John Selman, Realtor, Broker, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree

Alberto Serenelli Afro Marche I.G.T. Barrique 2004

SerenelliAfro MonteCorneroThese bottles were our Friday night delight. We were hoping for a big, rich wine with some old world style and charm, and it brought the goods. This is a great wine choice for someone raised on California or other New World trophy wines who wants to try an Italian red, just a little outside their normal comfort zone. It is immediately likeable, but brings a whole new realm of subtlety and complexity.

Serenelli makes wines in the Rosso Conero wine appellation in the central part of the Marche region of Italy just south of Ancona on the slopes of Monte Conero. Marche itself, lies due east of Tuscany, sandwiched between Umbria and the Adriatic, with Marche’s eastern border being the coastline. The red wine with the DOC designation, has at least 85% of the juice coming from the Montepulciano grape. Sangiovese is often added to the blends, and to a much lesser degree, Merlot. The Afro shows how complex and concentrated Montepulciano from this region can be when it is carefully cultivated.

The Afro’s bouquet offers beautiful notes of cherry liqueur, mixed with an intriguing note of earth, saddle leather and tar. There is a little hint of an “animal” quality to the wine, but it is a “just right” character that makes it interesting, and not the type of “out there” aromas that appeal only to zealots and not mere mortals.

With patience, this big wine opens up and in the mouth shows off red fruits, cedar, raisins and ripe plums. There are noticeable tannins present that add to its weight and substance, and its substantial, velvety mouth-feel. They definitely deliver grip, but the tannins are not mouth drying. We really enjoyed this wine, and it was a huge hit with bassist Ross Valory and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who both regularly enjoy Barolo, Ripasso and Amarone. Fortunately, we had a lot of this wine to pour!

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About the Author
John Selman is a refugee from the Tech World, and Big Blue, a founder of SupplyandService.com, director at CU2Americas, former Managing Member of Barrel Wine Bars LLC, Malibu Village Wines LLC, and WineProGroup. He enthusiastically enjoys and irreverently writes, about food, wine, and homes. He is passionate about all three as well as grapes, good renovation, architecture, his family, his very large dogs, and most (but not always all) of his friends. John works with his customers buying and selling normal homes as well as Global Luxury Properties for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and loves what he gets to do every day. In his rare free time, he coaches paddling sports on Tempe Town Lake, occasionally visits his favorite old ski haunts and complains of aches and pains, avoids anyone carrying a rugby ball, travels up and down the coast seeking out great food & wine, looks for water to paddle SUP or outriggers, and laughs at his dogs.

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