first Plateo helped me to understand that wine can be something truly wonderful. But my first Plateo aroused my interest and my affection for wine grew stronger and stronger.

On my wine journey I was lucky enough to try this wonderful wine more than once. Every time I tasted it I was reminded of how perfect wine can be. Plateo opened my eye and made me want to explore the world further. Soon it became my wine for special occasions and celebrations.

Plateo has always been there. Plateo has been following me on my wine journey. Plateo helped me to understand the beauty of wine more than any other wine. Plateo is my perfect wine.

About three and a half years ago, in January of 2012, I tasted an amazing bottle of 2005 Plateo – my favorite vintage for Plateo. On that evening I told a friend who I was sharing the bottle with about my first 1995 Plateo. He asked me if I remembered how it tasted. But all that I knew was that it felt like heaven. In order to not have the same dilemma in the future I thought it was a good idea to to start writing down my tasting notes so that I could look back on the wines I loved and hated. Thanks for that inspiration, Plateo.

I wrote them down in a journal and my first tasting notes were on the 2005 Plateo. Eventually I thought: Why not share them? And so this blog was born in May of 2012. Thanks for inspiring me to start this blog, Plateo!

Plateo became one of my all-time favorite wines. I have lots of good memories coined with it. If I ever had a wine epiphany then it was that 2005 Plateo on that evening in January 2012. Who knows, maybe I would have never gotten interested in wine without Plateo? Maybe no Vino in Love had I not tasted Plateo. Difficult to say. But what I can say for sure is that in the unlikely case that for whatever reason I could only drink one more bottle of wine in my life then I’d definitely pick a Plateo!

Now that you know my wine epiphany it is time that I tell you a little more about Plateo.

So what is Plateo?

Plateo is a varietal Montepulciano which hails from sunny Abruzzo, Italy. It is produced by Agriverde. I still have a a few bottles of Plateo in my cellar and felt that it was time to open one so that I could tell you in detail how amazing this wine is.

Agriverde produces over 20 wines; most of them are varietals. The reds are sourced from Montepulciano grapes whereas the whites are either made with Pecorino, Trebbiano or Passerina grapes.

Plateo is the winery’s flagship wine and only produced in limited quantities in favorable vintages from a single vineyard called Donna Mira. The vineyard is located about 250 MSL. Plateo’s appellation is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC.

After harvest, the grapes undergo an extended maceration in stainless steel tanks. The wine ages in steel vats for about two years. It is then transferred from the steel vats into French barrique barrels in which it continues to age for two more years. After a total of four years the wine gets bottled. It stays at Agriverde for another year before it gets released on the market. The current vintage is 2009.

2007 Agriverde Plateo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

2007 Agriverde PlateoThe wine was opened about 3.5 hours before drinking it. Plateo needs lots of oxygen in order to show its full potential. 14.5% is the label indicated alcohol by volume.

In the glass, Plateo has a deep purple color with ruby red and garnet hues. The nose is complex with lots of layers of aromas and very harmonious. A good mix between spicy oak aromas and fresh fruit. It opens with espresso beans, blackberries, cinnamon and a little vanilla, followed by mint and blackcurrant. As the wine evolves in the glass, aromas of cherries and plums become more present, too.

On the palate, Plateo is very dry and warm. Silky tannins and vivid with lots of energy. Full-bodied, complex and well-structured. Notes of forest fruit, eucalyptus and dark chocolate. Perfectly balanced with just the right amount of acidity to keep the wine going for years. Never-ending finish.

5 / 5 stars      

Parting Words

Plateo is a world class  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and a perfect meditation wineAccording to Wine Searcher, the 2007 vintage is already sold out. The 2008 vintage retails in Munich for about €50.  Plateo ages very well so if you are planing on buying a bottle of Plateo then pick up something old.

Also if you are visiting Abruzzo make sure to visit Agriverde. They offer beautiful accommodations and will gladly let you try their wines, including Plateo, either in their cellar and restaurant.

Have you tried Plateo before? I’d love to read your thoughts on it. Cheers!

Not familiar with how wines are rated on Vino in Love? Take a look at this page.


13 comments on “Epiphany: Or how I became a Wine Lover”

  1. talkavino Reply

    Very nice post, Julian! Looks like you actually had an epiphany in a bottle. Definitely curious to try this wine – will look for it.

  2. Pingback: Vino In Love: Epiphany: Or How I Became a Wine Lover | mwwcblog

  3. Tracy Lee Karner Reply

    Well, Plateo certainly has my attention now! I haven’t tried it, but I’ll be looking for it.

    There’s a wine store near here that specializes in Italian wines; maybe they have it.

    I hadn’t been able to answer that question until I read your post. Now I can — and maybe I’ll even write up my own epiphany. I’ve never entered the wine writing challenge before. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days, whether I can find the time and inspiration to write to assignment.

    Thanks for sharing your epiphany.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for stopping by! This is my first entry in the MWWC, too. I don’t know why I hesitated to finally join the competition. For me it was fun but also challenging to write a post to assignment. Would love to read about your wine epiphany if you decide to join. The deadline for submissions is June 8th I believe. Here is a link to the rules.

      Plateo is definitely worth asking your neighboring wine store if they can get you a bottle of Plateo, preferably an older vintage. It’s wonderfully harmonious and so complex. You have to taste this one to believe how outstanding it is 🙂 Cheers!

  4. Pingback: #MWWC17 Time to vote! | the drunken cyclist

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Louise! Italy is a beautiful country and I hope you’ll enjoy your stay there. Plateo is truly worth seeking out. Cheers!

  5. Bill Dufton Reply

    Montepulciano is viewed by most as a simple wine, I bet. It was by me for the longest time. I’d serve with simple meals. But over the past few years, I’ve had many serious, complex MdA. I will look for the Plateo and if i find it, we’ll toast VinoInLove. Thanks, Julian.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Very, very good observation, Bill! Unfortunately, too many people view Montepulciano asa simple grape variety which can only produce basic wines. While lots of Montepulciano are indeed simple wines, there are a growing number of complex, sophisticated, high-quality Montepulciano out there, too.

      The grape is still mostly associated with Abruzzo but some of my favorite Montepulciano come from the neighbouring Marche region. In Offida they produce lovely varietal Montepulciano but these wines are lesser known than their cousins from Abruzzo.

      Let me know how you like Plateo if you find a bottle. It’s worth seeking out for sure 🙂


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