This is an interesting montepulciano from Alex Russell Wines’ smartly labelled “Alejandro range”. You don’t see too much montepulciano in Australia, and you will see even less on the label due to my photographical skills, unless you are inclined to look particularly closely. The vine is most widely planted in Abruzzo in Italy, where it is able to produce deeply coloured wines with robust tannins. The grape variety is late ripening and therefore prefers a warm climate. On Australian soil, it stands to reason that it will perform best in a similar climate, and it seems to have found one here in the very warm Riverland region in South Australia. The 2014 release of the Alejandro Montepuliciano works rather well. It has aromatics of chocolate, spice and violets. The palate is fleshy, interesting and balanced with fresh acidity. Punches above its weight for only $14.
Price: $170 (for a dozen)
Vendors and website: http://www.alexrussellwines.com.au