Wine Awards 2011: Best in Show

DeAngelis Marche Rosso Anghelos 2007

Italy $36.99 (Rich Red) +626259

Great wines evoke emotion; they make you sit up, take notice, and feel something. This off-the-beaten-path wine, with its arresting mix of savoury tradition, warm depth, and haunting earthiness, does just that. The Italians have a phrase for this, naturally: vino di meditazione. The judges were virtually unanimous in selecting the Marche Rosso Anghelos to lead the parade of diverse, superb wines on our 2011 list.

This velvety bombshell hails from little-known Marche, on the back-of-the-knee of Italy’s boot. Chalky soil and sun-drenched hillsides tempered by cool winds from the east ensure grapes ripen fully, but preserve fresh acid. It’s a stylish blend of native Montepulciano, with curranty cabernet sauvignon and a spicing of sangiovese. It smells of plums, cherries, and cassis, lifted by flowers and cigar box. The palate is at once fruity, savoury, and woodsy, with smooth tannins, mouth-coating body, and a generous length. But there is an earthiness that keeps our winner firmly rooted in the Italian countryside.

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