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Need a chillable red for warm weather refreshments? One of our favorites for sheer light-and-fresh drinkability is back, and it's still a great value! The 2020 Montalbera "Fuori Catalogo" from Piedmont, Italy has a winning combination of bright, lightly juicy Barbera and the rare, alluringly floral Ruché (roo-KAY) variety. It has a lot of the classic charms of Pinot Noir with a bit of Italian flair. The Morando family that makes it has devoted a lot of their time to the little-known, local Ruche' grape, which had been in danger of disappearing. Hi-Time customers have rewarded their efforts by buying their wines by the case!

What makes the "Fuori Catalogo" so drinkable is its soft, light and fresh mouthfeel, and subtle flavors that don't cloy. Mingling with the distinctive springtime floral aromas (like violet & rose) are notes of ripe cherry, soft, brambly blackberry and apricot, countered by hints of woodsy/incense spice and a subtle 'flinty' earthiness. But the real magic is on the palate, where the satin texture and mid-weight body suit the delicate flavors, which persist through to a clean, dry finish that lingers lightly on balsam-tinged fruits and a dusting of fine tannins. That's what makes this red perfect for a light chill on a warm day (try it at 58 F)!

Italian wine critic, Luca Maroni, whose unique rating system is based on a wine's drinkability and how much pleasure it brings, loves Montalbera's wines. Even the humble Fuori Catalogo rates highly for him, and we have to agree: it's one tasty bottle...or two!

LUCA MARONI 98 POINTS - "An exquisite palate of black cherry and minty blackberry envelops harmoniously, pouring out its balsamic and stainless-steel aging in the nose. A balanced taste of acid/soft tannin, simply archetypal, which amplifies and deepens the mellowness, enhancing the exceptional sensorial pleasure of a champion as oenologically performing as it is viticulturally concentrated, pulpy, powerful. Among the best reds in Italy, a masterpiece of fruit, technique and nature." ~13.5% abv (Translated from Italian)
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