Madregale Rosso, Terre di Chieti


This very smart and tasty red comes from one of the largest groups of vine-growers in the Abruzzo region in the south-east of Italy. A bright and juicy red, it is full of red cherry, raspberry, tea leaf and subtle herbal characters that are far more aromatically present than you'd expect from a wine at this price point. It's little wonder that we first tried this in a restaurant...

A blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese, it is like a mini-Rosso-Piceno and is really versatile when matching food and is just as versatile when you haven't got any food either. Wines like this are the proof that you don't have to make thick sweet wines from the south of Italy to pander to international palates and that indigenous wine styles do travel and are available when you get back home. This is a wine that very clearly offers the spirit of the piazza in the comfort of your home. It's the flavour of RAI1 with RTE1.

The co-operative movement in much of Italy has kept alive the possibility of a 'land of wine' ('Enotrea' was the name that the ancient Greeks gave to Italy - land of wine) in the face of rising costs, competition and a drive to the bottom of pricing barrels from greedy customers. Co-ops allow for those farmers who aren't able to afford to make their own wines or bottle them, to at least earn an income for the grapes that they grow. This keeps many regions afloat and, particularly in the less-affluent south, it has allowed for the production of wine at a scale large enough to be exported at a level beyond the dreams of most of the farmers who grow the grapes in the first place. 

Cantina Tollo is one of the largest co-operatives in the region of Abruzzo, with over 800 growers who, between them, have over 3200 hectares of vineyards. All of the growers are certified organic, as too is the winery itself. The range of land allows for some bottlings to label themselves as coming from a more specific sub-zones, like this one for example in the Terre di Chieti. The Abruzzo boasts a large vineyard area that is marked by three climatic influences: its long coast on the Adriatic, the southern Italian temperatures, and the particularly steep and high part of the Apennine mountain range in their area, culminating in the Majella Massif. These features at different times of the year bring wind to cool the vines and rid them of pests and diseases, sun to ripen the grapes and a large diurnal difference on account of cold nights at high altitude, right the way through the ripening period, which gives the grapes thicker skins and darker colouring. It's a fantastic region for producing very high quality wines, but it still suffers from its reputation as wine for the trattoria. What I'm really saying is grab it while you can!

Just a note on the organic: you won't find an organic certification mark in the bottle, but you would if you went to the winery, or to any of the 800 growers. That's a funny thing, you might say, but in fact it's just a commercial decision. It costs a huge amount of money to convert to organic viticulture, even though it saves money (potentially) in the long-run, so in order to get growers to adopt what is good for the environment there are funding mechanisms in place, often from the EU, that make it a no-brainer for the growers to achieve. However, like a hand that giveth and taketh, in order to have certification on the actual bottles themselves, you have to pay a fee back to the certifying authorities, which would increase the cost of the wine by about three euro a bottle. They do have organic certified wines, but we think that this range is the one that gets the message across at the best price going. You can thank us later.

Region: Terre di Chieti

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Sangiovese, Montepulciano

Style: Vibrant, Smooth, Organic, Medium Bodied, Juicy, Herbaceous, Fruity, Fresh, Fleshy, Engaging, Bright, Balanced

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Tapas, Steak, Sausages, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pizza, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles

Alcohol: 13%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.