Calling all Iphone users & Italian Wine Fans - There is a really cool little app for the Iphone from Gambero Rosso whereby you can search for Italian wines by grape. The results this app produces show only the wines from wineries who are in with Gambero Rosso and by no means represents all wineries who tend this grape, nor all wines that contain it. Nevertheless, this app provides information on wines made from over 250 grapes.
I have decided to go through that list, really just to educate and entertain myself and find out all I can about each of these 250 grapes. So, in true Sesame Street fashion, let us begin with the letter "A".
As you may know, Italian Grapes are ridiculous, there are thousands of them and more are discovered every year, many more disappear forever but we don't get to hear about those, they are simply, like the many unknown species that expire each day, lost in time... how sad.
Let us not lament on this upsetting fact for too long because the grapes that have been brought back from the brink or survive in small quantities are often wonderful discoveries, the Abbuoto grape is one such marvel. Abbuoto is actually one of many MIA grapes within Italy that is being studied closely and experiments are taking place by wineries in the Frosinone region where this grape was "re-found" to try to tease the best expression from Abbuoto. It is not yet fully understood how best to treat this grape to make wines that can truly appeal to the modern palate and move away from the simple rustic wines it can thus far muster. There may not be a way, although producers like Terra delle Ginestre are having fun trying.
It's not a wine available in the UK and neither is it a wine that tends to win awards but it is an important grape most notably because of its historical ties with the Roman poet Horace. Most likely, you've never heard of this grape, or you have just heard of it today and typed Abbuoto into Google and found this rambling post? Luckily for you, I have collected as much information as I can about this grape and the following blog entry should help you on your way!
Who makes wine from the Abbuoto Grape?
Generally a grape used for blending purposes, rarely does Abbuoto survive as a varietal wine alone. Historically this grape is thought to be the main ingredient in the fabled wine “Cecubo”. This wine was mentioned numerous times by Horace. A version of Cecubo is produced by famous Lazio winery Villa Matilde who have "recreated" Cecubo using Primitivo as the main grape and adding a less generous splash of Abbuoto. Terre della Ginestra also make a wine showcasing the potential of Abbuoto called "Il Generale" though I have never seen this wine in the UK or US.
Where does the Abbuoto Grape come from?
Abbuoto's historic home lies close to the Lazio town of Frosinone a place already mentioned within the Wine90 annals but unfortunately for speeding tickets, not indigenous grapes. Abbuoto is sometimes credited as Aboto and Cecubo.
What are wines from the Abbuoto Grape like?
As a blending grape Abbuoto can offer depth and colour to a wine. On it's own Abbuoto produces only rustic wines (estate agent talk for rough) capable of some moderate ageing with a max life of about 10 years. The wine is most commonly mixed with Primitivo & Negroamaro, as is the case with both Villa Matidle and Terra delle Ginestre, to produce wines of great character.
Where can I buy wines from the Abbuoto Grape?
Not a chance. As of May 2011, there appears to be no importer of Abbuoto wines either as varietal wines or as a major part of a blend.
Why are you writing about the Abbuoto Grape?
It seemed like a good idea at the time. This is part one of my epic (cart before horse?) run down of Italian Grapes which I will write about one by one in between putting off the ironing and doing my online shop.
Leave a Comment?
Any experiences of Abbuoto?